Facing Up, A Remarkable Journey to the Summit of Mt Everest by Bear Grylls, London: Macmillan, 2000, 289 pp.
Isn’t that the guy from tv? I didn’t know he wrote books. And I heard that he was a Christian. So I bought a copy. My used copy came signed by Bear himself, but it is written out to someone named “Tracey.” Did Tracey not appreciate the book?
Grylls wrote this book before he ever became tv-famous. He had been in the British military and had a parachuting accident which broke his back. After his recovery he climbed Ama Dablam (20, 243 ft) in preparation for Mt. Everest (29,028 ft). His success would make him the youngest Britisher to summit the world’s highest peak.
The story had much in common with Krakauer’s Into Thin Air, minus the disaster. There were many challenging hardships for Bear, his British team, and the Sherpa guides with them. In the final summit bid they would go without food, water, or sleep for a dangerous stretch. Two of the party made it within 300 feet of the summit only to realize they hadn’t brought enough rope to climb the final wall. Bear and some of the party finally do succeed in this heartwarming if not somewhat unremarkable account of a journey to the summit of Mt. Everest.