Hornbein was part of the first American expedition to Everest in
the 1960s and, together with Willi Unsoeld, was the first to climb
Everest by the west route.
provides insight into the minds, drives, and cultural attitudes of the
mountaineers who "opened" Everest.
While the style is direct and spare, the
personalities of the climbers do come off the page. There are times in
the book where Hornbein's stoic style could use some lightening up but
is well worth the read.