High Crimes by Michael Kodas
The Fate of Everest in an Age of Greed

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Synopsis

High Crimes is journalist Michael Kodas's gripping account of life on top of the world--where man is every bit as deadly as Mother Nature.

In the years following the publication of Into Thin Air, much has changed on Mount Everest. Among all the books documenting the glorious adventures in mountains around the world, none details how the recent infusion of wealthy climbers is drawing crime to the highest place on the planet. The change is caused both by a tremendous boom in traffic, and a new class of parasitic and predatory adventurer. It's likely that Jon Krakauer would not recognize the camps that he visited on Mount Everest almost a decade ago. This book takes readers on a harrowing tour of the criminal underworld on the slopes of the world's most majestic mountain.

High Crimes describes two major expeditions: the tragic story of Nils Antezana, a climber who died on Everest after he was abandoned by his guide; as well as the author's own story of his participation in the Connecticut Everest Expedition, guided by George Dijmarescu and his wife and climbing partner, Lhakpa Sherpa. Dijmarescu, who at first seemed well-intentioned and charming, turned increasingly hostile to his own wife, as well as to the author and the other women on the team. By the end of the expedition, the three women could not travel unaccompanied in base camp due to the threat of violence. Those that tried to stand against the violence and theft found that the worst of the intimidation had followed them home to Connecticut.

Beatings, thefts, drugs, prostitution, coercion, threats, and abandonment on the highest slopes of Everest and other mountains have become the rule rather than the exception. Kodas describes many such experiences, and explores the larger issues these stories raise with thriller-like intensity.
 

About Michael Kodas

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Michael Kodas is a member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning team of journalists at "The Hartford Courant", where he has worked since 1987 as a reporter and photographer. His work has also appeared in the "New York Times", the "Los Angeles Times", the "Washington Post", the "Boston Globe", the "Chicago Tribune", and "Newsweek". He lives in Hartford, Connecticut, with his wife, Carolyn Moreau.
 
Published February 5, 2008 by Hachette Books. 368 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Education & Reference, Nature & Wildlife, Sports & Outdoors, Travel, Science & Math, Action & Adventure, Computers & Technology. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for High Crimes

Kirkus Reviews

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Poorly trained climbers, eager for the status of an Everest summit, routinely pay exorbitant fees to guides who inflate their resumes to make a quick buck, then often abandon their clients when they falter in the high-altitude “Death Zone.” Increasingly, these wealthy novices are taxing the manpo...

Dec 15 2007 | Read Full Review of High Crimes: The Fate of Ever...

The New York Times

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The story of a man driven to conquer Everest, and a view of the mountain’s transformation since his death there.

Mar 02 2008 | Read Full Review of High Crimes: The Fate of Ever...

The New York Times

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The story of a man driven to conquer Everest, and a view of the mountain’s transformation since his death there.

Mar 02 2008 | Read Full Review of High Crimes: The Fate of Ever...

The New York Times

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The story of a man driven to conquer Everest, and a view of the mountain’s transformation since his death there.

Mar 02 2008 | Read Full Review of High Crimes: The Fate of Ever...

Entertainment Weekly

(Kodas also claims some seasoned mountaineers ignore the dying, so eager are they to plant their flags at the summit.) Kodas forever dispels whatever romantic ideas readers may hold about the great Himalayan peak.

Feb 01 2008 | Read Full Review of High Crimes: The Fate of Ever...

Shelf Awareness

It feels more corporate now."--Aga Machauf, a Starbucks customer, who eeriely echoed an observation about customers simultaneously wanting to go out and feel at home that was made by restaurateur Danny Meyer at the Winter Institute and reported here on Monday.

Jan 30 2008 | Read Full Review of High Crimes: The Fate of Ever...

California Literary Review

Adventure travel—and the many greedy individuals that feed off of those looking to add a bit of zip to their pedestrian lives—is gathering a growing reputation as little more than an aggregation of outdoor pursuits riddled with souls who put ego, personal gratification and glorification, along wi...

May 15 2008 | Read Full Review of High Crimes: The Fate of Ever...

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