On the Ridge Between Life and Death by David Roberts
A Climbing Life Reexamined

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Synopsis

What compels mountain climbers to take the risks that they do? Is it the thrill in the physical accomplishment, in managing to defy the odds, or both -- and why do they continue to do what they do in the face of such great danger? In On the Ridge Between Life and Death, David Roberts confronts these questions head-on as he recounts the exhilarating highs and desperate lows of his climbing career. By the time he was twenty-two, Roberts had already been involved in three fatal mountain climbing accidents and had escaped death himself by the sheerest of luck. And yet, as he acknowledges, few things have brought him more joy than climbing.

In a famous essay on the subject written more than twenty years ago, Roberts judged climbing to be "worth the risk." He continues to climb to this day, and several of his challenging routes in Alaska have never been climbed since. But in reassessing the emotional costs to himself and to loved ones, he reaches a different conclusion, one that is sure to cause controversy not only in climbing circles, but among adventurers of all kinds. Candid and unflinching, On the Ridge Between Life and Death is a compelling examination of the risks we take in order to feel more alive.
 

About David Roberts

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David Roberts is the author of twenty-four books on mountaineering, adventure, and the history of the American Southwest. His essays and articles have appeared in National Geographic, National Geographic Adventure, and The Atlantic Monthly, among other publications. He lives in Watertown, Massachusetts.
 
Published December 1, 2006 by Simon & Schuster. 433 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Sports & Outdoors, Health, Fitness & Dieting. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for On the Ridge Between Life and Death

The New York Times

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The mountaineer David Roberts takes stock of the risky life he's led.

Aug 28 2005 | Read Full Review of On the Ridge Between Life and...

Publishers Weekly

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More than a few readers will think of John Krakauer's Into Thin Air as they delve into this bracing work. The connection isn't surprising, since Roberts

Jul 11 2005 | Read Full Review of On the Ridge Between Life and...

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