In comparing Ullman's massive report on the successful 1963 assault with oodrow Wilson Sayre's recent account Four Against...

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AMERICANS ON EVEREST

In comparing Ullman's massive report on the successful 1963 assault with oodrow Wilson Sayre's recent account Four Against Everest (about the 1962 assault, p. 262), it must be said that the two groups of mountaineers had nothing in common except reaching the summit, which Sayre didn't quite make. The Sayre assault, according to Ullman, was a politically illegal, hare-brained daredevil exploit and ""hasn't the remotest resemblance to what true mountaineers mean by mountaineering."" Sayre's four-man team, without oxygen, went up to 25,000 feet on $10,000; Ullman's grew, which made the summit, spent close to half a million dollars. Both books have excellent equipment appendices; Ullman's is more professional and full of action, while Sayre's eventually provides the more persuasive philosophical mystique. And action Ullman has, as seventy men push upward, thinning out into a string of camps, ropping out through death and disease, until the final assaults are mounted and three two-man teams make the summit (though not all together). It is the mightiest expedition ever to scale Everest; put the most men on top in one day; most team members and Sherpas to heights from 26,000 to 28,000 feet; took the first movies at the summit and made the first radio communication from there; and was the first time Everest had ever been tried simultaneously from two directions. Good patches of description from a high perch.

Pub Date: May 25, 1964

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1964