This account which has a strong foothold in Annapurna country is one of those often unendurable ordeals of endurance in Which eight men decided to climb Mt. McKinley during the long night of the winter (the first time under these conditions). From overconfident beginnings, the author made the first misstep and fell down a crevasse where a little later another man fell to his death, starting off at 43 degrees for the bivouac at the summit, they made the 17,200 foot climb in two groups; various letters, diary excerpts, as well as Mr. Davidson's straightforward account fill in what happened as they were immobilized by the gelid temperatures and incredible wind (150 miles per hour); feet and hands were frostbitten and turned black; an ear crumbled; and they were stranded for several days with almost no supplies before they were able to head down again, into a whiteout. . . . The mystique of this kind of enterprise is justified by Saint Exupery's ""that new vision of the world won through hardship""--foolhardy hardship perhaps, but immobilizing for all concerned.