This is not only the story of the conquest of Everest, but of the years that made it possible in one man's ""high adventure"". A New Zealander, Hillary was sixteen before he ever saw a mountain. Then, with his first venture on a skiing holiday, he knew he was in an exciting new world, one that came to dominate his life. Shipton, through his Nanda Devi became his idol, so close were his climbing problems to those in New Zealand. With an intimate, George Lows, Hillary first ventured into the Himalayas, and this was followed up by a chance to Shipton's own attack on Everest, in 1951. Even the approach was exciting and dramatic, as many of the ways that have challenged climbers were then first surveyed by some of the climbers who made the final assault, and names now familiar to armchair mountaineers are introduced,- the Khumbu glacier, the Western Cwym, the monastery of Thangboche, the Lhotse glacier, the South Col. Sites made memorable by earlier adventurers were still recognizable, but the possibility of the southern route was only then accepted. Explorations of various facets revealed some possibilities, but equipment, supplies, manpower, and weather were factors that operated against further ventures that year. One thing was decided- the icefall could be compassed, dangerous as it was. And Hillary- unlike his British fellow adventurers-makes no bones of the risks taken, the perils and the terrors. One adventure after another proves this- and from the safety of one's living room it is unbelievable that men can be found to seek such dangerous ""sport"". Then came a year of setbackas the Swiss were given their chance. It was not wasted, however, for a training expedition was sent to Cho Oyu -- in its own right of hazardous climb, a peak still unconquered. The formidable pass of Nup La -- and venture into forbidden territory (politically speaking) proved yet another challenge. Exciting reading -- and with much that is new. The final section- dealing with the 1953 achievement of the goal of Everest, presents a many-times told tale from yet another angle, a very human, sometimes emotional, always readable one. To the addicts this book is another Must.