A teethchat-t-t-tering, rope-by-crampon record of the 1967 Wilcox Expedition to climb Alaska's Mount McKinley, the tallest peak in North America, which ended with seven of the twelve mountaineers frozen to death in the arctic snow. Snyder, one of the climbers, reconstructs the luckless adventure from earliest planning to the Final descent by the survivors. In between there's all the tension of men against the full force of hostile nature. . . and human error -- poor radio communications, meals of chili at 17,900 feet, etc. Careful preparation and attention to safety is the moral, and toward that end Snyder appends lists of equipment recommendations and food and menu tips. For all riggers who climb the highest mountains just because they're there.