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Mountaineering Literature
K2:The Savage Mountain
October 9, 2009

Dr. Charles Houston wrote several books on his experiences as a climber and on high altitude medicine. You can read his tale of "disaster and survival,"
in part online.

Houston's adventures are among a proud tradition of mountaineering literature — literature which enables the less adventuresome to experience the thrill of the climb from the comfort of an armchair. The Internet adds an even more immediate sense of participation. Use the links below to learn about the classics of mountaineering literature and follow climbing adventures online.

Top 100 Mountaineering Books
Mountaineer and bookstore owner Michael Chessler chooses his top 100 titles on mountaineering for the OUTDOOR BOOK REVIEW. Among his favorites are Charles Houstson's K2 THE SAVAGE MOUNTAIN; John Muir's 1911: MY FIRST SUMMER IN THE SIERRA; and ANNAPURNA: A WOMAN’S PLACE, Arlene Blum's account of her 1978 ascent of the world's 10th highest mountain, making Blum the first American and first woman to have reached Annapurna's peak.

Festival of Mountaineering Literature
Founded in 1987 by Terry Gilform, then a Reader in Literature and Environment at the University of Leeds, the festival is now in its 18th year. Scholars and enthusiasts come together from all over the globe to celebrate climbing writing. The Web site contains booklists and reports from each festival as well as news about the 2005 event.

FRONTLINE WORLD: Dreams of Chomolongma
FRONTLINE/World correspondent Sapana Sakya returns to her native country of Nepal to follow a team of Sherpa women attempting to become the first Nepali women to summit Everest. The trek began in April 2000 at Everest base camp, where a puja, or fire, is kept burning at all times in prayer for the safety of the team of women. To the Sherpa people, an eastern Nepali ethnic group renowned for the ability to endure high altitudes, Mount Everest is "Chomolongma," meaning Mother Goddess of the Universe. The Web site contains updates on the women climbers, and a more information on the history of Nepal and Everest climbs.

"Into Thin Air"
This is the first iteration of Jon Krakauer's bestselling book recounting his harrowing experiences with a 1996 Everest team. Writing for OUTSIDE magazine, Krakauer documented the summit attempt which left six team members dead. The Web site also presents some of the letters received from mountaineers after the publication of Krakauer's article and its criticism of the commercialization of the Everest experience.

NOVA Online: Everest
The companion Web site to several NOVA programs on Mt. Everest, including "Lost on Everest" and "Everest: The Death Zone" takes an intensive look at the personalities, dangers, history, culture, and lore surrounding the world's highest mountain. Resources include information on the effect of altitude on humans, interactive route guides up the mountain, geological information and history of attempts to conquer the mountain.

Also This Week:
Just over a year after economic calamity brought promises of reform from Washington, has Wall Street really changed? Former International Monetary Fund chief economist Simon Johnson and US Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) report on the state of the economy.

View the JOURNAL's complete coverage of the financial crisis.

Bill Moyers remembers his friend, renowned physician and mountaineer Charlie Houston. Also, view Bill Moyers complete 2004 interview with Houston and Houston's own film on his 1953 K2 expedition.

Online sites to lead you to the best in high-altitude adventure.

Trace campaign contributions, ad spending and the revolving door between industry and government.

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