As many readers of this blog know, when I get into a topic or area, I like to read up on its history. Recently I’ve been getting into mountaineering / alpinism (more on that in future blog posts), and so I’ve been reading a lot. I’ll post some book reviews, too — Ed Viesturs‘s books are excellent.
Just a couple of days ago I came across this great stirring article about Jean-Christophe Lafaille, now presumed dead, one of the greatest mountaineers of our time. It’s written for The Guardian by Jason Burke: One Step Beyond.
A little quote:
On his last morning alive, Jean-Christophe Lafaille woke up perhaps the most profoundly alone man on the planet. His tiny tent, specially designed for ultra-high altitude, was perched on a small ridge at around 25,000ft on an icy shoulder of Makalu, the world’s fifth largest mountain. Either side of the tent, huge rock and snow cliffs and avalanching slopes swept down to the distant valleys of the high Nepalese Himalayas. There was nothing above him except Makalu’s summit, some 3,000ft higher.
Read the whole thing: One Step Beyond.