Saturday, June 21, 2014

Book Review: Blind Descent

Blind Descent is an exciting story of one man’s attempt to climb to the summit of Mt. Everest. Climbing mountains is a passion for Brian Dickinson. After climbing all the major mountains of the world, Everest was the final feather for his cap. Though not planned as a solo summit, when he did reach the top of the world alone, he soon became snow blind and had to navigate his way down to help using his training, his mental and physical resources, and his faith in God.

Dickinson’s outspoken faith in Christ sets this account apart from others who have chronicled similar stories of the assault on Everest. All along the journey, from his home in Washington to the mountains of Nepal, he acknowledges the presence of God in each step. That someone could be so devoted to climbing mountains, and do so to the glory of God, reminds me of the comment attributed to Eric Lidell to his sister Jennie in the movie “Chariots of Fire” concerning his own love for running; “God has made me fast, and when I run I feel His pleasure.”

For those of us who have no idea about mountain climbing in general and scaling Everest in particular, several bits of information will be of interest. Climbing Everest has become something of an industry in Nepal. Every year, many people from across the world try to reach the summit. While climbing to 29,000+ feet is no minor achievement, it is not the extraordinary feat that it was when Sir Edmund Hillary made his climb.

Additionally, climbing Everest is a lengthy process. Unless one is independently wealthy, funds must be secured for the 3 month project. Upon finally arriving at Everest, there are a series of acclimatization climbs that must be made to condition the body for the altitude. Camps also exist for the climbers during these acclimatization climbs.  Apparently, as Dickinson notes, some people are susceptible to altitude sickness and find out that they are unable to finish the climb.

In several places, ladder bridges have been constructed to cross deep crevices. The first climbers likely had to make do without these aids.

Blind Descent was one of the books that I read in a day. It is written in a way that keeps the reader engaged to the final page. The reader feels that he is right there on Everest with the climbers.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publications as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising


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