Originally published October 24, 2011 at 10:07 PM | Page modified October 25, 2011 at 7:26 AM

Book review

Climber Ed Viesturs eyes Annapurna

A review of "The Will to Climb" by Bainbridge Island mountaineer Ed Viesturs (with David Roberts), which chronicles what it takes to climb Annapurna, a particularly challenging Himalayan peak. Viesturs appears Thursday at Town Hall Seattle.

The Associated Press

Author appearance

Ed Viesturs

The author of "The Will to Climb" will discuss his book at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Town Hall Seattle. Tickets are free with book purchase from the University Book Store; otherwise, $10 (206-634-3400;
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'The Will to Climb'

by Ed Viesturs with David Roberts

Random House, 281 pp., $26

Hard work, danger — even the possibility of death — don't chill climbers' passion for some peaks.

Veteran climber Ed Viesturs and David Roberts, the author of 20 books on mountaineering, adventure and history, don't explain what motivates people to risk it all on the world's tallest frozen mountains. But in "The Will to Climb," they do a good job of telling about those who attempted to climb Annapurna, the world's 10th-highest peak, and illustrating the particular danger that Annapurna poses.

The mountain makes up in danger what it lacks in height, although 26,545 feet above sea level is challenging.

As a teenager in the "flatlands of Rockford, Ill.," Viesturs, now a Bainbridge Island resident, became fascinated with the story of the first expedition to climb Annapurna in 1950, led by French climber Maurice Herzog. He read and reread Herzog's account of the climb.

Viesturs made it his goal to climb the world's 14 highest peaks. He made two attempts to summit Annapurna, the only one of the 14 mountains he hadn't conquered, but found conditions too dangerous. Should he skip it or finish his goal of climbing them all?

His successful summit in 2005 was added to the tales of Annapurna.

Viesturs and Roberts have written a book that will appeal to both climbers and armchair adventurers.

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