A Lifetime Spent on
the Edge By Peter Hillary and John E. Elder
Peter Hillary climbed Mt. Everest in 1990,
thirty-seven years after his father's historic first
ascent in 1953, they became the first father and son
to reach the top of the world. It was just one of
more than 30 major expeditions to the Himalayas, the
Andes, the Karakoram, the Arctic and the Antarctic.
extraordinary book! A beautifully written, at times haunting and highly
evocative story of what it is like to endure some of the harshest environments
on earth. A truly remarkable piece of writing.
D. Garcia, Executive Vice President National Geographic Society
"The true journey in exploration is the emotional and cerebral struggle one
faces on epic adventures. IN THE GHOST COUNTRY clearly articulates the
consuming internal conflicts and team dynamics every expedition experiences.
An outstanding account of adventure, courage, and endurance."
Himalayan Climber and the first American
legacy to summit Everest
"Peter Hillary's harrowing
account of his attempt with two companions to complete Captain Robert Falcon
Scott's doomed journey to the South Pole makes for powerful reading. A
masterful story of an expedition's precipitous collapse and a study of a life
lived on the brink, this is a vivid tale of physical endurance, heartbreaking
loneliness, and ultimately the triumph of a man over the cruelty of the
Antarctic wasteland and the ghosts of his own past."
--David Breashears, Leader and Co-director,
Everest IMAX Filming Expedition
In the Antarctic summer of
1998-99, explorer Peter Hillary, the son of legendary Sir Edmund, and two
companions set out to retrace the route of doomed explorer Robert Falcon Scott
and his unsuccessful attempt to reach the South Pole and get back alive. But
with the relentless watch of the eager media and the developing acrimonious
discourse between the team members, the direction of the trip quickly became
something more ominous than any of his earlier expeditions.
IN THE GHOST COUNTRY: A
Lifetime Spent on the Edge is the dramatic story of this trip, and Peter
Hillary’s revelations of the costs incurred in a lifetime of exploration.
This is a memoir of
extraordinary depth and searing honesty, IN THE GHOST COUNTRY is the story of
Peter Hillary’s physical and emotional journey across the icy wastes of
Antarctica. A place where the thoughts and memories of a lifetime were called
forth by the blank slate of the Antarctic snows - so real that the ghosts of
lost friends and loved ones walked with him in the white maelstrom. The
sensory deprivation due to the unending white landscape, the “great white
everywhere,” lent to Hillary’s increasing solitude and escapism into his own
memories. Hillary's journey became a hallucinogenic
pilgrimage, a memory book of more than thirty expeditions in the Himalayas,
the Andes, the Arctic and the Antarctic. It tells of triumphant adventures –
travelling with his father, Sir Edmund Hillary, and Neil Armstrong to the
North Pole, climbing Everest twice – and bitter tragedies, like the loss of
his mother and sister in a plane crash in the Himalayas, and the shattering
K2 climb where Peter was the only one of eight climbers (including Alison
Hargreaves) to survive.
Interwoven with commentary by
long-time friend and journalist John E. Elder, and extracts from Sartre’s play
“No Exit”, in which three people are locked in a room forever, Hillary’s first
person accounts of the places and people are powerful snapshots of a lifetime
of incredible experiences. Hillary also draws on his life experiences; growing
up as the son of a legend, seeing Everest for the first time at age 7,
becoming the first second-generation mountaineer to climb Everest in 1990 and
traveling with Neil Armstrong to the North Pole.
IN THE GHOST
COUNTRY is a powerfully candid and telling account of this trip, a bittersweet
chronicle of profound isolation and loneliness and of the mental toll exacted
by expeditionary challenges. This rare memory book framed by the South Pole
expedition is an evocative look into a life of adventure.
authors: When Peter Hillary climbed Mt. Everest in 1990,
thirty-seven years after his father's historic first ascent in 1953, they
became the first father and son to reach the top of the world. It was just one
of more than 30 major expeditions to the Himalayas, the Andes, the Karakoram,
the Arctic and the Antarctic. He works with the foundations that support the
schools and hospitals that the Hillary family operate around the foot of
Everest. Peter works as a
speaker, a writer and adventure travel operator. He is married, and he has
John Elder is a senior writer for
The Sunday Age newspaper in Melbourne, renowned for writing about the more
desperate and seedy side of the human experience. In 1986, as a crewmember of
the `In The Footsteps of Scott' Antarctic expedition, he stood on the pack ice
and watched his ship the Southern Quest sink to the bottom of the Ross Sea. He
is married, and he has two daughters.
IN THE GHOST COUNTRY: A
Lifetime Spent on the Edge/Peter
Hillary & John E. Elder
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