One paragraph in the book really caught my eye. Anatoli was talking about what a strong client base the Mountain Madness team had and he described Charlotte Fox:
"Charlotte Fox, thirty-nine, and Aspen resident ... was a highly qualified find for the Mountain Madness expedition. She had summited two 8,000ers [meters] in her climbing career and had climbed all fifty-four of the 14,000-foot peaks in Colorado. Unassuming and secure, she was a team player, and Fisher regarded her as a true asset, somebody who could perform with a minimum of maintenance. She knew how to take care of herself in the mountains."
This struck me because this could easily be my resume by the time I am 39, or even earlier. I identified with her (BTW she lived, but it was close) and it sort of hit home that I have considerable experience in the mountains. Troy always says that I am too modest about my climbing history, that he has to brag for me (and he's not much of a bragger, well not really much of a talker either). Reading this book brought out a flood of feelings in me about my own mountaineering experiences, especially my trip to Peru in 2001 with my dad. I am slowly coming to realize that I have done (and continue to do) some amazing things in my life. My love for the outdoors (fostered by my parents) is so strong. I am so lucky that my parents felt the need to foster and fund my outdoor trips growing up, they have such a sense of adventure and I am glad I inherited it! I had a conversation with Annabelle while on a hike last week about what I hoped I could pass down to her. I hope that my love of the outdoors will rub off on her and that she will find as much solace, and reward in the outdoors as I have.
I highly recommend "The Climb" to anyone who has read "Into Thin Air". It's the other, less draumatic/theatrical version. And most likely, much more accurate, being that Krakauer was "being rescued" and Anatoli was "doing the rescuing".