Left for Dead

Left for Dead

My Journey Home From Everest

Book - 2000 | First edition.
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I am neither churchly nor a particularly spiritual person, but I can tell you that some force within me rejected death at the last moment and then guided me, blind and stumbling--quite literally a dead man walking--into camp and the shaky start of my return to life. On May 10, 1996, nine climbers perished in a blizzard high on Mount Everest, the single deadliest day ever on the peak. The following day, one of those victims was given a second chance. His name was Beck Weathers. The tale of Dr. Seaborn Beck Weathers's miraculous awakening from a deep hypothermic coma was widely reported. But the hidden story of what led the pathologist to Everest in the first place, and his painful recovery after his dramatic rescue, has not been told until now. Brilliant and gregarious, Weathers discovered in his thirties that mountain climbing helped him cope with the black dog of depression that had shadowed him since college. But the self-prescribed therapy came at a steep cost: estrangement from his wife, Peach, and their two children. By the time he embarked for Everest, his home life had all but disintegrated. Yet when he was reported dead after lying exposed on the mountain for eighteen hours in subzero weather, it was Peach who orchestrated the daring rescue that brought her husband home. Only then, facing months of surgery and the loss of his hands, did Beck Weathers also begin to face himself, his family, his past and uncertain future. Told in Beck Weathers's inimitably direct and engaging voice--with frequent commentary from Peach, their family, their friends and others involved in this unique journey--Left for Dead shows how one man's drive to conquer the most daunting physical challenges ultimately forced him to confront greater challenges within himself. Framed by breathtaking accounts of his near death and resurrection, and of his slow and agonizing physical and emotional recovery, Left for Dead offers a fascinating look at the seductive danger of extreme sports, as in rapid succession a seemingly unstoppable Weathers attacks McKinley, Elbrus, Aconcagua, Kilimanjaro--before fate stops him cold, high in the Death Zone of the world's tallest peak. Full of deep insight and warm humor, Left for Dead tells the story of a man, a marriage and a family that survived the unsurvivable. Candid and uncompromising, it is a deeply compelling saga of crisis and change, and of the abiding power of love and family--a story few readers will soon forget.
Publisher: New York : Villard Books, [2000]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2000
ISBN: 9780375504044
Branch Call Number: 796.522092 Weath
Characteristics: 292 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Michaud, Stephen G. 1948-


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Apr 03, 2017

I'm so sad to give this a two star rating but I expected a lot more from this book. Beck's actual experience on Everest (or even the aftermath) was sadly not the main focus here. The majority of the book was his upbringing, the relationship with his wife, his depression, his obsession with climbing mountains and why that put a strain on his relationship with his family. The "after Everest" part which I will admit was sort of interesting was disappointing because it was not nearly long and detailed enough.

If you want to actually read about the 1996 Everest disaster in detail, please pick up Into Thin Air instead.

A better title for this book would have been "Beck Weathers: An Autobiography".

Dec 15, 2015

Glad to read about the trials & tribulations about Buck Weathers - what a selfish individual.

Nov 02, 2015

The picture on the web page is for a different book.


Dec 19, 2008

The first part of the book is what really drew me to it - the account of Beck's experience on Everest in 1996. It was a very honest and compelling part to read. I thought the book would then go on to his rehabilitation, which it did to some extent. However, it was also about his personal history, his battle with depression, his marriage, etc. This was interesting.

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