Last Step (Ridgeway)
The Last Step - The American ascent of K2
By Rick Ridgeway
The personal story of the 1978 American team who, following five failed attempts by previous American teams, gained the summit of K2, the second highest and most difficult mountain in the world. In September 1978, Rick Ridgeway, Jim Wickwire, Lou Reichardt and John Roskelley stood atop K2, the first Americans ever to achieve that victory. Under the leadership of Jim Whittaker, they and their teammates had spent 67 days on the mountain, nearly all of them above 18,000 feet, where the stresses of high-altitude living, of monotonous food, of confinement in tiny tents for day after day of frustrating storms had worn them down to the core. The Last Step is Rick Ridgeway's inside story of this extraordinary expedition. It's about the people who, battered by the mountain and their isolation, overcame their individual fears, desires, and disappointments to work together to get somebody - anybody - to the top of K2. It's about the glorious success the team achieved, and about the perilous bivouac Jim Wickwire spent just below the summit without food, oxygen, or shelter in temperatures of -40 degrees.
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