4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
The Altitude Journals by David J Mauro is a book about the author's ascent to the Seven Summits, seven highest mountains in the world, among them: Denali, Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, Aconcagua, Vinson Massif, Carstensz Pyramid, and Everest.
This book has everything: the description of the author's incredible adventures on his way to the world's highest summits; advice to those who might be interested in following his way; the history of his life challenges; a beautiful love line and just wisdom of a very experienced man.
The author with captivating frankness tells about his first steps as a climber during the ascent to the one of the Seven Summits, Denali, and all the difficulties, connected to it. This ascent helped the author to move from the lowest point of his life that included the death of his brother, hard divorce and financial losses up to the new summits, exotic countries, and personal achievements.
David Mauro chose his summits not by chance but only after they "called" him. And every time a reader with sinking heart follows the author risking his life, for example, in the hardest conditions of Antarctica as he climbs Vinson Massif or takes a risk of being kidnapped in the rain forests of Papua New Guinea.
But, in spite of all the mentioned above dangers, the author always has kind and heartfelt words for those assisting him in his journeys. He tells a detailed and very interesting history of Sherpa people, who guide expeditions to the top of Mount Everest for decades. The author makes their vivid portraits with a few loving strokes, and it is impossible not to admire their courage, physical toughness, and kind hearts.
It is worth mentioning a heartwarming love story between the author and lovely Lin. They met online by chance, fell in love and were able to trust each other even despite the hard life's circumstances they both went through. Every time I was eager to learn what humorous costume inventive Lin chose to wear this time as she was meeting David in the airport after his next expedition. And she always managed to impress me.
I liked most about this book the description of the ascent to the world's highest summit, Everest. As I was reading, I rooted for the author more and more with every one of his courageous steps. The author described the ascent with all the incredibly honest details and possible dangers a climber could meet along the way. For example, it became a big surprise for me to learn that, according to the author, on the altitude high enough a person's body starts to die slowly, and a climber must ascend to the top of a mountain and return to base camp fast enough to not let that process to conclude.
The author describes the most unpleasant parts of his journeys with an amazing sense of humor. For example, a leeches' description is incredibly humorous. Thanks to the author I now look at them differently and more sympathetically.
There wasn't a single thing I could dislike about this book. Also, it was professionally edited, and I found only a couple of minor typographical errors.
I am pleased to rate this book 4 out of 4 stars and recommend it to everyone who loves journeys, mountains, might be an aspiring or experienced climber, lives through a tough time and needs guidance or encouragement. The book contains beautiful pictures, is written in a light way, and suitable for a large audience.
The ascent to the world's highest mountains made the author a stronger, wiser and more loving person. A reader will find in this book an inexhaustible source of inspiration and inner strength.
The Altitude Journals
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon
Like Ellylion's review? Post a comment saying so!