Review by kushyaar1 -- The Altitude Journals

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kushyaar1
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Review by kushyaar1 -- The Altitude Journals

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[Following is a volunteer review of "The Altitude Journals" by David J Mauro.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Altitude Journals by David J. Mauro


Altitude Journals is not just any normal adventure story. It is a story about a person’s fight with himself, his life and then a marvelous adventure of climbing mountains.


David Mauro the author is a professional in the financial industry. He had a difficult childhood, lost his brother in recent times and is now undergoing a troublesome divorce. During this tumultuous time, his brother in law who is a documentary maker asks to accompany him in climbing the mountain Denali to provide a non-climbers perspective. Author reluctant at first, concurs in time. Though not a mountaineer he was athletic having harbored an Olympic dream during childhood, thus undergoes training required and attempts the climb. With encouragement from his brother in law, all through the climb, he is successful in standing atop ‘Denali’ the highest mountain in the North American continent.


A successful climb of the mountain was his own achievement. Providing him with a sense of accomplishment or as he puts it “My path taught me to listen, trust and act”. This helped to stabilize himself and engage with life in a better way.


Having conquered the highest mountain of North America, he felt a calling from highest mountains from other continents. Or to say in his own words “an unceasing hunger to do something remarkable”. Thus, starts the journey of other climbs. The second and third highest mountain climbs were uneventful. The real test was encountered by him from the fourth through sixth mountains.


The last mountain and the toughest climb was the Everest. And Everest tested him like no other mountain did. He had never lost a team member to death or never felt like he himself would die in all the six climbs but on Everest, that notion changed.


His soft side was revealed in many instances. One very touching act was, he carried his brother’s ashes to all the seven mountains and spread them on reaching the top. A second act was to raise a charity for local boys and girls club on occasion of the Everest expedition. And another was to allow a Sherpa to climb all the way to Everest although the contract with Sherpa was only till Second Col. (The last mountaintop before the Everest Peak) so that the Sherpa can promote from being a helping to a guiding Sherpa.


The book espouses a light philosophical thought, as it deals with authors fights in his life. The book is full of interesting philosophical remarks like “This man had been at war…really, with himself” (as against the mountain), this was commented by a fellow climber about another mountaineer who had just fought and won a climb.


A well-edited book without any errors. The book would appeal to adventure readers and mountaineers alike. It’s also a good read for people facing difficulties in their life as it will help show how achieving something extraordinary would provide them with new impetus and eventually help things in their own life.
I loved reading the book especially the mountain and mountain climbing process. The explanation of climbs, geographical and intricate details were simple and interesting. The narration was particularly engaging with how the author would find a calling and then how he completes each expedition. Overall the book is a very a good read and I would give it a 3 out of 4 stars.

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The Altitude Journals
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