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Annapurna: The First Conquest Of An 8,000-Meter Peak Paperback – May 18 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press (May 18 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599218933
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599218939
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 14.6 x 22.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #60,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Outdoor Classic" Winner of the 2010 National Outdoor Book Awards “The most influential mountaineering book of all time.”―National Geographic Adventure “Those who have never seen the Himalayas, those who never care to risk an assault, will know when they finish this book that they have been a companion of greatness.”―New York Times Book Review “Before Everest, there was Annapurna. Frenchman Herzog led the first summitting of an 8,000-meter peak, dictating his story because he had lost all his fingers to frostbite.”―Sports Illustrated“While the ascent is thrilling enough, the harrowing descent . . . truly boggles the mind.”―The Week

From the Back Cover

One of Sports Illustrated's top 100 sports books of all time In 1950, when no mountain taller than 8,000 meters had ever been climbed, Maurice Herzog led an expedition of French climbers to the summit of an 8,075-meter (26,493-foot) Himalayan peak called Annapurna. The route up Annapurna had never been charted, and Herzog and his team had to locate the mountain using crude maps, pick out a possible line of ascent, and go for the summit. Annapurna is the unforgettable account of this heroic climb and its harrowing aftermath, including a nightmare descent while suffering from frostbite and snow blindness. Herzog's masterful narrative is one of the great mountain-adventure stories of all time. This new edition―which commemorates the sixtieth anniversary of the Annapurna ascent on June 3, 1950―features a new foreword by Conrad Anker.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was led to Annapurna by Ed Viesturs "No Shortcuts To The Top". I found Annapurna a riveting account of that first successful expedition on a 8,000 m peak. Its quite technical, but it clearly describes the massive obstacles and sacrifices those guys made to summit the mountain. I don't think any of them got down with all of their fingers and toes. You get a clear sense of how unbelievably challenging the mountain must have been, even moreso in those days without the technology climbers have available today, and I was left with an impression that they were 1/4 great climbers and 3/4 nuts. I think adventure lovers will enjoy this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a heart wrenching story of a man's incredible adventure of man against nature and the consequenses of a life changing experience,
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9de73cf0) out of 5 stars 32 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e485750) out of 5 stars Loved It Sept. 23 2011
By Reader - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book has all the emotion and details that can only come from the person who did it. I hadn't realized how much of the adventure happens before getting to base camp, nor how much more is required of those who are the first to conquer a particular mountain.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e4857a4) out of 5 stars Epic Adventure Frech expedition climb first 8000M peak. trouble, dangerous,frostbite amputations March 7 2013
By Thomas Erickson - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love true adventure stories. Annapurna is a true adventure story of a French 1950 mountain climbing expedition. Two of their members are the first to reach the summit of a 8000M peak. Unheard of, many thought it could not be done. Annapurna is the epic book that influenced ED Vestures when he was a boy toward his mountain climbing greatness ( climbed all 13 8000M peaks with no supplemental oxygen...all his books 5 star see my reviews).

Annapurna is 278 pages of great adventure and lots of action. No boring parts. I read it in 3 days.

Here's a tidbit of the book to wet your appetite.

A group of some of the greatest mountain climbers is assembled with a great doctor/surgeon Oudot, and support people for the expedition. Local loyal helpers/guides called Sherpas and Coolies to help carry the heavy loads are hired. The leaders Sahibs have as their expedition leader Maurice Herzog. Herzog is seen as brave but sensibly cautious and uses lots of scouting of different routes. A higher mountain was originally thought OK to climb but it is found too dangerous at this time. Scouting more through glaciers around impassable ridges , a hidden valley a route to Annapurna is found. Already they are experiencing bad weather and are in a race with time as Monsoon rains are coming soon. Some routes are found to be no good. Lots of dangers, crevasses, and avalanches. Five ascending camps are set up. The expedition is rapidly breaking down due to health problems.

Herzog and Louise Lachenal make it to the top. All expedition members helped and team work was great. A lot of unselfish people. However Herzog loses his gloves and develops frostbite of the fingers and toes. Lachenal has frostbite of the toes and heal. Some of the others have snow blindness and injuries. The expedition physically is a mess They must hurry to a lower camp for the doctor Oudot to try to save them. Gangrene has set in. Toes and fingers must be amputated.

There is a great chapter of the expedition's passage from Nepal to India and meeting the Maharajah in his palace.

I won't say too much more and ruin the book for you.

Anyone loving true adventure stories and human endurance against incredible obstacles will love this book. This book was the one that many great climbers got their inspiration from. 5 stars and proudly added to our family library.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e485a80) out of 5 stars Not just great events, but well told Jan. 7 2014
By G. Johnson - Published on
Format: Paperback
I went through a phase where I read a lot of mountaineering books. I often hiked myself alone, and not in teams, and on tough 10,000 plus feet mountains, but nothing technical (ice, ropes, etc) that couldn't be done alone. The books gave me ideas, or served as encouragement and inspiration in my goals. However, quite a few were written by less-than-mediocre writers.

Herzog's books make the events exciting, and are clear and it is also easy to follow technical action (how bodies and equipment are twisting and moving on the mountains. And Herzog especially is very epic.

Annapurna is a really incredible book. A good place to start if you want: a good read, to be introduced to mountain climbing, to be introduced to mountain climbing history (Herzog was an important early climber), to know more about climbing.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e485fa8) out of 5 stars This book is interesting! Jan. 18 2014
By Psteg - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was very interesting - not only about climbing but about the time that the Annapurna first ascent was completed. It was at the beginning of great adventures throughout the world. Today, is a different world and lacks the romanticism in comparison. But, the most important thing that this book did for me was start me off onto other books written by the other team members. From this book, I read two more and from each received a different perspective - this is what made all of it so much more rewarding.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e485864) out of 5 stars Essential Jan. 22 2015
By Roald Euller - Published on
Format: Paperback
As a 14 or 15 year old I stayed up into the wee hours one summer night utterly transfixed by Maurice Herzog's Annapurna. I have no idea what compelled me to pick this book up in the first place, but that night spawned a 40+ year enthusiasm for mountaineering literature. I have learned that other climbers, notably Ed Viesturs, were similarly inspired by reading Annapurna, although in his case it led far beyond the armchair.

Herzog's reputation has become somewhat tarnished in recent years. He apparently forced all the other expedition members to sign a contract that granted him full leadership of the expedition, along with rights to publish any and all accounts of the trip for five years following their return. Moreover his iron handed leadership caused near crippling discord within the team.

Nonetheless, Annapurna remains one of the most gripping and inspiring accounts of Himalayan climbing, and is an essential addition to the library of any fan of mountaineering.