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Denali's Howl: The Deadliest Climbing Disaster on America's Wildest Peak by [Hall, Andy]
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Denali's Howl: The Deadliest Climbing Disaster on America's Wildest Peak Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Review

"Powerful and profound, Denali's Howl is an extraordinary account of an extraordinary tragedy. With devastating insight and a forensic eye for detail, Andy Hall puts you right there on the mountain, alongside the brave men who risked everything to reach the summit." Bear Grylls "A white-knuckle story told for the first time in shocking detail." Daily Mail "Hall's book is often gripping ... its research is meticulous: it feels like a final verdict." -- David Rose Mail on Sunday "A vivid revisitation of a historic mountain climbing expedition." Kirkus "Skillfull, heartrending." Publishers Weekly

Product Description

In the summer of 1967, twelve young men ascended Alaska’s Mount McKinley—known to the locals as Denali. Engulfed by a once-in-alifetime blizzard, only five made it back down.
 

Andy Hall, a journalist and son of the park superintendent at the time, was living in the park when the tragedy occurred and spent years tracking down rescuers, survivors, lost documents, and recordings of radio communications. In Denali’s Howl, Hall reveals the full story of the expedition in a powerful retelling that will mesmerize the climbing community as well as anyone interested in mega-storms and man’s sometimes deadly drive to challenge the forces of nature.


Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 12305 KB
  • Print Length: 273 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Reprint edition (June 12 2014)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group USA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00G3L6MNE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #139,296 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
amazing book
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A very good book about Denali but is complicated because talks of two expeditions at the same time and if you are not a connaisseur of the mountain's story it can be hard to follow.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars 132 reviews
94 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "An engrossing account of one of North American mountaineering's most controversial and heart-rendering stories." June 14 2014
By Jeffrey T. Babcock - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is hard to imagine another book being published about the Wilcox Tragedy on Denali, which happened 47 years ago. Four books have already been written about the disaster to date--the last came out in 2012--and was penned by me.

My brother Bill Babcock, was the leader of what would become the rescue team. He had invited me along for the ride the previous fall of '66. I was then living on the East coast and attending college in Maine. The Mountaineering Club of Alaska had asked Bill to lead an expedition (the 53rd), which by chance trailed a week behind the Wilcox team. Both teams used the standard Muldrow Glacier / Karstens Ridge approach on the North side of Mount McKinley. When the worst storm in Denali's history exploded on top, our team was positioned to assist the five survivors, and to search the upper slopes and hopefully find the 7 missing climbers. At 19, I was not only the youngest and least experienced member of our group. I was also terrified by what lay ahead for our group.

Andy Hall, whose father was Park Superintendent at the time has given us another version of this sad story, which he calls 'Denali's Howl.' Andy was five and living with his family in the park when the event took place in the summer of 1967. George Hall was Andy's father.

Andy's book offers readers a carefully researched and thoroughly engrossing account of one of North American mountaineering's most controversial and heart-rendering stories. HIs narrative offers many varied and personal accounts of what happened, and he paints a vivid picture of each of the men on the 12-man Wilcox team. As I read Andy's descriptions I found myself changing some of my impressions of the climbers I met so many years ago.

I also found Andy's description of Blaine Smith's 1997 ordeal on the upper slopes above Denali Pass enthralling--and very similar to what happened to my eight-person team on the South side of the mountain in 1977. Unless you have been caught out in the open during a frigid high altitude mountain storm, with winds of hurricane force, it is difficult to appreciate the thin line that truly exists between life and death. Andy describes this sheer terror with all the skill of a gifted writer. If you can't find shelter in such circumstances, you will most likely die in a very short span of time.

'Denali's Howl' is a wonderful book, extremely well-written, well-documented, and a classic rendering of one of mountaineering's most terrifying tragedies.

Jeff Babcock
Author, 'Should I Not Return'[[ASIN:1594332703 Should I Not Return]
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing story, written beautifully. June 16 2014
By Cyn Premo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was recently the subject of an Anchorage Daily News article, which also provided a short excerpt. I downloaded a sample on my Kindle and was immediately mesmerized by the tragic story of twelve young men climbing Denali. The story is forceful and weighty, and other reviews describe its content well; I want to address the author's talent in his presentation of of being in the worst place at the worst time.
Mr. Hall's unflinching account of Joe Wilcox's group of climbers was graphic, but never gratuitous, in its description. At the beginning of the expedition, I could almost SEE the testosterone leaking out the car windows and spilling into every discussion the group had. Despite this, there was so much compassion in the telling that I put aside any criticisms of the climbers' egos and questionable (at times) choices and just cared about the guys. Mr. Hall obviously curtailed any judgmental thoughts when he was
writing this, so I felt compelled to do the same, which made the story even more haunting. This is a tricky thing for an author to
accomplish, and Hall really nailed it. His descriptions of his father's part in the story showed a man who was obviously meant to do the job he was given. The storm, especially the wind, was a character in itself, totally indifferent to damage and death, just carrying on the way it has done for millions of years.
I loved this book and enjoyed the writing of this talented author. Each person was shown warts and all the way we all are as humans. I highly recommend "Denali's Howl", regardless of what genre the reader usually reads. Somehow, this book transcends genre, and I think that it will appeal to almost any reader. Money and time very well-spent. Thank you, Mr. Hall.
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book covering one of the most tragic climbing stories... June 15 2014
By Erik Massie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For those that don't know, in the summer of 1967, a 12 man team attempted to climb Denali (Mt. McKinley), the tallest mountain in North America....only 5 came back. I'm astonished that more people don't know (or aren't aware) of this story. I know that when it comes to mountaineering disasters, most eyes turn to Everest, K2, and the rest of the Himalayas and many of the classic books written covering those related tales (Into Thin Air, The Savage Mountain, Annapurna, etc), but I'm hoping that more readers will come to know of this tragic story (it as afterall to this day, the deadliest mountaneering disaster in American history) through Andy Hall's newly written book covering this story.

There's been 4 other books written on this tradegy (two from actual survivors) and it was hard to imagine any more new details emerging, but the author went to great lengths to recover and unearth old documents, recordings, interviews, etc and it definitely shows, most notably the details surrounding the "super-storm" that attacked the mountain that summer. Few details were ever evident in previous books (from the scientific side), and it was mind boggling to finally read and absorb the actual detailed conditions the climbers were faced with high up near the summit.

It was also great to read some opinions and thoughts from other notable mountaineers and climbing guides on the subject, each giving their own insight to the mistakes, and problems the 12 man team faced while ascending the mountain, and relating it to their own experiences (some on the same mountain). Also want to point out that another plus to this new book was the inclusion of color photographs from the expedition from Howard Snyder's personal collection (in previous books, we were left to grainy black and white photos).

At the end of the day, many questions will remain unanswered and some mysteries forever left unsolved about this climb, but thanks to Andy's incredible research, a thoughtful portrait of each climber, and their ascent up one of the largest mountains in the world has been painted, and I can't help but just admire and respect each and every one of them. They weren't showboats, they weren't world famous mountaineers; they were just young humbled college-aged kids who, while America was at war and in the midst of some type of revolution, just wanted to climb, and sadly due to some mistakes, and some horrendous bad luck, found themselves in the history books for the wrong reasons.

It's hardly ever the details and descriptions of the vast mountains, or wild weather, or the "epicness" of the adventure that draw me to these stories, but moreso the people involved, and their story and their will to face something that is obviously much grander, vast, and much more powerful than they are. It's the elements of challenging, fighting, and enduring these conditions (sometimes winning, sometimes losing) that make it difficult for me to put these books down, Denali's Howl included.

Whether you're familiar with this story or not, whether you enjoy mountaineering books or not, if you're looking for a true tale of fight and survival, triumph and tragedy, then I highly recommend you pick this up and experience the deadliest mountaineering disaster in American history.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterfully Written, Meticulously Researched, Suspensefully Presented June 23 2014
By Thomas Pease - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Andy Hall reaches a new literary summit in his book, Denali’s Howl, a tale documenting the deadliest climbing disaster in North America. Mr. Hall adheres to strict journalistic principles as he recounts the climb, relying on primary sources to double- and triple-verify events leading up to, and immediately following, the accident. In doing so, Mr. Hall presents the first comprehensive account of the Wilcox Expedition.

Unlike some books in the adventure genre, Denali’s Howl does not sensationalize or selectively parse information to spin a harrowing tale. Mr. Hall allows facts, characters and the events themselves to move the reader up the mountain, through one of the worst storms in recorded history.

Denali’s Howl presents sympathetic characters, all of whom the reader wants to see prevail. The reader could easily get lost in a crowded cast, but the author does not let us. This is no small literary feat, considering the number of characters involved in the expedition. Through Hall’s meticulous character development, we meet and connect with each character personally.

I am a slow, methodical reader who gets distracted by flawed writing. To my delight, I read Denali’s Howl in a single sitting. Clean writing, credible narration, and rising action propel the story at gale-force pace. In Denali’s Howl, the author demonstrates his mastery as both researcher and storyteller. Denali’s Howl, by Andy Hall, is a work of literary and historical significance that holds the reader in Denali’s icy grip to the very end.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remembering "brothers of the rope" Aug. 14 2014
By Joe Wilcox - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
As the author of "White Winds", I read "Denali's Howl" with interest. In addressing an event of varying viewpoints, and within the normal bounds of literary license, Andy Hall has provided a well-examined account of the 1967 disaster. It is difficult for a writer to cross check the information in every quote, and such errors were among the few missteps that I noticed. Such as a quote where snow saws, apparently discarded at McGonagall Pass by an earlier expedition, were mistakenly thought to have belonged to the Wilcox Expedition. Wilcox Expedition snow saws were carried throughout the climb and I still have one in my closet. (I also still have an old Wilcox Expedition stove, which does have a pressure relief valve centered in the gas cap.) On another page, a possible mis-communicated quote tends to suggest that the wise practice of taking extra food and fuel to be left in caches for use during the descent is foolish. Another quote attributes a disposition to Joe Wilcox during the 12100-foot Mountaineering Club of Alaska contact which seems more consistent with comments made by Howard Snyder (as recorded during the descent). This possible identity confusion is somewhat duplicated in the novel, "Should I Not Return", and may be a mis-remembering of a one-day, decades-old encounter. These and other minor glitches; however, should not detract from the bulk of Andy Hall's book. I especially find the computer treatment of the fatal windstorm exceptional and compelling, and beyond a mere validation of my early studies of this storm. Throughout his writing, Andy Hall seems to recognize that the vast enormity of the storm does not require the supposing of unusual weaknesses (in the expedition and others) to aid the tragedy.