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High Crimes: The Fate of Everest in an Age of Greed

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Holter Graham

5 Hours 54 Minutes

Hachette Book Group USA

February 2008

Audio Book Summary

High Crimes is journalist Michael Kodas's gripping account of life on top of the world--where man is every bit as deadly as Mother Nature. In the years following the publication of Into Thin Air, much has changed on Mount Everest. Among all the books documenting the glorious adventures in mountains around the world, none details how the recent infusion of wealthy climbers is drawing crime to the highest place on the planet. The change is caused both by a tremendous boom in traffic, and a new class of parasitic and predatory adventurer. It's likely that Jon Krakauer would not recognize the camps that he visited on Mount Everest almost a decade ago. This book takes readers on a harrowing tour of the criminal underworld on the slopes of the world's most majestic mountain. High Crimes describes two major expeditions: the tragic story of Nils Antezana, a climber who died on Everest after he was abandoned by his guide; as well as the author's own story of his participation in the Connecticut Everest Expedition, guided by George Dijmarescu and his wife and climbing partner, Lhakpa Sherpa. Dijmarescu, who at first seemed well-intentioned and charming, turned increasingly hostile to his own wife, as well as to the author and the other women on the team. By the end of the expedition, the three women could not travel unaccompanied in base camp due to the threat of violence. Those that tried to stand against the violence and theft found that the worst of the intimidation had followed them home to Connecticut. Beatings, thefts, drugs, prostitution, coercion, threats, and abandonment on the highest slopes of Everest and other mountains have become the rule rather than the exception. Kodas describes many such experiences, and explores the larger issues these stories raise with thriller-like intensity.

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  • Cornelia K

    I\'m a passionate reader of mountaineering literature. Specifically books about the 8.000er peaks in Himalaya and Karakorum are in my focus. I liked the book as it referred to some situations and expeditions that I did not know until then. My major \"but\" ist, that the book was written by a journalist. You can tell the difference in the way which and how athmosphere and tension are built up. To me the \"mood\" is very similar as in Jon Krakauer\'s \"Into thin air\". Although, I\'m sure, Michael Kodas tries to provide as much objective evidence as possible, the narrative is full of exaggerations and accusations. I would recomment to read a couple of more books about the topic and not to take for granted, Michael Kodas\' storyline.

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