As a boy, climbing legend Reinhold Messner was inspired by another legend: George Mallory's tragic final ascent of Mount Everest in 1924. To Messner, and to thousands of others, Mallory’s attempt--whether or not it succeeded--remains the greatest exploit in the annals of mountain climbing. Though Mallory's body was finally found, we have lost, Messner believes, the spirit that guided him; summiting Everest has become merely a corporate challenge and a matter of technology, not a rendezvous with destiny.
Using the British climber's journals and letters, Messner thrillingly re-creates Mallory's three assaults on Everest, including his final ascent. Here is both an investigation into the death of George Mallory and a deeply felt homage--to a mountain, to the spirit of an age, and to the man who inspired those who followed in his footsteps.