Facing Up by Bear Grylls

Bear Grylls is regarded as one of the youngest Britons to climb Everest at the age of 23. Over the years since then, he has gone on to cross the North Atlantic in an open inflatable boat, led an expedition to one of the remotest unclimbed peaks in Antarctica and gone para-motoring over the Himalayas.

Facing Up: A remarkable journey to the summit of Mount Everest is his first book. Does it work? Let’s check it out.

The blurb goes like this:

At the age of twenty – three, Bear Grylls became the youngest Briton to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Having suffered a broken back only two years before in a freefall parachuting accident, he overcame incredible odds, not to mention great hardship and danger, to reach the top of the world’s highest mountain.

Facing Up is the story of his adventure, his courage and humour, his friendship and faith. 

I have read Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air which concentrated more on the 1996 tragedy and the dangers which the climbers face at higher altitudes and specifically in and around the death zone. Facing Up concentrates more on Bear’s life and how he went about climbing Everest at such a young age.

He had the courage, determination and perseverance at the young age of 23 to climb Everest despite injuring himself in a parachuting accident. While climbing he faced numerous hardships like dehydration, high altitude sickness, the crazy winds and more. But his will power kept him going on and on till he reached the top and back.

Bear also talks about life at the base camp, handling the antics of various fellow climbers and the way things can get quite lonely far up in the mountains. The narrative is slow initially but get’s going when the story takes you to the mountains. The writing style is lucid and easy to comprehend. Bear’s writing transports you to the top of Everest quite literally.

Negatives? There have been numerous books written on Everest and so this may just be a bit repetitive. But then, that’s a minor thing as far as I am concerned.

If you are looking for a story of human courage and endurance in the face of extreme adversity, then go for this one.

Rating – 4/5

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