A Climber's Journey of Endurance, Risk, and Going Beyond LimitsBook - 2017
A dramatic, inspiring memoir by legendary rock climber Tommy Caldwell, the first person to free climb the Dawn Wall of Yosemite's El Capitan
"The rarest of adventure reads: it thrills with colorful details of courage and perseverance but it enriches readers with an absolutely captivating glimpse into how a simple yet unwavering resolve can turn adversity into reward." -- The Denver Post
A finalist for the Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature
On January 14, 2015, Tommy Caldwell, along with his partner, Kevin Jorgeson, summited what is widely regarded as the hardest climb in history--Yosemite's nearly vertical 3,000-foot Dawn Wall, after nineteen days on the route. Caldwell's odds-defying feat--the subject of the documentary film The Dawn Wall to be released nationwide in September--was the culmination of an entire lifetime of pushing himself to his limits as an athlete.
This engrossing memoir chronicles the journey of a boy with a fanatical mountain-guide father who was determined to instill toughness in his son to a teen whose obsessive nature drove him to the top of the sport-climbing circuit. Caldwell's affinity for adventure then led him to the vertigo-inducing and little understood world of big wall free climbing. But his evolution as a climber was not without challenges; in his early twenties, he was held hostage by militants in a harrowing ordeal in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan. Soon after, he lost his left index finger in an accident. Later his wife, and main climbing partner, left him. Caldwell emerged from these hardships with a renewed sense of purpose and determination. He set his sights on free climbing El Capitan's biggest, steepest, blankest face--the Dawn Wall. This epic assault took more than seven years, during which time Caldwell redefined the sport, found love again, and became a father.
The Push is an arresting story of focus, drive, motivation, endurance, and transformation, a book that will appeal to anyone seeking to overcome fear and doubt, cultivate perseverance, turn failure into growth, and find connection with family and with the natural world.
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The internal battle raged about risk and justification, but we didn't talk about it. Our answers would always feel empty. Days later, miles above it all, I look out my window to where I've just been. The familiar landscape holds my attention even after the aircraft rises into a bank of clouds and the summits vanish. I close my eyes. I've been to places of incomprehensible beauty. I've been in driving snow and flashes of lightning shuddered the atmosphere around me. Spent quite nights perched below the immaculate stars of distant skies. Laughed as the wind blurs sunlight and erases all sound. At such times, wonder saturates every cell in my body. Provides me with a deep well of energy and an infinite capacity to love. It changes who I am. For as much as I have transformed, I am still a kid. Full of curiosity about the world, chasing dreams of faraway summits.
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