Everest: High Expectations by Pat Morrow & Sharon Wood

Everest: High Expectations

By Pat Morrow & Sharon Wood

  • Release Date: 2012-11-09
  • Genre: Sports & Outdoors
Score: 5
From 26 Ratings
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This richly illustrated adventure book tells the gripping story of two Canadian climbing expeditions that captured the attention of the mountaineering world in 1982 and 1986 — written by two climbers who reached Everest’s summit in distinctly different ways. 
Combining a powerful yet intimately told story with 150 colour photos, maps, archival video and audio recordings, “Everest: High Expectations” sets a new standard for illustrated ebooks as it chronicles both Canadian expeditions’ quest to put a new route up the world’s highest peak. 
In 1982, a team of Canada’s best climbers confidently trekked to Everest through Nepal’s post monsoon rains. Within a month, four people were dead and half the climbers had returned home. The much-diminished team salvaged the expedition by putting six climbers on the summit via the traditional South Col route but its mission was incomplete.
Four years later, a second team returned to make mountaineering history. Not only did the 1986 Canadian Everest Light Expedition establish a new route on Everest without Sherpa support, but it also put the first North American woman on top. Despite several subsequent attempts, that route (via Tibet) has never been repeated.
This book, co-written by international adventure photojournalist Pat Morrow and alpine guide Sharon Wood, provides a fascinating insiders’ look at an era when climbing with style was more important than “peak bagging” and Everest was only approached after a long mountain-climbing apprenticeship.
“High Expectations” delivers classic high-altitude drama — a near miss in a massive avalanche, speedy alpine-style ascents from the South Col to summit, a risky nighttime descent of the Hornbein Couloir, a fiery gas explosion in a tent and weeks battling jet stream winds in an atmosphere starved of oxygen.
Both authors make candid observations on how their lives were affected by the Everest experience and offer frank assessments of the change in attitude today toward Everest and climbing standards.
This multimedia Everest book marks the 30th anniversary of Morrow’s summit. It is truly a classic.


  • Amazing

    By Jnr lover
    Just saw Pat and Sharron talk in Victoria and really enjoyed their perspective on everest. The book is a must have for any everest junkie!
  • Everest: High Expectations

    By Patrick McCloskey
    "Everest: High Expectations" sets a new standard in books about expeditions, climbing and otherwise. It demonstrates the potential of ebooks to bring stories to life, with absorbing stories in text, stunning full-screen photos, and video and audio that put you "on location". Pat Morrow writes of tragedy, dissension and ultimately of triumph. Sharon Wood writes of her growing doubts, as she goes ever higher in blizzard conditions, about her ability to make it, and being spurred on by her climbing partner. Together these two accounts give an inspiring and insightful look into the world of high altitude climbing by "fair means". They conclude with a look at Everest today, and how it has become choked with clients of adventure companies, many who have never climbed before and who shouldn't be on the mountain. A must both for climbers and armchair adventurers who are looking for inspiration and a gripping read.
  • High Expectations

    By Bruce Patterson
    Pat Morrow and Sharon Wood are among the most down to earth mountaineers that I have encountered so it is no surprise that their perspectives on Everest and the dynamics of Himalayan expeditions are insightful and thought-provoking. This coffee tablet book is a highly creative use of the iBook format with stunning images combined with audio and video clips. They reveal the tensions and excitement surrounding their expeditions and reflect on the sad truth that for many wealthy over-achievers Everest has become one more peak to bag. The technology of this iBook is particularly remarkable when I thing back to the 1982 expedition when hand-written dispatches had to be carried by Sherpa mail runners back to Kathmandu where the news was relayed back to Canada. - Bruce Patterson, author of Canadians on Everest
  • Everest: High Expectations

    By Joni Cooper
    Not one, but two hugely personal accounts from Canadian climbing icons, Pat Morrow and Sharon Wood. An enchanting Harry Potter-esque publication illustrated with superb stills and moving images for all to enjoy, not just those who thirst for the facts behind high altitude teams and expeditions. A notable piece that offers unique perspectives on tenacity and determination!
  • Classic Everest

    By Jkbanff
    There aren't many "coffee tablet books" that seamlessly blend words, images and archival audio and video as well as this one does. Very cool to be able to scroll through stacks of images on a page without losing sight of the text. The well-told story of two iconic Himalayan expeditions in the era just before Everest became a mountain for trophy hunters rather than climbers.
  • Everest: High Expectations

    By Jason Schoonover
    It’s been a long time since I found a book I couldn’t put down (well, I went to sleep with it and finished it in the morning while still in the sack) but this was one. Partly it’s because back in ’82 I was exhausted, working so hard and long establishing an ugly business (property investment/management) the only life I had was living vicariously through the grand adventure our Canadian climbers were on. Everyday I assiduously checked the news for updates, and lived with them through the crisis of the avalanche tragedy and then Blair Griffiths’s death. I also shared their triumph when Laurie Skreslet and then Pat Morrow reached the top. The following spring I trekked to Gorek Shep, in their footsteps, and remember standing sadly before the latter’s, and the sherpas’, cairns. I even bartered an Everest toque from a Sherpa who had been on the expedition, which I have to this day and wear on canoe brigades I lead. Thirty years later to read Morrow’s account (and see his photos do pop ups) as he takes me behind the scenes was a serendipitous and awesome experience of déjà vu. And the lad is a very clear, good writer, putting you right there. I was surprised when I continued on to Sharon Wood’s account of the ’86 climb, surprised in part because I wasn’t aware of it at the time (I had moved to Bangkok), and because it proved to be equally gripping. She’s a helluva writer too. Her personal account was most gripping when she writes about the personal ordeal, how close she constantly was to death, and reinforces to me why these beautiful crazies do these crazy, dangerous things: to summit themselves as much as the mountain. As a prairie boy with no chance of gaining mountain experience, I can only be an armchair climber, but both took me to the peak, leaving me with figurative frostbitten toes and sharing their terrors and utter exhaustion.
  • Everest: High Expectations

    By Joanna Croston
    This is a gem of a book amongst many many attempts of good storytelling about the iconic mountain. The authenticity of Morrow's voice in this work is what makes it stand head and shoulders above other work in the genre. His sincerity and humbleness shine through despite problematic situations surrounding team dynamics and tragedy on this difficult expedition. His images are wonderful, truly beautiful, a main selling feature of the book. The interactive slide shows are great, as are the audio interviews. Sharon Wood's telling of her Everest experience is an important contrast to Morrow's. That of a woman's voice amongst a largely male dominated discipline. Her words are refreshing and honest. And her achievements equally remarkable. This iBook is a must for all Canadians with an interest in climbing and likewise a great addition to anyone's mountain literature library. Highly recommended.
  • A multimedia breakthrough in climbing storytelling

    By Saul Greenberg
    This book represents a breakthrough in how climbers tell stories. We are all used to the traditional prose book with a few grainy pictures in it, or the coffee table book that emphasises a few glossy photos over the story, or the live climber's slide show, or (more recently) online videos that capture the dynamics of action. Everest: High Expections does it all in one fell swoop. At first glance, it is a prose story with great embedded pictures. Yet the reader can fluidly and quickly resize these to capture the breathtaking quality you expect in large-format coffee table book. Similarly, some photos are entry points into interactive slide shows that capture full visual details typical of a live show but rarely seen in a book. Finally, some photos are videos that can be played with full narration. I've read other accounts (and seen slide shows) of the various Canadian Everest Expeditions, but the multiple story-telling and visual perspectives offered by this book retells the story in a fresh way. This book is worth buying both for the actual story and as a trend-setter in how climbers can use this new media.
  • Everest: High Expectations

    By Mmortimer
    It is not often that you get a chance to join the adventures ( even vicariously) of two of Canada's pioneer Himalayan mountaineers. Everest: High Expectations takes you through the authors fine first person narrative of their early and authentic ascents of Mt Everest in the 1980's. The narrative is greatly enhanced by Pat Morrow's stunning photography and the use of video clips taken during the Everest 1986 expedition. Of great interest are the comments by the authors on what is happening today on Everest. Congratulations on such an innovative project Mike Mortimer-Past President, UIAA and Alpine Club of Canada
  • Everest Canada

    By thomhop
    Indelible accounts of the two expeditions that pushed Canada onto the mountaineering world stage. Bonus: a clear-eyed meditation on recent Everest shenanigans, and the mutable nature of adventure by two climbing elders whose opinions matter. Timely and refreshing.