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The Push: A Climber's Journey of Endurance, Risk, and Going Beyond Limits

Author(s): Caldwell, Tommy

Copyright: 2017, US
Specifications: 1st, 8vo, pp.341, 29 color & 1 bw photos, black cloth
Condition: dj & cloth new

On January 14, 2015, Caldwell, along with his partner, Kevin Jorgeson, became the first to complete what is widely regarded as the hardest rock climb in history — a 19-day free ascent of the nearly vertical 3,000-foot Dawn Wall on El Capitan in Yosemite. Caldwell’s odds-defying feat was the culmination of an entire lifetime of pushing himself to his limits.

This engrossing memoir chronicles the journey of a self-concious 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 led him to the vertigo-inducing and little understood world of big wall free climbing, where he established first ascents around the world. But his evolution was not without challenges. In his early twenties, he and three other climbers were held hostage by militants in a harrowing ordeal in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan. Soon after, he lost his left index finger in an accident – a devastating injury for a climber - and later his wife 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. Success would hinge on dime-width edges and millimeters of skin contact, on memorizing tens of thousands of details of body movement and then executing each move with flawless precision. Mastering a route up the massive ocean of granite took more than seven years, during which time Caldwell redefined the sport, found love again, and became a father.

Finalist 2017 Banff Mountain Book Festival Mountain Literature Award and Shortlisted for the 2017 Boardman/Tasker Mountaineering Literature Award.

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