I think it's safe to say that one of the most compelling motivations behind a bicycle tour is the sense of adventure that comes from riding a bike a long distance.
Back in 1995 Goran Kropp decided to ride a bicycle from Sweden to Mount Everest carrying all of his required cycling, camping and hiking equipment. Once he arrived he would climb the mountain unassisted and without the use of supplemental oxygen.
This book discusses his experience doing so. During his bicycle ride he experienced the need to repair problems to his bike especially related to the rear rim, spokes and tires.
He met many nice people who were curious about his adventures but he also had numerous experiences where people threw stones at him. He saw the working end of a gun and had bullets fired at him. His book discusses these experiences as well as the many people who offered him kindness.
Eventually he reached the mountain bringing the book to it's second stage, the actual climb of Mount Everest itself. This stage of the book is also very interesting. It describes what climbing the mountain is like including the need for physical and spiritual preparation. He describes the mountain as a living creature that should be respected and cared for.
I've now read his book twice. In each case I've been hooked by a well written book that conveys the positives and negatives of being an adventurer. Although he plans carefully to eliminate danger as much as possible he still is well aware of the risks that he is taking.
At the end of the book he mentions future adventures that he hoped to undertake. He did actually pursue some of them including a 2001 attempt to ski to the south pole that ended following frostbite caused by a polar bear attack. He intended to try again in 2004.
Unfortunately in 2002 he died in a climbing accident near Seattle, Washington, USA ( news article ). I recall learning this just after first reading the book. I believe that his unfortunate death robbed the world of a very interesting person who still had a lot of life to live and many more interesting stories to share.
Prior to the accident he had been planning a trip to circumnavigate the United States by hiking and kayaking with his fiance, Renata Chlumska. It's now 2005 and Renata is completing the circumnavigation having dedicated the journey to Goran Krupp. You can read more about her adventures at her website.
I've enjoyed reading Goran's book both times. In each case I've learned things and been able to feel like I've experienced at least part of his adventure as seen though his eyes. He comes across as a very interesting individual with a real zest for life and one who I would have loved to meet while out touring on the open road.
If you are someone who enjoys adventures and would like to read about a bicycle touring adventure as well as learn more about climbing the world's tallest mountain, unassisted and without supplemental oxygen then I recommend that you purchase this book.
|Title:||Ultimate High, My Everest Odyssey|
I am unaware of a web site where you can purchase his books directly
|I paid:||$21.00 Canadian|
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