Adventures at the Wild Edges of Our Dangerous, Changing Planet
By John All and John Balzar
The incredible exploits of a mountaineer and adventurer who tracks climate change in extreme locations also illustrates how humans will adapt and survive in increasingly unstable environments.
In May 2014, the mountaineer and scientist John All fell into a crevasse near Everest and took a series of videos as he struggled to climb out 70 feet of ice and snow with fifteen broken bones - including 6 cracked vertebrae, internal bleeding, a severely dislocated shoulder, and his face covered in blood. The videos of him went viral and appeared in newscasts all over the world: CNN, BBC, Australia, Brazil, Israel, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, etc. and every website imaginable - from People Magazine to National Geographic. NPR called him "a badass for science."
Yet this story is only the latest of All's adventures. He's also won a footrace for his life with a wild hyena, stepped on a black mamba in the African bush, and scaled Everest - all in pursuit of his true passion: the future of adaptation to our world's changing climate. Icefall is more than a fascinating adventure story-it is a report from the extremes, which hold new lessons about the impact of climate change. It is about the collapsing Andean glaciers, the hidden jungles in Honduras where native people have learned about surviving hurricanes, and the highest points on earth, where more scientific secrets lie. The result is a thrilling adventure memoir with profound lessons for how humans will adjust as our world continues to change beneath our feet.
John All is a Research Professor of mountain environmental science at Western Washington University. His research around the world has been funded by groups that include the National Science Foundation, USAID, the CDC, and the Fulbright Foundation. He is executive director of the American Climber Science Program, an organization of citizen scientists who have the ability to climb the world's tallest peaks and use these expeditions to gather crucial data on the changing climate. John is a Lifetime Fellow of the Explorers Club in New York City, a certified paraglider pilot, rescue diver, a rugby and volleyball champion, and he spent several years with search and rescue teams prior to becoming a professor.
John Balzar is the author of "Yukon Alone: The World's Toughest Adventure Race," named a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. His magazine work has been collected in anthologies including "Wild Stories: The Best of Men's Journal." A veteran newspaper journalist, he was awarded the Scripps-Howard Ernie Pyle Prize for human-interest storytelling. He has sailed across the Pacific, worked as a river boatman in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and holds NOAA Science Diver certification.
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- Publication date:
27 Apr 2017
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