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The Gorge of Despair


In this thrilling novel, we follow three young climbers from Yosemite as they trek into the remote backcountry of the High Sierras. Stoked with the vigor of optimism, they seek adventure, first ascents, and maybe a little glory. What they find is an unforgiving wilderness that forces them into confrontation, not only with each other, but with the harsh reality of nature itself. Under the stress of adversity and isolation, character flaws emerge, undermining the original high spirits and forging a disaster. What started as a lark becomes a procession into the labyrinth of despair. Within the frame of one of the most beautiful landscapes on the continent, the author lays bare the psychological complexities of endeavor, telling a memorable story of ambition, limits, and redemption.



"We know right away that this story will not be about a walk in the park. Most of his readers probably haven’t experienced the 'obsession with this unique rush' that the narrator feels while scaling formidable walls of granite, but James Wright makes the highs and lows of rock climbing tangible. We get a glimpse of a dedicated climber’s appreciation that 'the proximity of death intensifies the life force in each crazy moment. That adrenaline-fueled rush of vitality is a powerful high, addictive in its own way, and catalyzed by the threat of termination.'"

"This is an exceptional book about hiking and the complexities of internal versus external struggles. It is also based on a true tragic event so there is the added layer of seeing into someone's life about how they've dealt with something very few people go through. The book definitely deals with themes of the harsh wilderness, internal struggle and also describes how men deal with emotions and internalize their experiences. You'll see the awkward but effective ways men sometimes communicate and how silence speaks volumes. It also illuminates the vulnerabilities men struggle to hide."

"He fools you into thinking his tale is all about the trek up and up and up. Which is indeed, entertaining. But the real story, the one you will remember, long after the rocky one, is the tale of relationships, and personal decisions, both good and bad, of the memorable personalities in the book. And the consequences they have to live with."