File Size: 2750 KB
Print Length: 306 pages
Publication Date: January 20, 2017
Up there with Directly into The Silence, Alone on the Ice, Into Skinny Air, and the Stamina among others., Hard to read but what an adventure!, This book was written almost a 100 years ago - so it takes a lttle bit to get the pace and sentence structure - but the history is a good one if you like stories of men and women attempting to do something never done before with lousy equipment and no real maps. Mcdougal is straight-forward about his and his fellow group’s foibles. They were the first no Natives to hike around Denali - they tried to be able to the top - but as the sub title notes - it was a failed attempt., Among adventure narratives this one is exceptional for its literary values. Dunn does not portray himself as anyone except a horse packer. No close heroic heroic struggle against mighty odds here. His descriptions of the country he passed through are often quite poetic., Expected a good read - instead got an end to sleeplessness. Not much of interest, with descriptions that could have been written by an informed ten yr old.
Very disappointing. Affirmed my 30 page rule: Quit reading if not involved by the first 30 pages, (which I did)., If you've read Krakauer's "Into Thin Air" you can only come far from reading "The Shameless Journal.... " thinking how it should have been the model for the frankness and criticism he wrote of himself and his fellow climbers in his blockbuster Everest disaster story. Besides the no holds bared frankness of the author's daily reflections of the events of this journey the reader is let into the authors inner mind as well as the levels of, what can be considered, animal brutality necessary to actually complete such a journey, and, which could have only recently been common, yet previously unexposed, to all such trips of it's age.
Throughout the reading I was constantly considering could could have was standing up to the rawness of nature that these men withstood. My own meager climbs of the major peaks of the White Mountains of Vermont, and the high highs of the Adirondacks and Catskill Mountains of Brand new York all paled in comparison to what these men accomplished during anyone day of this journey. A newly released winter day walk to Windham High Peak, NY now seems like a child's day in the sun in expression.
This is the sort of publication that forces one to be constantly making those sorts of comparisons., You can find something far better to read than this uninspiring publication. The expedition recounted by the author can be divided into three elements: (1) Yelling at the horses carrying the expedition's gear, and getting them unstuck from mud, day after day after day, (2) Climbing attempt of Mt. McKinley, (3) Coming back from McKinley to civilization. Part 1, by much the longest, was by far the worst. Spoiler alert: Horses are ill-suited to the tundra. Portion 2, the climbing segment, could have been good, but there was so much mountaineering jargon -- never explained -- that it was never clear just what they were doing. Part 3 was mercifully short and, even so, I skimmed it because I wanted badly for the book to end. The particular maps were too small to be informative (Modern Library edition) -- it wouldn't have killed the publisher to put a couple more in. Because for the claim that this shows the real side of exploring: yes, ok. This is a tale of going unprepared and under-equipped into an unforgiving surroundings -- the results is pre-ordained. Gets a second star for a few interesting content about caribou... but avoid expect a naturalist's vision from this writer.
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