Having trained his whole life to tackle Mount Everest, on April 15th, 2015 veteran climber Jim Davidson found himself on the mountain when a 7.8 magnitude earthquake would strike resulting in the deadliest day in its history. Escaping intact, Jim would spend the next two years wondering if his dream was over. Could he make another attempt? Was his age catching up with him? To even consider attempting the mountain a second time is a monumental task – especially having luckily escaped its deadliest day. Davidson struggled with the decision of whether or not to return to Everest. It wasn’t easy. But when you were on the cusp of a dream, it’s sometimes harder to let it slip through your fingers than to try again.
I love a good adventure story. It’s no secret that I enjoy reading about folks traveling to remote and uninhabitable locations – I mean, I think I’ve read half a dozen books about Arctic exploration alone. When I saw this one up for review on Netgalley, it immediately grabbed my attention. Having read what many consider the definitive Everest book in Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air a few years ago, I wondered if Davidson’s account would provide me with something new or would it simply be a re-tread of familiar territory?
Davidson’s story is a different one. While both books deal with disasters taking place on Everest (Krakauer’s being a storm), Davidson’s is also tied to his personal history and his seemingly endless tank of resilience when faced with challenges. Being on Everest while an earthquake struck isn’t the only setback he experienced while mountaineering over the years. I won’t spoil it, but Davidson has a wealth of experience of finding the courage to get back up when life knocks you down.
I came away from this book feeling inspired, to say the least. Considering Davidson is a keynote motivational speaker, this perfectly fits the bill. Normally, I enjoy reading before I go to bed and it’s not often that a book will keep me up late when I’m actually hoping that it will tire out my eyes. The Next Everest did indeed keep me up past my bedtime as I just had to know what happened next. The mark of a true page turner.