Wilmer resident and world-renowned mountaineer Pat Morrow has co-released a new e-book.
Everest: High Expectations, covers Morrow’s and co-author Sharon Wood’s experiences taking part in the first two Canadian expeditions to Mt. Everest in 1982 and 1986 as well as their reflections on how climbing the world’s highest peak has changed dramatically from that time to the present.
The e-book was released in conjunction with the 30th anniversary of the first Canadian expedition and also the 60th anniversary of the first successful summiting of Everest in 1953.
“We write about what it was like to climb Everest before it was a commercial route,” said Morrow. “Our book talks about what climbers aims and goals were then compared to now.”
When Morrow reached Everest’s summit in 1982, only about 130 people had been there before him. Since then almost 4,000 more people have summited the world’s highest peak, the vast majority of them commercial clients guided by Sherpas and top-notch Western mountaineers.
Everest now has a circus-like atmosphere, Morrow said.
Morrow and Wood decided to release their story as a e-book — there is no hard copy version — in order to take advantage of the multimedia touch screen features of iPads.
The e-book includes 50,000 words of text and is embedded with many photos and videos that stretch back to the early 1970s when Morrow spent time perfecting his climbing skills here in East Kootenay and Canadian Rockies.
“We really wanted to take advantage of the new media tools,” said Morrow. “The photos almost seem three-dimensional, they’re so brilliant.”
Putting the book together took four months. Morrow and Wood worked with an old publisher of Morrow’s who has since gone completely digital.
“It was a big steep, learning curve,” Morrow said.
But the results are completely worth the effort, he added.
“The photos really celebrate the success of being on the mountain and trying to do something new in the mountaineering world,” said Morrow.
He praised Wood’s efforts as a first-time author and as a mountaineer.
Wood’s trip to the top of the Everest in 1986 was the first time a North American woman reached the world’s highest summit. She did so while on a new route and without any Sherpa support.
The book is currently available through iTunes and an iPad is required to read it. A text-only Kindle version will be out soon.