[James M. Tabor] ↠´ Blind Descent: The Quest to Discover the Deepest Place on Earth [m-m-mystery PDF] Ebook Epub Download ☆ A fast paced, white knuckled read, somewhat akin to Into Thin Air and other extreme adventure accounts loads of deadly and near deadly accidents as well as heroic rescues Despite the fact that the feats in the book rate a solid 5 stars truly amazing stuff , the book itself pulls a 4 I did really like it The writing is solid and straightforward, with just enough pizazz to keep the pages turning as if the adventure alone wasn t enough for that.
Essentially an account of two men, across the world from one another, racing to prove that their respective caves are the deepest on Earth The first half concerns American Bill Stone, a supercaver oozing bravado as well as skill He and his team plunge deep into a Mexican cave year after year, ultimately exploring myriad sinkholes and smaller caves nearby Meanwhile, Ukr My best friend and I listened to this on CD while working on various projects The topic it covers is fascinating supercaving and trying to find the deepest point on the planet The perils of supercaving make climbing Mount Everest look like a vigorous weekend backpacking trip At least from Mt Everest, there is a chance of rescue if you get into trouble, within a reasonable amount of time Where these cavers go, if you get hurt you are up a creek, to put it politely The book covers two explorers, American Bill Stone and Ukrainian Alexander Klimchouk Stone and his expeditions through Cheve and Huautla comprise about 2 3 of the book Klimchouk s ventures through Krubera almost seemed to get the short shrift.
The book doe The BEST COVER PHOTO in the last 100 books easily, hands down It s the picture of a smooth, vertical chimney about 500 feet long in Cheve cave in Oaxaca state, Mexico, the deepest known supercave in the Americas It s about 150 feet in diameter and could hold the water volume of 750 Olympic sized pools AND THERE near the bottom of the picture, the black profile of a person on rappel, tiny, underlit, and for a flash, suspended against the bright red, orange, and tan striations of rock with no visible bottom Beautiful, austere, dangerous, monolithic, vertiginous, hard, wet and cold Stay away from this review if you re claustrophobic or acrophobic.
There s another photo in the book that says a thousand words about the sport of supercaving It s a woman from Ukraine at 5000 feet deep in the Krubera cave in Caucasus Range of Abkhazia, Georgia She s on her back, pinched into a long hor A book about a race to discover the deepest cave on earth has the potential for Krakauer like suspense, but Tabor destroys whatever tension might be present and there should be a lot, since spelunking is at least as difficult and dangerous as mountain climbing, if not so by constantly and oppressively hyping the excitement and pushing the thrill in our face It s as though he doesn t trust the subject enough to leave it alone One can imagine him amping up the prose describing a trip with a stroller down to the park A pram pushed along a sidewalk as narrow as Main Street must navigate a frightening corridor of death and danger On one side, inches away from its wheels, are rose bushes, each thorn of which can rip tender flesh open like a meat hook Every bush may have dozens of roses, each with several thorns, and Main Street was line It s always interesting to read about people undergoing tremendous physical ordeals and deep caving definitely counts as an ordeal The conditions under which these explorers lived sometimes for weeks defies belief At the same time, however, I m shaking my head at the stupidity of it all Despite the author s repeated claims that all of this is done for science , no mention is ever made of what science got out of a bunch of people tormenting themselves in a deep hole It s pretty clear it s all done for adrenaline, kicks, and fame Spoiler warning That said, this would have been at least a four star book, except for the author s blinding arrogance He claims that caving is the last exploration left to mankind Space exploration, done Undersea exploration, done despite the fact that less than 5% of the world s oceans have been explored He also dis
But cave explorers like Vesley and Farr could not see the route and so could not anticipate the dangers, a partial list of which includes drowning, fatal falls, premature burial, asphyxiation, hypothermia, hurricane force winds, electrocution, earthquake induced collapses, poison gases and walls dripping with sulfuric or hydrochloric acid There are also rabid bats, snakes, troglodytic scorpions and spiders, radon and microbes that cause horrific diseases like histoplasmosis and leishmaniasis Kitum Cave in Uganda is believed to be the birthplace of that ultragerm the Ebola virus.
Super caves create inner dangers as well, warping the mind with claustrophobia, anxiety, insomnia, hallucinations, personality disorders There is also a particularly insidious derangement unique to caves called The Rapture, which is like a panic attack on meth It can strik This was an alright book I was weary of reading it at first, since I ve actually met one of the super cavers that this book is about a number of times Bill Stone , and I find him to be an utter twat I really didn t want to read a book that glorified this man in any way, shape, or form.
Sadly, this book did just that Even though the cave that Stone was exploring is NOT the deepest cave in the world, than 3 4 of the book was devoted to him It may as well have been a biography of Stone, and if I d know that, I wouldn t have read it why bother reading so much about a man I find disgusting.
One crazy small world experience happened in this book It turns out that my former physical therapist, Pat Stone, is Bill Stone s ex wife Who knew I think if I did not know Stone, I might have enjoyed this book It certainly does do a good job of describing the joys and frustrations o I can t believe I finished this book While the underlying content was good, the pacing and organization was off A big chunk on one team Stone s , a small chunk of the other Klimchouk s , mingle them a bit at the end, and blah I m glad I did push through to get to read about Klimchouk s experience as an Ukranian Yes it was non fiction, but it didn t find a good balance in engaging and informing If it was boring and straight forward I would have preferred it The writings style tries to make every little event exciting and dangerous What it failed to do is make me want the teams to succeed I really didn t care who discovered the deepest cave, I wasn t pulled in and cheering them on I think that adding characters, teams, or background about caving was need