“He wrapped the rope around his body, got ready to rappel and leaned back. Standing about five feet from him, I heard a sharp scraping, Suddenly Ed was flying. I could see him fall, wordless, fifty feet free, then strike the steep ice below…he was sliding and bouncing down. He passed out of sight, but I heard his body bouncing. There wasn’t a chance of his stopping for 4,000 feet.” —From David Robert’s The Mountain of My Fear

In these thrillingly true tales of narrow brushes with death, Cecil Kuhne has amassed a wide range of stories that show the awesome power of the mountains. Spanning five continents, from the frosty tip of Mount McKinley in the dead of the winter, to the unexplored vastness of the Himalayas and beyond, this is a pulse-pounding collection of disaster and survival at the top of the world.

Featuring Joe Simpson’s Touching the Void, the inspiring story of a climber who topples into a icy crevasse and, though crippled, starving and frostbitten, manages to crawl to rescue; Jon Krakauer’s Eiger Dreams, in which the author, makes a crucial decision whether to brave the treacherous higher altitudes or return to base; and Nando Parrado’s Miracle in the Andes, the stunning first-person account of a Peruvian rugby team’s airplane crash in the Chilean Andes and their harrowing journey down the mountain for help.


Cecil Kuhne is the editor of two previous anthologies on adventure travel, ON THE EDGE and THE ARMCHAIR PADDLER. In this series is NEAR DEATH IN THE DESERT, NEAR DEATH IN THE ARCTIC, and NEAR DEATH ON THE HIGH SEAS. A former whitewater rafting guide, he has also written nine books about rafting, kayaking, and canoeing. He lives in Dallas.