Cecil Kuhne is the editor of two anthologies on adventure travel, ON THE EDGE and THE ARMCHAIR PADDLER. A former whitewater rafting guide, he has also written nine books about rafting, kayaking, and canoeing. He lives in Dallas.
NEAR DEATH IN THE ARCTIC
“The fine snow choked his eyes, ears, and throat, and he did not hear his own smothered death cry. Down in cold blackness, 150 feet down, his falling body smashed into a projecting ledge of ironclad ice. With the shattered remains of his sledge, with the doomed dogs, Belgrave Ninnis plunged deeper and deeper into the abyss.” —Lennard Bickel’s Mawson’s Will.
In NEAR DEATH IN THE ARCTIC, editor Cecil Kuhne gathers astonishing tales of man versus nature, all set against the bleakly beautiful backdrop of the poles of the earth. On foot, by ship, or by dog-powered sledge, these adventurers brave the most savage and desolate environment on earth, their instinct for self-preservation and survival exceeded only by their desire for excitement and discovery.
Also featuring: Captain Roald Amundsen’s The South Pole, the heart-pounding story of Amundsen’s race to be the first man to reach both Poles despite driving snow, exhausted dogs, and towering glaciers; Ernest Shackleton’s South, a riveting memoir of the doomed Endurance, which became trapped in dangerous pack ice that eventually tore the ship apart; and Mike Stroud’s Shadows on the Wasteland, the unbelievable account of a two-man, ninety-day trek across the Antarctic continent through temperatures as low as minus eighty-five degrees Celsius.
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NEAR DEATH IN THE DESERT
“The night was heavy with foreboding. The rain, which had been spitting down on us during the late afternoon, grew heavier. It hurled into our faces, borne by a wind that was now gusting between the dunes at full force. . . . It was the worst storm we had encountered and Ned was out in it alone.” —Justin Marozzi, South from Barbary
Cecil Kuhne’s newest anthology gathers the best adventure stories from the world’s most barren landscapes. Ranging from 19th-century explorers to modern-day journalists, these desert trekkers deal with everything from deserting men, corrupt armed soldiers, and Nigerian bush taxis to suspicious natives, stubborn camels, and debilitating sunburn. These thirteen tales are more than suspenseful; they also show how life can survive in the most punishing climates.
Also featuring: Robyn Davidson’s Desert Places, in which Robyn Davidson follows the Rubari people across the Thar and tries to adapt to a difficult-but fascinating-way of life. In Michael Asher’s Two Against the Sahara in which newlyweds embark upon a nine-month, 4500-mile journey across the world’s largest desert, traveling from Morocco to Sudan. And in Bayle St. John’s Adventure in the Libyan Desert a team of four trek deep into Libya in search of an oasis. But what they find is even more astounding…
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Near Death in the Mountains
“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.
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Near Death on the High Seas
“Gripping. . . . Not merely a collection of tales of derring-do; at its strongest it delivers a full-blooded sense of lives lived far beyond the comfort zone most of us have so meticulously constructed.”
—New York Sun
“The wind was blowing at hurricane strength-sixty-five knots and over-and increasing in the gusts to eighty knots. His boat was surfing on waves as high as a sixty-foot, six-storey building. . . Each wave that struck choked and froze him, the icy water working its way down inside his survival suit.” —from Close to the Wind by Pete Goss
In NEAR DEATH ON THE HIGH SEAS, Cecil Kuhne collects some of the most terrifying and astounding experiences of sailors confronting the awesome, raw power of the sea. These tales-filled with everyday heroes and survivors-comprise a riveting and often breathtaking collection of extraordinary stories that show the terrible ferocity of the untamable ocean.
This book features Thor Heyerdahl’s Kon-Tiki, the historic and celebrated journey of the Kon-Tiki as it journeys across the Pacific; Steve Callahan’s Adrift, the story of a lost sailor who must survive in a five-foot life raft for 76 days fighting off sharks with a makeshift spear; Francis Chischester’s ‘Gipsy Moth’ Circles The World, in which a 65-year-old man embarks on a solo sail around the globe; and John Rousmaniere’s Fastnet, Force 10, an account of a massive rescue operation amidst sixty-knot winds and forty-foot breaker waves–one of the worst sailing tragedies in history.