By Greg Child
* a special type of real mountaineering adventure—this one with terrorists, kidnappings, and AK47s
* New afterword by way of the author
* First time in paperback
Before sunrise on August 12, 2000, 4 of America’s top younger rock climbers—Tommy Caldwell, Beth Rodden, Jason “Singer” Smith, and John Dickey—were asleep of their portaledges excessive at the Yellow Wall within the Pamir-Alai mountain diversity of Kyrgyzstan. At sunrise, they'd be abducted at gunpoint through fanatical militants of the Islamic move of Uzbekistan (IMU), which operates out of mystery bases in Tajikistan and Afghanistan and is associated with Al Qaeda. the abductors, themselves slightly out in their kids, meant to exploit their hostages as human shields and for ransom funds as they moved throughout Kyrgyzstan. They concealed the climbers via day and marched them through evening via freezing, treacherous mountain terrain, with little nutrients, no fresh water, and the consistent chance of execution.
The 4 climbers -- the oldest of them in simple terms 25 -- might see a fellow hostage, a Kyrgyz soldier, carried out earlier than their eyes. And in a impressive life-and-death crucible over six terrifying days, they might be compelled to choose from saving their very own lives and committing an act none of them suggestion they ever could.
In Over the Edge, the climbers display the full tale in their nightmarish ordeal to journalist and climber Greg baby. With riveting information, baby re-creates the total hour-by-hour drama, from the 1st ricocheting bullets to the climatic determination that profits them their freedom. Set in a quarter rife with narcotics and terrorism, it is a compelling tale approximately loyalty and the desire to outlive. What maintains to make it suitable this present day, 15 years after the occasions happened, is the geopolitical context -- the incident occurred, eerily, at the eve of 9–/11; the truth that no less than of the 4 climbers stay popular within the activity; and the main points integrated into the tale round the media hype and controversy concerning the climbers and their story.
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Extra info for Over the Edge: The True Story of the Kidnap and Escape of Four Climbers in Central Asia
Smith is hyperventilating while his pal crawls again to his spot beside him; he’d felt definite Abdul used to be going to execute Dickey. capturing keeps sporadically for a number of extra mins. in the course of a lull, Abdul slides into the guard the place Rodden, Caldwell, and Osmanov conceal. they're curled into balls, sheltering their faces with their palms from rock chips thrown up by way of incoming bullets. Caldwell has his hands wrapped round Rodden. whilst Abdul utters a monosyllabic grunt at Osmanov, Caldwell detects a tone of finality to the order. The insurgent commander has instructed the soldier to maneuver to the low, car-sized boulder 2 hundred toes up the hill. Caldwell shifts his eyes from guy to guy. Their faces are locked in hatred. A pivotal second has arrived for Osmanov, but when he's scared, he indicates no signal of it. Weeks later Caldwell will have in mind this second. “The hardest guy I’ve ever seen,” he’ll say of the soldier. whilst Osmanov stands to go away, Rodden weeps and shakes inconsolably. Osmanov turns to her. he's taking a section of sweet from his pocket and presses it into her hand. within the mixture of phrases and gestures with which they've got discovered to speak, he makes transparent the message: “You, don’t cry. I don’t cry, and i'm the one that will die. ” He stands and runs via gunfire, disappearing at the back of the boulder the place the opposite rebels are firing. Abdul follows seconds later. A minute passes, then Caldwell and Rodden pay attention pistol photographs. by means of overdue AFTERNOON the hearth from the border guards begins homing in on them with better accuracy as males who've one way or the other crossed the river start to outflank the insurgent positions. Abdul reappears in Dickey and Smith’s shield. He broadcasts with a flurry of shouts and pointing that everybody needs to circulation to the boulder the place Osmanov have been despatched. “To soldat: Go,” Abdul orders, pushing Dickey out of the preserve. Soldat skill “soldier”—in this example, one of many rebels. Dickey’s rucksack is the heaviest, and it slows him down as he runs uphill for 2 hundred ft. doubtful at this aspect even if the working determine is a insurgent or a hostage, the Kyrgyz infantrymen draw a bead on Dickey. Puffs of airborne dirt and dust fly up the place bullets strike the floor round him. A insurgent in the back of the boulder shouts and motions at him to rush. Dickey dives in the back of a three-foot-tall rock midway to the boulder, sloughs off the rucksack and ditches it. whereas he covers the ultimate few yards, the rucksack takes a right away hit. Days later, the rucksack should be recovered by way of Kyrgyz infantrymen, and they’ll see a bullet gap in its waistband. on the boulder Dickey recoils from the sight of Osmanov’s corpse, mendacity facedown correct in entrance of him. Dickey, together with his head down low in his personal safeguard, has been ignorant of the execution. Now he wonders if they’ll all be shot at the back of the boulder, yet Su reappears, besides a insurgent they've got no longer met sooner than, and the 2 males pull Dickey to a secure place. Smith runs to the boulder subsequent, then Rodden. while she arrives Smith twists her head clear of the physique. “Listen to me! ” Smith shouts.
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