Forever on the Mountain: The Truth Behind One of Mountaineering's Most Controversial and Mysterious Disasters - James M. Tabor

Forever on the Mountain: The Truth Behind One of Mountaineering's Most Controversial and Mysterious Disasters

By James M. Tabor

  • Release Date: 2008-06-17
  • Genre: Mountaineering
Score: 4.5
From 18 Ratings


Winner of the National Outdoor Book Award
Grand Prize Winner, Banff Mountain Book Festival

"Forever on the Mountain grips even non-climbers with its harrowing scenes of thorny relationships tested by extraordinary circumstances." —Washington Post

In 1967, seven young men, members of a twelve-man expedition led by twenty-four-year-old Joe Wilcox, were stranded at 20,000 feet on Alaska’s Mount McKinley in a vicious Arctic storm. Ten days passed while the storm raged, yet no rescue was mounted. All seven perished in what remains the most tragic expedition in American climbing history.

Revisiting the event in the tradition of Norman Maclean’s Young Men and Fire, James M. Tabor uncovers elements of controversy, finger-pointing, and cover-up that make this disaster unlike any other.


  • Could not put it down

    By Smoorej
    This wonderful book takes a 40 year old mountaineering tragedy cloaked in controversy and settles the score once and for all. Rather than coming to conclusions and beating the reader over the head with them, the author painstakingly gathers all the evidence available from every source imaginable and lays it out. Each player in the 1967 Denali tragedy is portrayed meticulously, creating a fundamental connection with the characters that is rare in this genre. The story of the expedition itself is so incredibly riveting that it could stand alone; but combined with the author's courtroom attorney approach to the evidence it becomes impossible to put down. Part historical narrative, part investigative reporting, part thriller, this book does not just entertain; it sets the record straight on a tragedy that had been unfairly blamed on the expedition leader for 40 years. Like a modern day DNA test for an innocent prison inmate, this book frees the expedition leader from the shackles of the flawed analyses, biased investigations and cover-your-backside mentality that so characterized the early reactions to the disaster. I give this book 5 stars.