Within Reach: My Everest Story

Within Reach: My Everest Story

by Mark Pfetzer, Jack Galvin


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In May 1996 the media scrambled to document the gripping story of sixteen-year-old Mark Pfetzer's expedition to Mount Everest. Not only was he the youngest climber ever to attempt the summit, he also witnessed the tragedy documented in Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air, in which eight climbers perished in a sudden storm. Within Reach is Mark's extraordinary account of this experience and of his triumphs over several other challenging peaks. At once triumphant and tragic, this story will be an inspiration to climbers, athletes, and armchair enthusiasts alike.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780141304977
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 01/28/2000
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 176,361
Product dimensions: 7.72(w) x 10.88(h) x 0.65(d)
Lexile: 970L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Mark Pfetzer is a well-known inspirational speaker and personality in the sports world. He has appeared in Time magazine and on CBS This Morning, ESPN, NBC Nightly News, and Good Morning America. Pfetzer is the author of Within Reach: My Everest Story, a book about his experience climbing Mount Everest during a deadly storm when he was just 16. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

Jack Galvin is a bestselling author known for cowriting the young adult book Within Reach: My Everest Story. He has been a writing teacher for more than 40 years.

Table of Contents

Mark's Mountains ix
Preface xi
Acknowledgments xv
Prologue Within Reach 3(5)
Getting Started
Finding a Way
To Nepal
Bigger Ideas
High Altitude
Getting Physical
Ecuador: Success and Failure
The North Side
Everest '95
My Mother's Necklace
To Base Camp with Cameras
Everest '96
The Storm
The Guide
Cho Oyu
The Decision
Epilogue 215(2)
Cast of Characters 217(6)
Glossary 223

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Within Reach: My Everest Story 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
kpickett on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was a big fan of Into Thin Air and this happens at the same time as that story. The story is mostly an autobiography of a 16-year-old who attempts the Everest summit. Great for anyone who likes outdoor sports and adventure!
smg626 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The intent of "Within Reach" is to provide inspiration to set and seek goals in life. Although I did find this book inspirational, I was impressed how Mark Pfetzer repeatedly acknowledged people in his experiences as a mountain climber. What also impressed me was his attitude about the Sherpas (and other indigenous groups who profit from expeditions). He did not see them as servants, but as people worhty of respect and admiration. That is what I admire in good literature.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My Everest Story was outstanding.  The authors are Mark Pfetzer and Jack Galvin. The type of the book is an auto biography. The book is exiting and full of adventure. Mark Pfetzer at age 16 was the youngest climber on Mount Everest to reach 26,000 feet, and the book tells you all about his hardships and success he comes across. Mark takes you through him being the youngest kid to reach the summit of Mount Everest. The book starts of with Mark trying to raise money for his trip to Mount Everest. He raises the money and thats when the story begins. It all starts off  on August of 1992. Mark was a twelve year old boy at the time. it took place at the Alton wilderness center at the University of Rhobe Island. They are there practice hiking, and he meets a man named Dr. Geoff Javin, who is almost a mentor to Mark. Dr. Geoff Javin tells him he has climbed Everest in the past, and Mark is very interested. So interested that he wants to try climbing it himself. Dr. Geoff Javin tells him its a very big challenge, but Mark accepts it. The next thing Mark starts doing is saving up money for the trip, which is $5,000. He acquires this money by getting donations from businesses in his local town. He then goes on the trip to Nepal and fulfills his dream climbing Mount Everest. The authors did a great job with expressing his excitement of climbing Mount Everest. it almost seemed like they were right next to me telling the story. You can tell that in all the trips he took in the book that he had fun, just by the way the book was written. The book could of used a little more detail, like explaining how he felt being without his family and being so far away from home. The book shows that you can achieve anything as long as if you put your mind to it, and have a lot of dedication towards that goal. This book is one that i would recommend anyone reading, to any age. If you want a good read, a good adventure with a great story, read My Everest Story. 
Cameron_Streich More than 1 year ago
My Everest Story is a story about a boy that starts to climb and develops a passion for the mountains. But he wasn't even old enough to climb a wall at a local gym, but that didn't stop him from climbing Everest just two years later. This book is such a great book because he has such a passion and drive to climb that nothing will get in his way. It is a good book for all ages because it can teach young kids to never give up and that perseverance will get you anywhere you want to go. Even if it doesn't inspire you to go out and climb mountains it is still a good read. Another part I really enjoyed was the detailed descriptions of the places he went to. You could see the small tea houses with a back drop of towering mountains through the way he described them to you. He also did a good job of telling the whole story; he never sugar coats it, but tells it like it is, whether that looks bad on him or someone else. This adds a certain level of reliability to what he says. Over all this is a great story of pushing oneself past the limits and achieving the unthinkable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
tlevnh More than 1 year ago
My 11 year old has mandatory book reports he has to do each month. We choose this book as his oral presentation book report because it's non-fiction, but allowed for him to dress as the main character. Within Reach is an account of a young boy who seeks out to climb Mount Everest. It clearly details many of the struggles and sacrifices Mark made to accomplish his dreams. The book offered many life lessons without even laying them out as such. I would recommend this book for 5th or 6th grade reading level students. It could also serve advanced students who are a little younger. The book was well written and taught about geography of areas Mark climbed as well as mountain climbing itself. Within Reach provides a glossary in the book which we found quite helpful as well. Overall, it was a great book despite some very sad and touching parts of the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PatrickL7B More than 1 year ago
Have you heard of the 16 year old who summated Everest? Within Reach: My Everest Story, a memoir by Mark Pfetzer, Mark is about a 12-year-old boy with big dreams. Mark is athletic, but not really into traditional sports, such as baseball, basketball and soccer. Until Frank Madeira introduces Mark to the sport of rock climbing. "What's a carabineer? Static Rope? Dynamic Rope?" (Pg.8). These were all questions that Mark puzzled about rock climbing. These questions are important, because without a carabineer you would fall to your death. Without a dynamic or static rope it would just be you and the mountain, without a restraint. Mark goes through many struggles trying to climb his first ever mountain, such as raising 5,000 dollars and months of training. After Mark's first summit in Peru, he is hooked on the sport. Then he sets his eyes on the biggest prize of them all: Mount Everest, standing at a daunting 26,000 ft. At 16 years old he tried three times to summit Everest. He succeeded the first and second time but was stopped half way up due to bad weather. There were often so many struggles during his journey. Such as frostbite, death and even starvation. With many world records under his name Mark Pfetzer is surely a true inspiration to us all. In my opinion this book is a very inspiring true story. Mark tells us of perseverance and achieving your goals. The book sends a message to all of the kids or even adults that read this book. Such as perseverance, and good lessons for everyday life. I enjoyed this book and, I really connected with Mark. I am always trying to achieve my dreams everyday. This book is slow towards the beginning, but really starts to make a dramatic change towards the end. I would recommend this book to people who like adventure and are in the reading level of 6th grade to an adult. If you are looking for a book that pushes you out of your seat with action and suspense, then you should read this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
¿Three quarters of the way to Camp One, my ordinary mountain hack suddenly turns into a violent storm of coughs. Five, ten coughs, attacking as if there were something inside me wanting out. I¿m bent double and feel something let go in my chest a long, sharp knife slices through my ribs. What is this? I try to straighten up. Can¿t. Something¿s holding me bent. I have to get to Camp One. A doctor from the American team is there. Have to lie down. I start to jumar up a steep section, breathing glass. What is this? The rope, ice covered in the late-day cold, slips, jams the jumar. I stumble up the rope against the pain of the knife in my chest.¿ Want to find out what happens to Mark Pfetzer? I suggest you read ¿Within Reach: My Everest Story¿ I loved this book for a number of reasons, but the thing I loved most about it is that it is all about climbing. Climbing is one of my favorite things to do. I do it all the time through boy scouts, so I love to read books about climbing, especially Everest. I really liked the way he walked you through his experiences, sharing little bits of information you would not normally know unless you had climbed those types of mountains. One example is when he talked about having to wear really dark sunglasses in the snow covered mountain tops, because the glare could be blinding. Those same conditions cause severe sunburn, and he even had blistering burns on the roof of his mouth. If you are anything like me and like climbing, I definitely recommend this book. A second thing I like about this book is that it is a true story. Mark Pfetzer is a real person, a sixteen year old with an amazing amount of willpower and sense of adventure. He walks you through seven months of the most challenging adventure you could imagine, and makes it seem like you are there with him. He tells his story like an almost daily journal, climbing Mt. Catapay, Mt. Tsergo, Mt. Crawford, Mt. Pisco, Mt. Huascaran, Mt. Pichincha, Mt. Quito, Mt. Cayambe, Mt. Illiniza, the Buttermilk Mts., Mt. Aconcagua, Mt. Ama Dablam, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Kenya, Mt. Cho Oyo and of course, Mt Everest. Another of my favorite things is that it is not only about him climbing Mt. Everest, but everything going on in his life at the time, including his dad¿s battle with a mountain of his own to climb. Instead of fighting cold and fatigue, he is having a secret battle with cancer. If you want to find out what else happens in this book, go buy it too!
Guest More than 1 year ago
mark is a teenager wo is big for his age and athletic. but he doesnot like team sporrts. he prefers to hang out with old people and fish. one time he started to read a magazine and saw an add for eock climbing. so he goes to an indoor climbing place where he meets this guy who says for him to try ice climbing. after that he gets really into it and raises money to go the himalayeas. sometimes it is exciting but other it is very boring. i think people who need inspiration should read this becasue it inspiring reading about a young kid summits a lot mtns.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mark Pfetzer, a twelve year old kid, will accomplish everything he puts his mind too. Ever since Mark started rock climbing he wanted to move on to higher and more difficult peaks, until he makes it to the most difficult, Mount Everest. In this story, Mark works his butt off to climb the most difficult mountains in the world. Mark even skips school to do what he loves most, mountain climbing. Read this book to see what mountains Mark climbs and whether or not Mark makes it up Mount Everest. Overall, I would have to say that this book was really good. I couldn¿t put it down. It was just that good. I never knew what was going to happen next. It was insane. I would think one thing but then wham! The next minute there would be something completely different than what I thought was going to happen. The book just kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. There was only one bad thing about this book. In some parts it would get confusing. Mark would be climbing up a rock wall and he would be telling the reader stuff in the book and I didn¿t know a thing about what he was talking about. I don¿t think that this book is part of a series. If you would like to know you can Google it or something. I don¿t know of any movies that relate to this book. In the book Mark videos some of his climbs for national geographic so there might be a movie out. Anyone from ten to seventeen years old would enjoy this book if they like adventure books. It is not really like any other books that I have read so I don¿t know of any similar books to this one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great read, inspiring, interesting perspective as mark is only in his teens while writing this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
WITHIN REACH MY EVEREST STORY Most of teenagers don¿t like to spend much time with older people. They like to spend most of their time with their friends. Mark is not like that. He likes his friends but most of them don¿t like what he does. Mark does not like sports like baseball, football, and sports. He likes extreme sports like climbing, hunting and other fun stuff. The most he likes is climbing mountains. He is young when he first climbs his first mountain. His parents let him climb but Mark needs to come up with the money to get him sponsors and gear. If you like an adventure, also like climbing and you want to climb Mt. Everest then this book is for you. I have never read a book about climbing and for my first book is pretty good. If you want to start climbing first you should read this book because Mark starts from the very bottom. He does not even have sponsors. He had to get his own money and wrote to sponsors to give him a little cash so he can go climb his first mountain. Mark could be a person young people could look up to. He was very young when he climbed his first mountain. He had train his whole life to climb Mt. Everest even thought Everest denied him on 95¿ and 96¿. He got back up and stared getting ready for Everest 97¿. On his first attempt to climb the Everest he broke a rib and had to go back down. He was very angry that he could not climb Everest on his first try. Rarely people make it on their first try and Mark wanted to be one of those people. He loves his family and his family supports him doing what most teens cannot do. The media called his parents ¿Child Abusers¿ because they let him climb dangerous mountain at a young age. Mark got very angry and just got more motivated about climbing Everest. This book is an adventure and if you are a rookie climber this book will motivate you to try to climb Mt. Everest. This book is great.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mark Pfetzer, one of the best climbers in the world, and now an award winning writer. Mark Pfetzer¿s first book is a real life adventure story. This book was able to incorporate not only mark¿s dreams, but also the dreams of the reader. The more you get into this book, the more you want to get up and do it yourself. All throughout Mark¿s great adventure, you will find yourself rooting for him and getting as anxious as he was as each page brings a whole new challenge for Mark to solve. The main story line of this book is simply about a boy wanting to accomplish his dream, to climb the world¿s highest mountain, Mount Everest. The strength of nature also comes into view in this book, with the mountain constantly threatening his life. I especially enjoyed the main theme of this book; that everyone can accomplish there dreams as long as they try hard enough. Overall, I though this was a stunning book and a must read by everyone into climbing and exploring. This is a great book for kids, but it might not be suitable for kids under the age of 10 because there is a lot of graphic content, like death. It also contains some wilderness survival stories. Get this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was pretty cool. It started when the main character mark started climbing at a indoor rock climbing place.Then he wanted to climb more and more, so his mom paid for this ice climbing class that was two and a half hours from where he lived. Then he started to get serious about climbing so he raised enough money to climb different sized mountains in different countries. Then he really wanted to get serious so he got about four thousand dollars to get to Mount Everest but the first time he went to everest he failed because he broke a rib from breathing too hard, so after that he just went home then a year of traning hard for Everest ,again, he goes back and then makes it to the top, and sets a record for being the youngest to summit Mount Everest.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was about a kid who trains to start climbing Everest. He started at a young age, about 13. Mark trained on other mountains too, and went to lessons. His parents supported him too, which was a very helpful thing also. Mark attempted to summit Everest 2 times, and the 3rd time was not stated. Mark climbed so much he missed most of school, and had to repeat that semester. Being on Everest must be really hard. You have to be very athletic and fully perpaired. I don't think I would want to climb any tall mountains, it's not my forte. For people who want to though, and haven't got started yet, they should deffinetly read this book. I think it's a good start for people who have ideas on climbing Everest. And even though I had to read this book for school, it was pretty interesting, the fact that so many people climb this mountain every year. This is deffinetly recommended to people at any age with interest on Mt Everest, or just climbing itself!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was a great excitment for me but I couldn't keep my hand on each expedition.I loved the pace and the subject but again, I had a hard time keeping track of the places Mark was at.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great book! I was required to read a book for a school project on someone who made a difference in America. I chose this book for no real reason, hopeing it wouldn't be to borring, but I read it so often in my spare time that I finished a week early. I highly reccomend it for anyone 12 and over, it is very interresting and insparational.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I chose the book ¿Within Reach¿ by Mark Pfeterz. I thought it would be an interesting book because it was a biography on Mark, who climbed Mt. Everest. I would have to give this book a seven on a scale of one to ten. This was an informative book on Mark¿s and his friends dream. It began when he was 14. That¿s when he knew that he wanted to climb mountains. He began training and climbed his first mountain in Peru called Mt. Pisco, he was the youngest person to reach it¿s summit at 19,029 feet. In May of 1996, he attempted his first gruling climb to the summit of Everest, which stood at a height of over 29,000 feet, the tallest mountain in the world. Sadly he was force to stop at Tibet, the camp at 25,000. He was forced to stop due the bad weather. His second attempt, four months later took him to a height of 26,000 feet, the camp of Nappal. Once a gain he was forced to stop due to bad weather. He tried one more time and I won¿t say what, happened. Mark has told a wonderful story and has had his dreams ¿within reach.¿
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mark Pfetzer wrote about his incredible journeys of his climbs. Mark is famous for being the youngest to climb many of the world's highest peaks, including Everest. The book was very exciting and educational. I enjoyed how he told about his emotions, the hardships, his thoughts, and his adventure. He began from day one of his climbing career, when he was still in junior high. It was an educational book because Mark explained all the equipment, the landmarks, the methods, the camps; everything you would need to know about climbing, first hand. The downside of the book was that it sometimes was a little boring when the climbers weren't doing much, but there wasn't a lot of that. He told about his family life and what he went through at school. Since he had to miss school to go climbing, he had to carry all the homework with him! I could somewhat connect with him because he is a teenager, which made the story seem more interesting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a book that once it's picked up you can't put it back down. Good job.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mark's story is so inspiring. I've read the book over five times. It makes me realize that if i have a dream I can live it. Because of this book I'm going to climb Everest. This is a great book for all ages, young and old. Mark's story will inspire you and bring tears to your eyes. As a teenage climber this book touched home!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a fascinating book. My 7th grade son bought this book at his school book fair for my birthday because he knew that I like mountains. When I finally found the time to read it, I couldn't put it down. Even though many adults may think they would not be interested because it was written about the experiences of a very young person, the story contains such adventure and is so well written, you can't put it down once you start reading. Also very appealing is the humor, attitude and determination of Mark Pfetzer. While reading this book, it is very hard at times to remember that Mark was a teenager when he lived these adventures. I came to this site to see about purchasing a 'sequel of sorts', since Mark ends this book with plans for a new adventure that was supposed to happen in 1999. While I do not see a second book listed, I certainly hope there is one in progress.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mark the mane charectors conqueres almost every mountain. And the youngest for everyone of those mountains. His courage and stamina are incredible. He has so many things to think about and deal with but in the end he chooses his family. Which is clearly greater than everest any day! In the end he conqueres the mountains but has to deal with the death of his dad. He turned down everest for his dad. Lost to cancer. For anyone who loves the mountains or people who don't you can appreciate this book, becaue Mark makes it very real. You feel glad for him on every different summit. Read this book maybe you will learn something.