cover image Seven Summits

Seven Summits

Rick Ridgeway, Dick Bass, Frank Wells. Warner Books, $14.99 (336pp) ISBN 978-0-446-51312-8

Their dream was to climb the hightest mountain on each of the seven continentsan exciting prospect for any world-class mountaineer. But Bass and Wells, businessmen in their early 50s, were rank amateurs. With Ridgeway, one of America's foremost climbers who accompanied the pair on some of their expeditions, they tell their story here. It is a gripping tale of adventure that embraces courage, disappointment, joy and commitment. The process of getting to Mt. Vinson in Antarctica was a marvel of logistics. For their third and final attempt on Mt. Everest, Wells had to choose between the summit try and his family; Bass completed the seventh summit to become the oldest man to stand on top of the world. The two were lucky enough to have the money to fulfill their dream; they also had guts. In mountaineering lingo, they proved themselves ""real animals.'' Photos not seen by PW. (April 30)