By Greg Child
* a distinct type of actual hiking adventure—this one with terrorists, kidnappings, and AK47s
* New afterword by means 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 variety of Kyrgyzstan. At break of day, they'd be abducted at gunpoint via fanatical militants of the Islamic circulation 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 adolescents, meant to exploit their hostages as human shields and for ransom funds as they moved throughout Kyrgyzstan. They concealed the climbers through day and marched them through evening via freezing, treacherous mountain terrain, with little nutrition, no fresh water, and the consistent possibility of execution.
The 4 climbers -- the oldest of them purely 25 -- might see a fellow hostage, a Kyrgyz soldier, accomplished ahead of their eyes. And in a awesome life-and-death crucible over six terrifying days, they might be compelled to select from saving their very own lives and committing an act none of them idea they ever could.
In Over the Edge, the climbers exhibit the entire tale in their nightmarish ordeal to journalist and climber Greg baby. With riveting info, baby re-creates the total hour-by-hour drama, from the 1st ricocheting bullets to the climatic determination that earnings them their freedom. Set in a quarter rife with narcotics and terrorism, it is a compelling tale approximately loyalty and the need to outlive. What keeps to make it proper 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 not less than of the 4 climbers stay favourite within the activity; and the main points integrated into the tale round the media hype and controversy in regards to the climbers and their story.
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Extra resources for Over the Edge: The True Story of the Kidnap and Escape of Four Climbers in Central Asia
A soldier calls for in Russian. “We’re the German expedition,” Karnienko says. the warriors hustle them right into a sheltered sector, the place they frisk them. Karnienko tells the warriors their tale. Hiermaier acknowledged later, “It appeared like those squaddies didn’t understand we have been up there, within the Ak Su. We requested approximately our captured neighbors, and so they didn’t comprehend what we have been conversing approximately. after they observed we had a map they have been shocked; that they had no map, so we gave them ours. They requested if we had any batteries to offer them, so we gave them what we had. We were within the Ak Su for ten days; we had handed the outpost of Kurbaka and met patrols of infantrymen. those men didn’t be aware of something approximately that. ” approximately the entire squaddies they've got met at Kurbaka and within the Ak Su, despite the fact that, are lifeless. at the AFTERNOON of August 15 either teams of climbers succeed in Kurbaka. The reunion is emotional, then they’re all airlifted to the cellular anti-terrorist base at Batken. on the a long way finish of this helicopter there’s a package at the flooring. This one is alive even though. It’s a guy. His palms are cuffed in the back of his again and a hood covers his head. each couple of minutes a soldier within the helicopter kicks the prisoner. the fellow at the flooring groans in a spasm of soreness. mendacity beside him is a Kalashnikov rifle with a special scar at the barrel. Laemmermann acknowledges the weapon. It belongs to Hamsa. He’s been captured. at the evening of August sixteen an legitimate of the Ministry of inner Affairs interviews the climbers on the Batken base, however the Ukrainians have got their palms on numerous bottles of vodka and the interview becomes a drunken farce. the inner Affairs guy throws up his palms in exasperation. “I can’t do something with those people,” he says of the reveling climbers. while the Germans relate their event of being fired at by way of the Kyrgyz helicopter to the officials on the base, they're met with confined but well mannered laughter. the warriors inform the climbers they had been looking ahead to an invasion for months. They don’t know the way the climbers received into the realm. they need to by no means were permit earlier the checkpoints, they are saying. not one of the males look conscious that the Karavshin has been attracting foreigners for many years. The Germans have misplaced every thing they dropped at Kyrgyzstan. The Ukrainians are luckier—their apparatus is retrieved from base camp. either groups go away Batken via motor vehicle at the evening of August sixteen and are in Tashkent the subsequent morning. The Kyrgyz and Uzbek media converse with them in brief prior to they fly domestic. Little information in their ordeal appears to be like within the neighborhood press. Even in Germany there's scant point out of the drama, because the media are preoccupied with one other hostage situation, this one referring to a German kin abducted by means of Islamic rebels within the Philippines. Kabar, the govt. press organisation of Kyrgyzstan, concerns a statement titled “Kyrgyz Troops loose German Hostages,” after the climbers depart the rustic. The document says that Kyrgyz troops “released” 8 German mountaineers taken hostage by means of the Islamists. Reacting to the record, Hiermaier will say, “It appeared not anything like a rescue, but when the warriors had now not come, we'd were sitting in Dushanbe nonetheless awaiting ransom to be paid.