On July 5 starting at 7 p.m., the Naples Public Library is pleased to announce a very special presentation of “My Storm Years on Everest” by Ed Webster, Maine resident and veteran of seven Himalayan expeditions.

In the spring of 1988, Ed Webster and three companions attempted the unthinkable, to scale a new route up the East or Kangshung Face of Mount Everest in Tibet with only four climbers, no Sherpa support, no bottled oxygen, and no radios. Reinhold Messner called their route too dangerous. At home, friends wondered how many of them would be killed. “Give me a call…if you get home,” said one friend.

That Webster and his companions succeeded in completing this climb, and that Webster’s partner Stephen Venables became the first Englishman to ascend Mount Everest without bottled oxygen is a testimony to the human spirit and some remarkable team work. Ed reached the South Summit-at 28,700 feet, only 300 feet short of the main summit. The climbers then survived a stormy four-day descent off the mountain, without food, badly frostbitten, and near death. Sir Chris Bonington called their three-month-long expedition “amongst the finest examples of survival in the history of Himalayan mountaineering.”

“My Storm Years on Everest” also details the reasons why the team work and inter-personal chemistry of Ed’s team-the smallest team ever to scale a new route up Mt. Everest-made it possible to accomplish such an audacious ascent. Come take a journey to Nepal, China, and Tibet, then climb Mt. Everest “the Hard Way.”

Webster, Stephen Venables, and Robert Anderson were all frostbitten. Each climber lost toes, and because of his extensive photography on their summit day, Ed also lost eight fingertips. Webster’s Everest climb was published in a lavish 12-page story in the 1989 Sports Illustrated Superbowl issue; and Snow in the Kingdom, My Storm Years on Everest, Webster’s acclaimed “Everest Years” autobiography published in 2001, was voted by Outside Magazine as one of the ten best Mt. Everest books of all time.

Immediately following the narrated slide lecture, Webster will be signing copies of his book “Snow in the Kingdom.” This program is free and open to the public. For more information please contact the Naples Public Library at 693-6841 or visit our Web site at www.naples.lib.me.us.

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