• The Ledge

  • An Adventure Story of Friendship and Survival on Mount Rainier
  • By: Jim Davidson, Kevin Vaughan
  • Narrated by: Jim Davidson
  • Length: 7 hrs and 49 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (190 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

On June 21, 1992, two best friends summited Mount Rainier. Within hours, their exquisite accomplishment would be overshadowed by tragedy. On their descent, Jim Davidson fell through an ice bridge on Rainier's northeast flank, plunging eighty feet into a narrow crevasse inside the Emmons Glacier and dragging Mike Price in after him. Mike fell to his death; Jim, badly injured and armed with minimal gear, faced an almost impossible climb back out of the crevasse, up a nearly vertical ice wall. Mourning his friend's death, he miraculously climbed out of the crevasse and lived to relate his experiences.

Told in parallel narratives of the tragedy and the climbers' lives, The Ledge is both a riveting, wrenching story and an inspirational adventure tale.

©2011 Jim Davidson and Kevin Vaughan (P)2011 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Davidson and journalist Vaughn have crafted a modern Aristotelian tragedy." ( Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about The Ledge

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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wholesome and honest account of tragedy

Jim is not a seasoned writer but his words are well thought out. He has put a lot of work into dealing with and portraying every detail, emotional and physical, of a tragic climbing accident.

2 people found this helpful

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Fantastic post read to "Deep Survival"

Awesome book arraigned modestly and with raw emotion. Great read for adventure, military and first responders.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Remarkable

Interesting story, well told. It starts slowly with the necessary background info but i listened to the entire book in a single day because it became that compelling.

2 people found this helpful

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  • D.
  • 08-12-12

Just a great story and the effects of Mountains.

I can't say anything that hasn't already been said. I first read about this from an article I read in Climbing magazine. The whole time I listened I kept thinking, how would I react in this situation. I loved how the author scratched the blood off the wall in the cravasse because it was a false high point. SO COOL. Way to be true to your self.

2 people found this helpful

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Narrated by the guy who lived it

A friend who had read the print version of this book recommended it to me. When I found it on Audible, I was a little apprehensive because I have never been a big fan of "narrated by the author" books. In my experience, there are few people who can do both well (Neil Gaiman comes to mind).

In this particular case, the author, who lived through this amazing experience, is the perfect choice to recount what happened. The emotion and intensity of what happened is there, but not over the top. He really brought something to this story in his reading of it.

I'm going to recommend the audiobook version back to my friend!

2 people found this helpful

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Inspiring

Enjoyed very much until last couple of chapters which could have been nicely summed up in several paragraphs.

1 person found this helpful

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yellow kayaker

I absolutely loved this audio book. I was riveted to it from beginning to end and felt that I lived the challenges with Mike and Jim. Thank you yellow kayaker

1 person found this helpful

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Heartfelt and Brave.

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Not really, but he does kind of draw it out with all the talk of going to Nepal, but I understand as it was to honor his friend.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Ledge?

The parts where he cared so much for his friend that he still treated his body like it was still alive and important, and did not want to lose him.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

No much. He was an armature, but it was cool that it was the real guy.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

I think it is already on a tv show "I shouldn't be alive".

1 person found this helpful

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Story Drags In A Few Places

Overall a good story of Jim's tragic account during a climb on Mount Rainier, and the circumstances he had to overcome to survive (although his friend Mike did not). I found it informative and contemplative, and wondered how I would have handled it if faced with a similar situation.

There were some parts of the book which I thought were far longer than they needed to be. His account of climbing out of the crevasse seemed to take a long, long time to describe. Also the end of the book (after being rescued) also seemed unnecessarily long. You would think the book would end, but it kept going. (For example, it went into lengthy descriptions of Jim's dealing with the tragedy, which included more details about Buddhist ceremonies than I wanted to know). At these parts the story dragged and I found myself wishing it would skip over some details and would move on.

Overall, still a good book that I would recommend to anyone who would like to learn from a true survival story.

1 person found this helpful

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Very Well-Told Story

In the first part of the book I kept thinking “is this the step he’s going to take that causes the fall?” The further into the book I got, the more suspense I felt.

The transformation the author underwent and the palpable spirit guidance he received that assisted him in the hole made me say “Wow!”

If you believe in spiritual contracts that are established before we incarnate, and if you believe that earth is a school for our souls, one could make the argument that this scenario was Mike fulfilling his ultimate spiritual purpose of providing the catalyst for the author to grow. Jim had a decision to make. What would he choose? To stay small and meek and die or overcome his self-doubts and push himself to take calculated risks to live.

The most beautiful part of the story was that Jim was never alone and that it was his love for Mike and family members that helped give him the strength to escape the hole.

As in a fable, the message is: a coward dies 1000 deaths from which he never escapes, where as a brave person only risks one death, and is rewarded with freedom either way.

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