The Ledge: A Book Review

The Ledge - cover pub July 26 2011

“Come on up and stand beside me.” He said confidently. I made a couple more moves and joined him a hundred feet up on a near vertical rock wall in Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park many years ago.

“OK, let’s make sure you are clipped in, with backup and another line just in case.” With this my friend, Jim Davidson, shared lifelong lessons with this novice rock climber. I felt safe standing beside him with clear air below.

Jim Davidson is a unique person. He is a mentor, a confidant; he is a climber’s climber. Over the past decade, I have gotten to know him well but even then, his new book, The Ledge, co-authored with Kevin Vaughan gave me insights I never knew.

The Ledge is a story about two friends, Jim Davidson and Mike Price. After climbing the difficult Liberty Ridge to the summit of Mt. Rainier in 1992, on the descent they both fell in a deep crevasse. Only one survived.

Jim and Kevin take us through the ordeal in roller coaster fashion. Sometimes, I had to put the book down. Take a break. Take a breather. It is complex yet simple; detailed, funny and intense. It is Jim Davidson.

The book starts with a teaser of Jim deep in the crevasse. Stuck. Wondering if he is alive or dead. It then introduces us to Mike. A bit older than Jim, more experienced. He was Jim’s climbing mentor, Jim’s best friend in life. His climbing partner in the truest meaning.

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