It’s been a half century since Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing made the first ascent of Everest. Their success capped a thirty-year struggle that cost more than a dozen livesand touched off a new era in the history of the mountain. The past fifty years have seen Everest become an even greater magnet for adventurersboth foolish and heroic. Some of the world’s best climbers have carved out incredibly dangerous new routes on the peak, and many have died trying. Meanwhile, hundreds of nonclimbers have taken on Everest, with mixed results. This history has created an entire literature in itselfa story of triumph and tragedy of epic proportions. Whether it’s Peter Boardman on being forced to leave a friend to die near the summit, Stephen Venables on spending a night out near the summitan experience only a handful of men have survivedor Chris Bonington on the death of Boardman and Joe Tasker on the Northeast Ridge, almost every great climbing writer has tackled some aspect of the mountain, and Epics on Everest includes their best work.