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Near the top of Mount Everest, on 10 May 1996, eight climbers died. It was the worst tragedy in the mountain's history. Lou Kasischke was there. After the Wind tells the harrowing story of what went wrong, as it has never been told before - including why the climbers were so desperately out of time as the rogue storm struck. His personal story, captured in the title AFTER THE WIND, tells about the intense moments near the top. These moments also revealed the love story that saved his life.
In the spring of 1996, Lou Kasischke joined renowned climber Rob Hall's Mount Everest expedition. When he said goodbye to his wife, Sandy, he knew he faced major physical and mental challenges against rock, snow, ice, avalanches, and extreme high altitude to climb the highest mountain in the world.
What Lou didn't know was that he also stood at the threshold of a living hell. Six weeks later near the top, things went wrong. Lou and his fellow climbers faced a challenge even greater than the mountain - the internal struggle about what to do when you are close but out of time. There were no second chances. Decisions were made. Some lived. Some died. It was the worst tragedy in Mount Everest history.
Lou wrote his account of the events 16 years ago in the aftermath of the tragedy, but only now is he ready to let it go. He tells two stories. One is about the historic events. His perspective and analysis about what happened and what went wrong have never been told, and his account differs markedly from what others have written. The truth in the story depends on who is telling it.
Lou also tells a very personal story about how he came back home. An inspiring story about where to go for inner strength when facing a tough decision. A story about his wife Sandy's part in his survival. A story about what he heard, after the wind - the voice of the heart. A love story.
"A vivid, intimate memoir that with great clarity and attention to detail, tells an unforgettable survival story." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"After The Wind is a thoughtful, well written love story of Kasischke's dedication to his wife and anchor Sandy and his passion for climbing." -- BlueInk Reviews (starred review)
"A through analysis of the 1996 Everest disaster... and the best preparation for my Everest assent." -- Jean Pavillard, IFMGA Swiss Mountain Guide
"Kasischke's account provides an eye-opening look at the perils and extreme conditions on Everest. Evocative illustrations by Jane Cardinal further enhance the text, and includes maps and time lines." -- Publishers Weekly
"Kasischke chronicles the events not only to recover some truth from the sensationalism surrounding that fateful day, but also to share a deeply personal story of the enduring power of love. ... Kasischke attributes his survival to the promises he made to 'live a story he can tell,' and 'come back home' .... After The Wind is decidedly genuine in the construction ... and Kasischke presents his story humbly as one man's experience of a horrific day" -- New Orleans Review
"This riveting book examines what went wrong before and during the expedition ... including a series of ill-advised decisions just below the summit .... Kasischke also examines what holds true when all else fails, when survival is no longer likely. He offers a fascinatingly personal look at what he believes saved him. Ultimately, this is a survival story about love --of mountaineering, of God, and of the deep and abiding bond between a husband and wife." -- The US Review of Books