Book Review: Die Trying

Die Trying: One Man’s Quest to Conquer the Seven Summits


By Bo Parfet with Richard Buskin

Bo Parfet “retired” as an investment banker at a pretty young age, and managing his savings carefully by taking shortcuts and going somewhat around the system, managed to complete the 7 summits (actually 8, hedging his bets on the Messner vs. Bass list) in a mere 4 years.

He began as an out-of-shape wanna-be mountaineer, and it’s fun to read about his growth as a human being, and the miserable failures he achieves along the way. His adventures are great reading, from his tryst with a Russian official to being smuggled into Carstenz past a blockade, one thing leads to another, and while at first I didn’t really like him, or his style, I eventually began rooting for him.

I highly recommend anyone interested in doing the 7 summits first read this, just to make sure. Especially if you’re doing the Messner list (includes Carstenz which until the recent activity near Elbrus was considered the least stable political environment for a 7 summit peak). The misadventures and mistakes alone are worth getting this book, if only to be sure that you don’t fall into the same traps.

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