Survival Is Not Assured: The Life of Climber Jim Donini

Mountaineers Bks. Jun. 2024. 272p. ISBN 9781680515374. pap. $22.95. BIOG
Experienced climber and adventurer Powter’s (Inner Ranges: An Anthology of Mountain Thoughts and Mountain People) biography of one of the biggest American icons in rock and mountain climbing, Jim Donini, captures his remarkable life and accomplishments. Donini, now 81 years old, began climbing in the 1970s. His stellar climbing accomplishments place him among the best athletes of any sport and he established many original climbing routes around the world. Powter’s book describes how Donini dedicated his life to climbing, and devoted considerable energy to mentoring other ambitious climbers. All of this required efforts to balance the fine edge between his passion and the demands of his personal life, and his elite sport meant often leaving his family and friends behind.
VERDICT This presentation of the climbing world’s intricacies makes the particulars of the sport comprehensible to a general audience. Donini’s story is told with literary verve and vivid sensory details. A must for sports collections.
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