Over the Edge: The True Story of the Kidnap and Escape of Four Climbers in Central Asia

By Greg Child

*CLICK right here to obtain pattern chapters from Over the sting *

* a unique kind of actual mountaineering adventure—this one with terrorists, kidnappings, and AK47s

* New afterword via the author

* First time in paperback

Before sunrise on August 12, 2000, 4 of America’s top younger rock climbers—Tommy Caldwell, Beth Rodden, Jason “Singer” Smith, and John Dickey—were asleep of their portaledges excessive at the Yellow Wall within the Pamir-Alai mountain diversity of Kyrgyzstan. At break of day, they'd be abducted at gunpoint via fanatical militants of the Islamic stream of Uzbekistan (IMU), which operates out of mystery bases in Tajikistan and Afghanistan and is associated with Al Qaeda. the abductors, themselves slightly out in their adolescents, meant to exploit their hostages as human shields and for ransom cash as they moved throughout Kyrgyzstan. They concealed the climbers via day and marched them by way of evening via freezing, treacherous mountain terrain, with little foodstuff, no fresh water, and the consistent danger of execution.

The 4 climbers -- the oldest of them merely 25 -- could see a fellow hostage, a Kyrgyz soldier, done sooner than their eyes. And in a awesome life-and-death crucible over six terrifying days, they'd be compelled to select from saving their very own lives and committing an act none of them suggestion they ever could.

In Over the Edge, the climbers demonstrate the whole tale in their nightmarish ordeal to journalist and climber Greg baby. With riveting information, baby re-creates the complete hour-by-hour drama, from the 1st ricocheting bullets to the climatic determination that earnings them their freedom. Set in a area rife with narcotics and terrorism, this can be a compelling tale approximately loyalty and the desire to outlive. What maintains to make it suitable this day, 15 years after the occasions happened, is the geopolitical context -- the incident occurred, eerily, at the eve of 9–/11; the truth that at the very least of the 4 climbers remain well known within the activity; and the main points included into the tale round the media hype and controversy concerning the climbers and their story.

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Inside of days of the abduction, approximately a hundred and fifty reporters from Japan converged at the Kyrgyz capital, and so they assembled on a daily basis on the Kabar information supplier, anticipating advancements. the japanese govt additionally despatched a role strength to Kyrgyzstan. Its negotiator, Shegenobu Kato, under pressure that Japan wouldn't pay ransom. “The eastern newshounds who sat right here for 2 months, they have been like hostages too,” Turat Akimov, a Kabar reporter, informed me in March 2001 in Bishkek. “They wrote in regards to the IMU, and this was once what the IMU sought after. ” Digging into positions round Zardaly, the rebels ready for a protracted siege, and the japanese geologists settled into lifestyles as hostages. They performed playing cards, accumulated firewood, and cooked, and their captors taught them the Koran and the proper methods of praying, which they have been pressured to accomplish 5 occasions on a daily basis with the rebels. through early September the rebels in Kyrgyzstan numbered a number of hundred and occupied a complete of 5 villages round Zardaly. such a lot in their hostages have been Kyrgyz policemen, yet to the embarrassment of the Kyrgyz executive they'd additionally captured significant common Anarbek Shamkeev, commander of the Kyrgyzstan inside Ministry troops. a couple of thousand villagers have been trapped in addition, advised by way of the rebels they can now not go away the world. studies from Uzbek assets claimed that the rebels themselves have been hostages of a type, as fellow rebels had aimed batteries of heavy guns at get away routes prime again into Tajikistan and had orders to fireplace on their males in the event that they attempted to retreat. the govt. limited reporters from the realm, but stories filtered out of six thousand mountain villagers fleeing their houses and heading to Batken, and of casualties one of the Kyrgyz troops attempting to encircle the rebels. whereas the rebels sat with their hostages, box Commander Abdullo’s rebels broke via into Kyrgyzstan through the Abramov Glacier and commenced a brand new assault. They burned down a systematic glaciological station and captured 9 Uzbek mountaineers. The Uzbeks have been moved round the mountains for a number of days, then published. within the valley of the Sokh River on September 22 heavy scuffling with killed 11 Kyrgyz squaddies prior to 2 hundred IMU rebels have been driven again from the Uzbek enclave of Sokh. On October four slow-flying Uzbek L-39 education jets bombed insurgent positions in Tajikistan, whereas Kyrgyz Mi8 helicopters machine-gunned and dumped un-guided bombs on insurgent positions. The Zardaly stronghold remained inviolable, in the back of a human wall of shepherds and VIP hostages. but if iciness chilly blew into the mountains, 100 IMU males shifted their hostages from Zardaly to a payment close to an 11,500-foot go referred to as Kojie Achkan, in the direction of the Kyrgyz-Tajik border. fitting themselves in a slender and simply defended gorge, the rebels resumed their calls for. With iciness coming and little probability to damage throughout the Uzbek troops massed farther north at the fringe of the Fergana Valley, the IMU replaced its call for: rather than unfastened passage via Kyrgyzstan to Uzbekistan they sought after loose passage again via Tajikistan to Afghanistan.

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