Drawing on interviews with many leading mountaineers or their survivors, Coffey goes beyond the typical climbing book to question the reasons why climbers risk their lives. The result is a powerful, affecting book that strips the romance from adventure and returns it to the human realm: the parents, spouses, children, and partners of climbers who until now have maintained their code of silence. Interviewees include Jim Wickwire, Conrad Anker, Joe Simpson, Chris Bonington, Ed Viesturs and others.
Maria Coffey is the author and co-author of ten books, including Fragile Edge, an account of her relationship with the mountaineer Joe Tasker and his death on Everest. She lives with her husband Dag Goering on Vancouver Island, Canada.