Traversing a century of climbing that begins with Victorian enthusiasts and ends with the conquerors of the Himalayan peaks, Mountain Men tells the stories of the extraordinary men who were the first to climb the world's best-known mountains: the Matterhorn, McKinley, Everest, and K2. Edward Whymper's relentless siege of the Matterhorn ended in controversy when four of his companions plunged to their deaths an hour after leaving the summit. In Alaska there have been many disputed claims to the first conquest of Mt. McKinley, and locals still insist that the honor belongs to three miners who climbed on a bet, armed with homemade climbing irons and bags of donuts. For a hundred years mountaineers have fallen victim to the fatal attraction of K2. An Italian aristocrat, an American millionaire, and an English Satanist were among the first to reach its slopes. They found a place of disappointment and madness; one of them never returned.Accompanied by unique archival materials, detailed maps, and photographs, Mountain Men invites us to follow in the footsteps of these fearless explorers, and tells us their stories with all the romance and audacity, bravado and suffering, courage and miscalculation intact.