All Elevations Unknown: An Adventure in the Heart of Borneo by Sam Lightner Jr.

By Sam Lightner Jr.

“Sam Lightner, Jr., combines stories of event, one old and the opposite modern day in his page-turner . . . With its wealthy experience of position and background, All Elevations Unknown deals an incredibly clean twist to an adventure-climbing tale.” –Climbing Magazine

In the spring of 1999, armed with little greater than an outline from a booklet and a map categorized “all elevations unknown,” Sam Lightner and his German rock-climbing blood brother, Volker, came upon themselves deep within the jungles of Borneo on a undertaking to climb a mountain that was once purely rumored to exist. What little they knew concerning the mountain they'd realized from the memoirs of significant Tom Harrisson, a British international warfare II soldier who in 1945 have been assigned the near-impossible undertaking of parachuting blindly into the thick Borneo rainforest–where the natives had a grisly behavior of removing heads–to try and reclaim the island for the Allies.

A beautiful, completely unique mixture of commute experience memoir and historic new edition, All Elevations Unknown charts Lightner’s exhilarating and now and then harrowing quest to ascend the mountain Batu Lawi within the face of leeches, vipers, and sweat bees, and to maintain his crew jointly in a single of the earth’s so much treacherous uncharted wallet. alongside the best way, he reconstructs a desirable ancient narrative that chronicles Tom Harrisson’s adventures there through the struggle and illuminates an stunning piece of forgotten international warfare II background. Rife with suspense and shiny aspect, the 2 intertwining stories open up the island of Borneo, its humans, and its background in a strong, unforgettable approach, taking event writing to new heights.

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The plan was simple to lay out but hard to imagine being pulled off. Harrisson was supposed to: 1. Drop out of the plane at two hundred miles per hour over a land very much in the hands of the enemy. He and his three men, Sergeants Sanderson, Bower, and Barrie, would immediately establish contact with the inhabitants, and if they let them keep their heads he would fire a flare into the sky to let Ligh_0767907566_3p_01_r1_qxd 5/2/01 1:44 PM Page 25 All Elevations Unknown 25 the four men in the second plane know it had been a safe jump.

There were now six of us, far more than Volk and I had anticipated when we first planned the climb, and we were no longer just a couple of buddies on a climbing trip. With a couple of sponsors paying for the whole adventure, it wasn’t just a matter of making it or not making it, and Volker and I would have to deal with emotional fallout whatever the outcome. Failing is a part of climbing; it simply isn’t a sport where you can always count on success. But failure is not part of a good business plan.

The density of the island’s forests are such that rivers have always been the principal paths of travel. Unfortunately, the rivers are home to some of the world’s largest crocodiles and the infamous reticulated python, a snake as adept in the water as it is on land and high in the trees. Reticulated pythons can weigh over three hundred pounds and stretch longer than a city bus. To add to the aura of danger that big reptiles and fierce headhunters create, jungle flowers up NE DOESN’T PLAN Ligh_0767907566_3p_01_r1_qxd 5/2/01 1:44 PM Page 28 28 SAM LIGHTNER, JR.

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