A collection of favourite mountaineering stories, illuminating the perils and the rewards of the sport. Selected and edited by the mountaineer who led the first successful Everest expedition.
Series: My Favourite …
Trade Information: LGEN
Available as: Hardback
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Specifications: 222x144mm, 128pp
Published: November 1987
From the My Favourite series – favourite stories on different themes by different authors, each volume edited by a celebrity in the field.
"After this, my first ascent, I had made up my mind to see the world, to see it from above, from the tops of mountains, whence I could get that wide and comprehensive view which is denied to those who observe things from their own plane."
In The Making of a Mountaineer, George Finch recorded that resolution, made when he was a boy of thirteen standing on a hill-top in the Australian Bush. It was his book, and the news of the 1924 Everest expedition when Mallory and Irvine were lost near the summit, that made John Hunt decide to become a mountaineer himself. This collection of favourite mountaineering stories was chosen to illustrate the progress in climbing over the past hundred years, to illuminate the differing attractions which draw climbers on, and to recall some of his own experiences and friendships.
The stories range from the steady accuracy of Graham Brown climbing in the western Alps to the fluent charm of Eric Shipton exploring the Himalayas, from Victorian horseplay on the Matterhorn to a friendly expedition in the 'red snows' of the Caucasus. Hermann Buhl in the Tirol, Frank Smythe in Wales, Geoffrey Young dazed and frozen on the Taschorn: all are here, and so, of course, is Everest.
In 1953, just over a hundred years after Everest was established as the highest point on the Earth's surface, John Hunt led the party that made the first successful assault on the mountain. Hillary's account is here, and so are the verses Wilfrid Noyce wrote on that expedition, and Haston's and Scott's vivid description from 1975:
"We then walked up side by side the last few paces to the top, arriving there together. All the world lay before us."
Prologue: Trams and Trains
from Climbing the Fish's Tail by Wilfrid Noyce
1. Early Days
from The Making of a Mountaineer by George Finch
2. The First Ascent of the Matterhorn
from Scrambles Amongst the Alps by Edward Whymper
3. A Memory of the Mischabel
abridged from On High Hills by Geoffrey Winthrop Young
4. Nanda Devi
from Upon the Mountain by Eric Shipton
5. Via Della Pera
from Brenva by Graham Brown
6. The West Buttress of Clogwyn Du'r Arddu
from Climbs and Ski Runs by F.S. Smythe
7. Head-First to Life
from Nanga Parbat Pilgrimage by Hermann Buhl
8. Up the Ridge and Down a Crevasse
from The Red Snows by Christopher Basher
9. Walking to Everest
from South Col by Wilfrid Noyce
10. The Summit: 1953
the account by Edmund Hilary
from The Ascent of Everest by John Hunt
11. The Summit: 1975
the account by Dougal Haston and Doug Scott
from Everest the Hard Way by Chris Bonnington