Climbs and Ski Runs

Vertebrate Publishing
Free sample

"Why do you climb?" The mountaineer has no answer to this question. The best things in the world cannot adequately be expressed in speech or print; they are part of the soul.' In Climbs and Ski Runs, Frank Smythe takes the reader on Alpine ski trips and Dolomite adventures, up first ascents in North Wales and on to the mighty Brenva Face of Mont Blanc. He places pebbles for runners, 'shoots' crevasses and is struck by lightning. And yet, all the while, he perfectly captures the moments that make climbing and mountaineering so special - moments that will resonate with anybody who has spent time in the hills. Frank Smythe was among the leading mountaineers of the early twentieth century and one of the finest climbing writers ever to put pen to paper. In Climbs and Ski Runs he documents his early forays into the mountains, giving a remarkable insight into that period of climbing and mountaineering. Yet it is not this that makes the book special. It is Smythe's ability to observe and recreate his surroundings and to write so compellingly about the climber's response to them, and to the moments of difficulty and danger, that brings Climbs and Ski Runs to life.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Vertebrate Publishing
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Published on
Feb 7, 2014
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Pages
300
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ISBN
9781906148874
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Sports
Science / Earth Sciences / Geography
Sports & Recreation / Mountaineering
Sports & Recreation / Skiing
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Winner: Himalayan Club Kekoo Naoroji Award for Mountain Literature

‘A full and fascinating portrait of one of the great figures of mountaineering.’ – Michael Palin

‘As well as relaying the literal ups and downs of the biggest walls and highest mountains in the world, Scott writes with honesty about the emotional and personal peaks and troughs of a life where family relationships are put under strain and life itself is so often at risk.’ – The Westmorland Gazette

At dusk on 24 September 1975, Doug Scott and Dougal Haston became the first Britons to reach the summit of Everest as lead climbers on Chris Bonington’s epic expedition to the mountain’s immense south-west face.

As darkness fell, Scott and Haston scraped a small cave in the snow 100 metres below the summit and survived the highest bivouac ever – without bottled oxygen, sleeping bags and, as it turned out, frostbite. For Doug Scott, it was the fulfilment of a fortune-teller’s prophecy given to his mother: that her eldest son would be in danger in a high place with the whole world watching.

Scott and Haston returned home national heroes with their image splashed across the front pages. Scott went on to become one of Britain’s greatest ever mountaineers, pioneering new climbs in the remotest corners of the globe. His career spans the golden age of British climbing from the 1960s boom in outdoor adventure to the new wave of lightweight alpinism throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

In Up and About, the first volume of his autobiography, Scott tells his story from his birth in Nottingham during the darkest days of war to the summit of the world. Surviving the unplanned bivouac without oxygen near the summit of Everest widened the range of what and how he would climb in the future. In fact, Scott established more climbs on the high mountains of the world after his ascent of Everest than before. Those climbs will be covered in the second volume of his life and times.

The sport of mountaineering was pioneered 150 years ago by a diverse cross-section of Victorians, following in the footsteps of earlier local explorers who ventured into the upper regions of ice and snow in search of game and minerals. By the early years of the 19th century, a growing interest in the study of geological and glaciological phenomena attracted scientific interest in the origins of the Alps. It was only in the latter half of that century when, by the 1850s, interest in the largly unexplored Alpine peaks began to capture the public imagination, and a sharp increase developed in the numbers of those who tried to scale them. So intense was the level of exploration and achievement that the next decade was labelled the Alpine Golden Age. By the turn of the century the new sport had not only expanded vastly, but had begun to acquire a degree of respectability. The development of new skills and techniques resulted in greater accomplishments, whilst retaining the spirit and traditions of the pioneers. In this book the mountaineer and writer Trevor Braham illustrates aspects of the character and achievements of some of the early Victorian climbers, and their response to the unique attractions of mountaineering. These include Leslie Stephen (the father of Virginia Woolf), Alfred Wills, John Tyndall, Adolphus Warburton Moore, Edward Whymper (the first to conquer the Matterhorn), Albert Frederick Mummery and many more. Trevor Braham's comprehensive history on this period of Alpine mountaineering is essential to any mountaineer's bookshelf.
A New York Times Bestseller

A dramatic, inspiring memoir by legendary rock climber Tommy Caldwell, the first person to free climb the Dawn Wall of Yosemite’s El Capitan   

“The rarest of adventure reads:  it thrills with colorful details of courage and perseverance but it enriches readers with an absolutely captivating glimpse into how a simple yet unwavering resolve can turn adversity into reward.” —The Denver Post

A finalist for the Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature

On January 14, 2015, Tommy Caldwell, along with his partner, Kevin Jorgeson, summited what is widely regarded as the hardest climb in history—Yosemite’s nearly vertical 3,000-foot Dawn Wall, after nineteen days on the route. Caldwell’s odds-defying feat—the subject of the documentary film The Dawn Wall to be released nationwide in September—was the culmination of an entire lifetime of pushing himself to his limits as an athlete.

This engrossing memoir chronicles the journey of a boy with a fanatical mountain-guide father who was determined to instill toughness in his son to a teen whose obsessive nature drove him to the top of the sport-climbing circuit. Caldwell’s affinity for adventure then led him to the vertigo-inducing and little understood world of big wall free climbing. But his evolution as a climber was not without challenges; in his early twenties, he was held hostage by militants in a harrowing ordeal in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan. Soon after, he lost his left index finger in an accident. Later his wife, and main climbing partner, left him. Caldwell emerged from these hardships with a renewed sense of purpose and determination. He set his sights on free climbing El Capitan’s biggest, steepest, blankest face—the Dawn Wall. This epic assault took more than seven years, during which time Caldwell redefined the sport, found love again, and became a father.

The Push is an arresting story of focus, drive, motivation, endurance, and transformation, a book that will appeal to anyone seeking to overcome fear and doubt, cultivate perseverance, turn failure into growth, and find connection with family and with the natural world.
There is no holiday like a mountaineering holiday. For eleven months the mountaineer has sighed for the mountain wind on his cheek, for the lilt of the mountain stream, for the feel of rock in his hand, for the crunch of frozen snow beneath his feet, for the smell of mist and the fragrance of alp and pine forest. 'In his spare moments he has read about mountains, pored over maps, and studied guidebooks. Then comes the day when he inspects his boots, his ice axe, and his rope. He packs his rucksack. He buys his railway ticket. The incredible has become credible. For two weeks, three weeks, or a month he will escape from civilisation and all its works; he is off to the mountains.' In Mountaineering Holiday, Frank Smythe records 'an outstanding Alpine climbing season' - his 1939 summer holiday Writing in his typically engaging style of keen observation, entertaining anecdote and remarkable knack for description, Smythe takes the reader with him on his trip into the Alps. Arriving unfit and out of practice, he gets stuck behind slower climbers and spends rainy days confined to the valleys before making an impressive number of successful ascents and historic climbs: Mont Tondu, the Aiguille de Bionnassay, the Brenva Face - and an ascent of the Innominata Ridge of Mont Blanc. There is a wonderful sense of familiarity about the book. Smythes's experiences and emotions are instantly recognisable by the modern climber, evoking memories of other trips and mountain days. And his examination of our need for mountains and wild places reaches conclusions that strike a chord with everybody who enjoys the great outdoors. Yet this is the 1930s. Mountaineering equipment and technique are in their infancy. Attitudes within climbing are markedly different to those of today and the first ascents of many major routes are still to be claimed. Europe is on the brink of war and fearful of the future. The book's final climb is made with four young Germans - mere days before World War II ...
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