Killing Dragons: The Conquest of the Alps

Open Road + Grove/Atlantic
2
Free sample

A “dramatic and masterful” account of early alpine explorers and the challenges they faced to scale the summits (Anthony Brandt, National Geographic Adventure).
 
In a riveting narrative of daredevils and eccentrics, Fergus Fleming gives us the breathtaking story of some of history’s greatest explorers as they conquer the soaring peaks of the Alps. Fleming recounts the incredible exploits of the men whose centuries-old fear of the mountain range turned quickly to curiosity, then to obsession, as they explored Europe’s frozen wilderness. In the late eighteenth century, French and Swiss scientists became interested in the Alps as a research destination, but in the 1850s the focus changed: the icy mountains now offered an all-out competition for British climbers who wanted to conquer ever higher and more impossible heights, and explorers fought each other on the peaks and in the press, entertaining a vast public smitten with their bravery, delighted by their personal animosities, and horrified by the disasters that befell them.
 
“Fleming attacks his theme with verve, mining entertainment from eccentric Alpinists, sensational ascents and grisly accidents.” —Food and Travel Magazine
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About the author

Fergus Fleming was born in 1959 and studied at Oxford University and City University. He was a writer and editor at Time Life Books for six years before becoming a freelance writer in 1991.
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4.5
2 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road + Grove/Atlantic
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Published on
Dec 1, 2007
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Pages
416
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ISBN
9780802197542
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Expeditions & Discoveries
Sports & Recreation / Mountaineering
Travel / Special Interest / Adventure
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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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.
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