lamdha books -
Catalogue of books on caving and mountaineering

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Bonington, Chris
Everest the Hard Way The First Ascent of the South West Face
Hodder & Stoughton Ltd., London, 1976.
First edition: quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine titles and illustrated endpapers; 238pp., with maps and many full-colour illustrations. Moderate wear; binding slightly cocked; spine extremities mildly softened; sticker ghost to the front endpaper; owner's name stamp; board edges slightly faded; mild browning to text block edges. Wear to dustwrapper edges and slight chipping on head and tail of spine panel; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film with white paper backing. Very good. When Chris Bonington and his team set out in August 1975 to climb the South West face of Everest they were attempting the ultimate challenge of mountaineering - to conquer the steepest and highest face in the world. Two months later, overcoming daunting physical conditions and massive psychological pressures, the lead climbers scaled 1000 sheer feet of the previously unconquered Rock Band to reach the summit - the hard way. Drawing on first-hand accounts of his fellow climbers, Chris Bonington portrays the tensions, emotions and, on one occasion, bitter personal tragedy behind one of the most spectacular ascents in the history of climbing.
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Breashears, David, and Audrey Salkeld
Last Climb The Legendary Everest Expedition of George Mallory
National Geographic, Washington D.C., 1999.
Quarto; hardcover, quarter-bound in papered boards with gilt spine-titling; 240pp., with many monochrome and colour illustrations. Mild wear to dustwrapper edges. Near fine. Even after the discovery of his body beneath Mt. Everest in 1999, no-one was really sure whether George Mallory and his climbing partner, Andrew Irvine, had died while en route to the summit, or whilst returning from having conquered the mountain. In this book, the authors examine the evidence, tracing the trail of Mallory and Irvine through their three previous assaults on the Roof of the World, and weighing the probable evidence. While Sherpa Tenzing and Sir Edmund Hilary are safe with their record of being the first recorded climbers of Everest, the authors make a bold hypothesis in favour of Mallory and Irvine having gotten there - undocumented - before them and sift the evidence in this fascinating forensic examination of that fateful last climb.
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Cameron, Ian
Mountains of the Gods The Himalaya and the Mountains of Central Asia
Century Publishing, London, 1984.
Hardcover, quarto; red boards with silver gilt spine titling; 248pp., colour and monochrome illustrations. Minor wear; wear to board edges and corners bumped; text block edges mildly toned and spotted; spine extremities of dustwrapper a little worn and chipped and some spotting to edges of inner flaps, rubbing. Very good otherwise. Wrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Rearing nearly five miles into the skies, the Himalaya are the most magnificent range on earth. Yet they are only part of an even greater mountain complex which includes the Hindu Kush, Karakoram, Pamirs, Tien Shan and Kun Lun. Mountains of the Gods tells the story of this whole complex from its formation to its present day. It begins with an explanation of how the mountains were formed as, millions of years ago, the Indian subcontinent collided with the belly of Asia. It describes their settlement by early man and how - long before the birth of Christ - they were explored by Hindu pilgrims who discovered the source of the Indus and Ganges. Ian Cameron goes on to tell of how the mountains were penetrated by a succession of invading armies from the troops of Alexander the Great to those of the Soviet Union, and how their secrets were slowly and often painfully unveiled by traders, explorers, spies, surveyors, scientists and climbers facing heights and difficulties far greater than anywhere else on earth. As well as recounting the story of such well-known figures as Marco Polo, Hillary and Tenzing, Cameron also brings to life the exploits of many lesser known explorers like the formidable Fanny Bulloch Workman who scaled the glaciers of the Karakoram carrying a placard demanding votes for women. Superbly illustrated with paintings and photographs drawn largely from the archives of the Royal Geographical Society, Mountains of the Gods is a story of endurance and achievement on a heroic scale and a timely warning of what future generations stand to lose if we do not conserve this threatened paradise.
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Craig, David
Native Stones: A Book About Climbing
Secker & Warburg, London, 1987.
First edition. Hardcover, octavo; blue boards with gilt spine titling; 212pp., monochrome plates. Minor wear; a few spots on endpapers; spotting to text block edges. Black illustrated dustwrapper mildly rubbed. Otherwise very good to near fine in wrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. David Craig describes his experiences of 'the utterly exhilarating and absorbing pursuit - the climbing of steep rock'. From the Cairngorms to the Dolomites, the highlands of Cumbria to the sea-cliffs of Cornwall and North Wales, he has tested his nerve and balance on the crags, discovering an intensity of experience and self-awareness that few other activities can offer.
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Dunkley, John, Andy Spate & Bruce Welch (Alan Pryke & Geoff Kell, illus.)
Wee Jasper Caves - signed New South Wales Australia
Australian Speleological Federation Inc., Broadway NSW, 2010.
Landscape octavo; paperback; 64pp., with maps and many monochrome and full-colour illustrations. Minor wear; covers lightly rubbed; signed in ink to the title page by the three authors. Near fine.
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Ellis, Ross, (eds.)
Caves and Karst of Wombeyan Sydney Speleological Society Occasional paper No.13
The Sydney Speleological Society, Sydney NSW, 2007.
Quarto; paperback; 211pp., with many full-colour and monochrome illustrations. Bookplate on front endpaper. Mild wear; covers mildly rubbed and edgeworn with one or two spots on the text block edges; a chip to the spine heel. Very good.
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Firstbrook, Peter
Lost on Everest The Search for Mallory & Irvine
BBC Worldwide Ltd., London, 1999.
First edition. Hardcover, octavo, 224pp., monochrome illustrations. Faint spotting to upper text block edge and minor edgewear to dustwrapper (now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film). Very good to near fine. BBC film producer Firstbrook was a member of the 1999 expedition that discovered climber George Mallory's body on Mount Everest. His account of the BBC-sponsored expedition and of the famous 1924 attempt by Mallory and Andrew Irvine to scale Everest is a marvelous blend of adventure, history, geopolitics and biography. Firstbrook is also a natural storyteller. His beautifully paced narrative swoops back to the geologic birth of Everest and the Himalaya range about 70 million years ago, a process that continues today as the Himalayas grow by as much as one inch per year. He edifyingly sets the British love affair with Everest within the context of the 'Great Game,' as Britain, Russia and China scrambled for influence in Central Asia in the 19th century. Firstbrook gradually builds up to stirring accounts of three expeditions: Mallory's 1921 reconnaissance survey of Everest, when British climbers found giant footprints in the snow identified as those of yeti or Bigfoot; Mallory's 1922 attempt on the summit, during which an avalanche killed seven of his porters; and the 1924 expedition in which Mallory and Irvine vanished. Unlike the authors of Ghosts of Everest, Firstbrook believes that only Mallory plunged to his death when the rope tying him to Irvine snapped; in this scenario, Irvine died a short time later from exposure. Firstbrook concludes that it is still not possible to determine whether Mallory and Irvine succeeded in reaching Everest's summit. As Firstbrook tells it, Mallory's story is a very moving tale of aspiration, courage, determination and a desire to leave one's mark. - from Publishers Weekly
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Green M.A., William Spotswood
The High Alps of New Zealand or, A Trip to the Glaciers of the Antipodes with an Ascent of Mount Cook
Macmillan & Co., London, 1883.
Octavo; hardcover, full-calf, with gilt spine-title on a red morocco label, gilt spine decorations in compartments between five raised bands, a gilt upper board decoration with gilt rules and dentelles on both boards, and marbled endpapers; 350pp., edges marbled, with an engraved frontispiece (with tissue guard) with four maps, one folding. Some rubbing to the boards and spine extremities; top corners bumped; mild foxing to the preliminaries; previous owner's pencil inscription to the first blank page. Very good. The High Alps of New Zealand is Irish mountaineer William Spotswood Green's account of his climbing expedition in the Southern Alps and, specifically, his attempt to climb Mount Cook, the highest peak in New Zealand. Although he was ultimately unsuccessful, Green came within sixty meters of the summit and remained the highest point achieved on Mt. Cook until its first ascension in 1894. In addition to his account of the Southern Alps, Green touches on his Australian climbs, and provides appendices for both novice and experienced climbers.
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Halbert, Erik & Ross Ellis
Sandstone Caves of Mount Victoria People, Tracks, History, Access, Maps & Mystery
Sydney Speleological Society, Broadway, NSW, Australia, 2012.
Quarto; spiral-bound paperback; 180pp., monochrome illustrations & maps. New. "What immediately springs to mind when most people hear the word 'cave', is Jenolan, and rightly so as it is one of Australia's iconic cave systems. However, what most people do not realise, is that not all caves are of limestone origin and that our sandstone caves and overhangs, while not as famous and elaborate, are more prolific across a wider expanse of the Blue Mountains. It is our sandstone caves which have played a pivotal role in Aboriginal occupation and in recent times as a haven to bushwalkers and rock climbers for rest and shelter" (Brian Fox). The authors focus on those in the Mount Victoria area, researching and recording in detail not just the physical details but also the history and usage of the caves.
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Hall, Lincoln
Blood on the Lotus - signed
Simon & Schuster, Brookvale, 1990.
Octavo hardcover; blue boards with white upper board and spine titling; 316pp. Inscribed in ink to the owner by the author. Wear and scraping to board edges and corners; one or two spots on endpaper edges; browned and spotted text block and page edges. Illustrated blue dustwrapper sunned along the spine panel with wear to edges and corners. Very good with wrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. This is a novel about the involvement of an American mountaineer, a CIA agent and a Tibetan Buddhist monk in the struggle to free Tibet from Chinese oppression in the early '70s. The author is himself a noted mountaineer who has written several books on the subject.
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Hall, Lincoln
Dead Lucky - signed Life After Death on Mount Everest
Random House (Aust.) Pty. Ltd., North Sydney NSW, 2007.
Octavo; paperback; 421pp. (+ 4pp. of adverts), with maps and 16pp. of full-colour plates. Moderate wear; covers rubbed and edgeworn with some creasing; spine creased; spotting to the text block edges; spotting to the preliminaries; signed with a dedication in ink to the title page. Good to very good. Lincoln Hall likes to say that on the evening of May 25, 2006, he died on Everest. Indeed, Hall attempted to climb the mountain during a deadly season in which eleven people perished. And he was, in fact, pronounced dead, after collapsing from altitude sickness. Two Sherpas spent hours trying to revive him, but as darkness fell, word came via radio from the expedition's leader that they should descend in order to save themselves. The news of Hall's death traveled rapidly from mountaineering websites to news media around the world, and ultimately to his family back in Australia. Early the next morning, however, an American guide, climbing with two clients and a Sherpa, was startled to find Hall sitting cross-legged on a sharp crest of the summit ridge. In this page-turning account of survival against all odds, Hall chronicles in fascinating detail the days and nights that led up to his fateful night in Mount Everest's death zone. His story is all the more miraculous given his climbing history. Hall had been part of Australia's first attempt to reach the top of Everest in 1984 but had not done any major climbing for many years, having set aside his passion in order to support his family. While others in the team achieved their dream during this 1984 expedition, Hall was forced to turn back due to illness. Thus, his triumph in reaching the summit at the age of fifty is a story unto itself. So, too, is Hall's description of his family's experience back in Australia, as sudden grief turned to relief and joy in a matter of hours. Rarely has there been such a thrilling narrative of one man's encounter with the world's tallest mountain.
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Hall, Lincoln
First Ascent The Life and Climbs of Greg Mortimer
Simon & Schuster, East Roseville, 1996.
Octavo paperback; 254pp., b&w plates. Moderate wear; toning and spotting to text block and page edges; wear to cover edges and corners. Very good. Greg Mortimer is an Australian mountaineer and was one of the first two Australians to successfully climb Mount Everest, on 3 October 1984. Their ascent, without supplemental oxygen, was the first via the North Face and Norton Couloir. He has otherwise climbed Antarctica's highest peak, Vinson Massif, as well as Mount Minto in the Admiralty Mountains of Antarctica and, with Greg Child, was one of the first two Australians to climb K2.
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Hall, Lincoln (Jonathan Chester, illus.)
The Loneliest Mountain The Dramatic Story of the First Expedition to Climb Mt. Minto, Antarctica
Simon & Schuster Australia, Brookvale NSW, 1989.
Quarto; hardcover; 232pp., with many full-colour illustrations. Mild wear; spine heel lightly softened; mild dusting to the text block top edge; mild insect damage to the top corner of the upper board; previous owner's name in ink to the flyleaf. Dustwrapper lightly rubbed and edgeworn; spotted on the verso; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. The Loneliest Mountain is an enthralling account of the courage and triumph of six intrepid individuals who embark on an epic journey to and across 'the last wilderness on earth'. In 1988 a party of six Australian mountaineers set sail for Mount Minto the tallest mountain into the Admiralty Range 150 kilometres deep in the Antarctic Interior. Plagued by disasters that lost them weeks of time, threatened with being trapped in the frozen Ross Sea, but filming all the while, the six pushed on till they reached their goal. A blizzard prevented their first attempt at the climb, with only one day's food remaining, they tried again and succeeded. But then they had to get back to the ship...
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Middleton, Gregory J.
Oliver Trickett - Doyen of Australia's Cave Surveyors Sydney Speleological Society Occasional paper No.10
The Sydney Speleological Society, Sydney NSW, 1991.
Quarto; paperback; 156pp., with two folding colour maps, many other maps and monochrome illustrations and a separate folding map in a pocket tipped-in to the inside rear cover. Mild wear; covers rubbed and scuffed with some marks; text block slightly bent. Good to very good. Trickett was Yorkshire born. He came to Australia when he was about 15. He was appointed clerk in the Office of Mines. After qualifying as a surveyor he moved to New South Wales where he became interested in the limestone caves. To assist in surveying them, he designed an adaptation of the plane table to be used in conjunction with the theodolite. In addition, he gave advice on protecting the caves' formations and on improving them for tourists. An untiring worker in both field and office, Trickett - though of a retiring disposition - was well-known to tourists all over the State as the genial 'cave man'. His speleological work was fundamental to the scientific study of Australian karst topography.
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Neale, Jonathan
Tigers of the Snow How One Fateful Climb Made the Sherpas Mountaineering Legends
Little Brown, London, 2002.
Octavo hardcover; blue boards with gilt spine titling, blue endpapers; 338pp., colour and monochrome plates. Toned text block and page edges. Very good to near fine in like dustwrapper. "By turns contemplative and dramatic, Anglo-American novelist Neale tells the story of Sherpa involvement in European climbs in the Himalayas, focusing on the disastrous German attempt on Nanga Parbat in 1934. Out of the valleys of Khumbu south to Solu come the Sherpas, who have made their living for generations carrying loads over the high mountain passes for trade into Tibet. As Europeans started eyeing the great 20,000-footers in the Himalayas, they naturally chose Sherpas to assist in these climbs. Since these first European mountaineers were upper-crust men lugging the ideological baggage of their class - 'challenge, instinctive, man, desire, conquer' are its watchwords, according to Neale - it's unsurprising that they treated the Sherpas with less respect than they deserved. Though the Sherpas climbed for money and fame just like the Europeans, they were treated as second-class citizens on the mountains and often left to their own devices in a pinch, whereas they came to the aid of all failing Europeans. The evolution of this relationship is what intrigues Neale, who traces it in a comfortably conversational tone that suits a narrative containing many talks with Sherpas, including one who was a member of the 1934 German climb. That drive on Nanga Parbat, fuelled by ignorance of high-altitude conditions and Nazi political ambitions, in Neale's view defined the Sherpas' will at great heights and made them think twice about future exploits with Europeans. Not until the arrival in the Himalayas of professional Alpine and American guides, themselves unapologetic workingmen, did the Sherpas start to get a measure of respect and equality. Today they still struggle for that respect and still wonder at the motivations of many European climbers. The kind of thoughtful and informed portrait that the Sherpas richly deserve." - Kirkus
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Noyce, Wilfrid
South Col One Man's Adventure on the Ascent of Everest, 1953
William Heinemann, Melbourne Vic., 1954.
First edition. Hardcover, octavo; blue boards with gilt spine titling, illustrated brown endpapers, top edges dyed dark blue; 303pp., monochrome plates. Some light offsetting to front board with mild wear to edges and corners; foxing to prelims and title page with browning and spotting to text block edges. Lightly foxed illustrated dustwrapper with tiny missing segments at spine extremities and corners and mildly browned spine. Very good. "Unlike most of his companions, Wilfrid Noyce was ever recording his thoughts as they came to him, day by day almost hour by hour. My most vivid memory of him was his patient perseverance in the writing of his journal. As we walked towards Everest through the green foreground of Nepal, he was ever at it, in the tent while we chattered, or the shade of some boulder or bush. While Charles Evans sketched and others photographed the events upon the stage of our adventure and its great backcloth of mountains, he was storing it up in his notebook; while some chased butterflies, beetles or grasshoppers, he was capturing some impression as it flitted through his mind. And he continued to make his notes in the Icefall, the Western Cwm, on the Face of Lhotse, upon the South Col itself. South Col is the product of all that labour. In it we can follow again the story of Everest in 1953, but we see it afresh through the eyes of one who is not only a great mountaineer, but whose attitude to the mountains is that of a poet... To Wilfrid, Everest appeared neither as friend nor foe. The spirit of the mountain seemed to him to be supremely aloof from our struggles, sure in the knowledge that our footsteps would be effaced overnight, indifferent to the brief triumph which left the mountain unscathed. Perhaps he is right: such concepts are playthings of the mind. But I fancy it is in this sphere that the ascent of Everest will endure. Wilfrid Noyce who contributed greatly to our physical achievement, has now made a further contribution, no less fine, to the story of Everest." - John Hunt
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Ralston, Basil
Jenolan The Golden Ages of Caving
Three Sisters Publications Pty. Ltd., Winmalee NSW, 1989.
Quarto; stapled paperback; 64pp., with maps and monochrome illustrations. Very minor wear only; near fine.
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Ralston, Basil
The Men of Jenolan Caves: third revised edition 1838-1964
Sydney Speleological Society, Broadway, NSW, Australia, 2010.
Quarto; paperback; 82pp., with many maps and monochrome illustrations. New. This is the story of the men who explored, guided and helped with the development of the Jenolan Caves in the Blue Mountains. Officially discovered in 1838, some question remains as to whether this complex of limestone caverns was encountered by earlier European visitors with the distinct possibility that it may have served as a hideout for bushrangers. Of course, indigenous explorers have known about the caves for a longer period than that, but this is not the scope of the present work: rather, it looks at the custodial and exploratory services rendered by scientific and community-minded individuals who took upon themselves the task of mapping, examining and preserving the complex for the benefit of all comers. Basil Ralston was uniquely able to provide this perspective as a long-time guide, conservator and explorer of the caves. Within these pages are many photographs and reproduced documents revealing everything from great moments of discovery to the tourist paraphernalia generated by the site over the years. This revised third edition expands the older versions with new scientific material and more photographs, some never before published.
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Rowell, Galen
Many People Come, Looking, Looking
George Allen & Unwin Ltd., London, 1980.
Quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine-titling and black endpapers; 164pp., with many full-colour photographic illustrations. Mild wear; boards lightly sunned along the top and bottom edges. Dustwrapper mildly rubbed (now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film). Very good to near fine. After half a century of assisting Everest expeditions and watching tens of thousands of trekkers file past his home at a remote monastery near the peak, Dawa Tenzing remarked, 'Many people come, looking, looking, taking picture. Too many people. No good ... Some people come, see. Good!' Galen Rowell takes this thought as his theme and traces the sudden changes in the lives of the Himalayan peoples brought about by the opening of their lands to foreign visitors. The result - much of their traditional way of life has passed away in a single generation. Yet each area is unique: the mountain life of India and Nepal is different from Pakistan, and wildlife and ancient traditions often flourished where least expected. Once protected by their inaccessibility from the modern world, some of the most peaceful and beautiful places in the world are being impacted by such influences.
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Rutledge, Jodie & Garry K. Smith & Meredith Brainwood & Andrew C. Baker (eds.)
Timor Caves Hunter Valley, New South Wales
Newcastle & Hunter Valley Speleological Society, Broadmeadows, 2008.
Quarto paperback; 104pp., colour plates and b&w maps and diagrams. A few tiny bumps on spine, crease on rear panel and mild wear to edges. Very good to near fine.
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Scott, Doug & Alex MacIntyre
The Shishapangma Expedition: signed copy
Granada, London, 1984.
Octavo hardcover; gray boards with silver gilt spine titling, blue endpapers; 322pp., b&w photographic illustrations. Inscribed to the owner by Doug Scott on the title page. Minor wear only; faint spotting to text block edges and a few scattered spots on title page; dustwrapper sunned along the spine panel and adjacent, now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good to near fine. "This largely unknown, elusive, barely pronounceable mountain of uncertain altitude boasts on its southern flanks a huge spectacular, visually formidable (and consequently tantalizingly attractive) mountain wall over two and a half kilometres high and twice as broad - an unclimbed, unvisited Alpine playground. To climb it became an ambition, but not just to climb it, we had to make the ascent with style, as light, as fast, as uncluttered as we dared, free from umbilical cords and logistics, with none of the traditional trappings of a Himalayan climb. The wall was the ambition, the style became the obsession." - Alex MacIntyre
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Shipton, Eric
The Six Mountain-Travel Books: Nanda Devi; Blank on the Map; Upon That Mountain; Mountains of Tartary; Mt. Everest Reconnaissance Expedition 1951; Land of Tempest
Baton Wicks, London, 1999.
Octavo hardcover; dark red boards with gilt spine titling; 800pp., b&w plates. Minor wear only; very good to near fine in like dustwrapper. Eric Shipton's first encounter with mountains was at 15 when he visited the Pyrenees with his family. Within a year he had begun climbing seriously. In 1928 he went to Kenya as a coffee grower where he met his future climbing partners Bill Tilman and Percy Wyn-Harris. With Frank Smythe, Shipton was amongst the first climbers to stand on the summit of Kamet, 7756 metres, in 1931, the highest peak climbed at that time. Shipton was involved with most of the Mount Everest expeditions during the 1930s and later, including Hugh Ruttledge's 1933 Mount Everest expedition and the follow-up in 1936, the 1935 Mount Everest expedition which was Shipton's first as leader and the first for Tenzing Norgay, and the pioneering 1951 Mount Everest expedition which chalked out the now famous route over the Khumbu Glacier. On that expedition Shipton and Dr Michael Ward also took the photographs of the footprints of what may have been the Yeti (Abominable Snowman), an ice axe being included in the photographs to show scale. Because of his belief in the efficacy of small expeditions as compared to military-style 'sieges', Shipton was stepped down from the leadership of the 1953 Everest expedition in favour of Major John Hunt.
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Shirakawa, Yoshikazu (illus.); Arnold Toynbee (preface); Sir Edmund Hillary (introduction)
Abradale Press / Harry Abrams, New York, 1986.
Folio hardcover; white cloth boards with black spine titling; unpaginated with colour and monochrome illustrations, many fold-out plates and fold-out maps at rear. Small bump on head of spine. Minor wear otherwise; near fine in like dustwrapper. Yoshikazu Shirakawa spent four hazardous and adventure-packed years photographing the Himalayas. In exquisite and dramatic full-page and double-page photographs, he shows us the extraordinarily diverse effects of light at different times of day and the highly varied terrain. We see the subtle colours of dawn, sunset and twilight; the brilliance of noon; the clouds, mists, blizzards and thunderstorms swirling around the peaks; mountain lakes set like jewels in rocky valleys; snow and ice glittering like crystals; unusually green and fertile valleys. The book is divided into four parts, each devoted to a major sector of the mountains: the Nepal, Punjab, and Sikkim Himalayas, and the Hindu Kush range. An essay by Kyuya Fukada discusses the geological evolution, history and people of the Himalayas.
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Simpson, Joe
The Beckoning Silence
Jonathan Cape, London, 2002.
Hardcover, octavo; black boards with silver gilt spine titling, pictorial endpapers; 290pp., colour & b&w illustrations. Minor wear; well-browned and mildly spotted text block edges. Very good in like dustwrapper; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Joe Simpson has experienced a life filled with adventure but marred by death. He has endured the painful attrition of climbing friends in accidents, calling into question the perilously exhilarating activity to which he has devoted his life. Probability is inexorably closing in. The tragic loss of a close friend forces a momentous decision upon him. It is time to turn his back on the mountains that he has loved. Never more alive than when most at risk, he has come to see a last climb on the hooded, mile-high North Face of the Eiger as the cathartic finale. In a narrative which takes the reader through extreme experiences, from an avalanche in Bolivia, ice-climbing in the Alps and Colorado and paragliding in Spain - before his final confrontation with the Eiger - Simpson reveals the inner truth of climbing, exploring both the power of the mind and the frailties of the body. The subject of his book is the siren song of fear and his struggle to come to terms with it.
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Smythe, Frank
The Six Alpine/Himalayan Climbing Books Climbs and Ski Runs; The Kangchenjunga Adventure; Kamet Conquered; Camp Six; The Valley of the Flowers; Mountaineering Holiday
Baton Wicks, London, 2000.
Thick octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine-titling; 944pp. with 56pp. of monochrome and full-colour photographic plates. Slightly rolled; some minor scuffing to the text block top edge. Dustwrapper shows minor wear; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. Francis Sydney Smythe, better known as Frank Smythe or F. S. Smythe was an English mountaineer, author, photographer and botanist. He is best remembered for his mountaineering in the Alps as well as in the Himalayas, where he identified a region that he named the "Valley of Flowers", now a protected park. His ascents include two new routes on the Brenva Face of Mont Blanc, Kamet, and attempts on Kangchenjunga and Mount Everest in the 1930s. It was said that he had a tendency for irascibility, something some of his mountaineering contemporaries said "decreased with altitude"
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Tilman, H.W.
The Seven Mountain-Travel Books
Baton Wicks, London, 2003.
Octavo; gate-fold paperback; 896pp., monochrome plates. Minor wear; binding slightly cocked; a few scattered spots on text block edges and spine panel very slightly sunned. Very good. According to David Roberts, H.W. Tilman was "the best expedition writer, just as he was arguably the century's best explorer-mountaineer, whittling his whole life to a sunny vagabondage that held him in its thrall even as he sailed off into the Antarctic Ocean in his eightieth year." More prosaically, Tilman was a coffee planter turned adventurer who climbed extensively in Africa and the Himalaya; he also served in both World Wars. In 1934, Tilman and Eric Shipton pioneered a route to Nanda Devi's 'Inner Sanctuary.' This was followed, in 1936, by a first ascent by Tilman and N. E. Odell of Nanda Devi, reputedly the most outstanding mountaineering success of the pre-Second World War era. Tilman was next was appointed the leader of the 1938 (British) Everest Expedition, on which he reached more than 27,000 feet (without supplementary oxygen). His Everest expedition was marked by the small size and close-knit quality of the participants, the Shipton/Tilman belief being that "any worthwhile expedition can be planned on the back of an envelope."
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Ullman, James Ramsay
The Age of Mountaineering An account of the world's great mountains and of the men who climbed them; with a chapter on British Mountains by W.H. Murray
Collins, London, 1956.
Octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine-titling and endpaper maps; 384pp. with diagrams and many monochrome plates. Slightly rolled; text block edges mildly toned and spotted. Price-clipped dustwrapper is rubbed and mildly edgeworn. Very good. American writer and mountaineer, Ullman was not a "high end" climber, but his writing made him an honorary member of that circle. Most of his books were about mountaineering and include Banner in the Sky, based on the true story of the first climbing of the Matterhorn, and The White Tower. He also was the ghost writer for Tenzing Norgay's 1955 autobiography Man of Everest (originally published as Tiger of the Snows).
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Unsworth, Walt
Everest The Mountaineering History
Mountaineers, Seattle, 2001.
Third edition. Hardcover, octavo; blue boards with gilt spine titling; 799pp., monochrome plates. Mild rubbing to dustwrapper. Near fine otherwise. Everest: The Mountaineering History is more than a catalogue of daring events by brave men. It seeks to explain why success or failure came about. It shows how mountaineers have overcome storms and high altitude as well as the human condition. For even in an era when big money, commercial guiding, and changing attitudes have had a profound effect on events, there have also been grand displays of the highest principles of mountain tradition.
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