As we are plunged into yet another lockdown, I'm hoping to use my time a little more productively this time around, not least in doing a little more reading. Hoping to read a few more books about the Bonnington-era of British climbing and expeditioning, so the characters of Scott, Haston etc. Any recommendations of must-reads?
The Eiger and In High Places. Also worth reading is The Philosophy of Risk by Jeff Connor which traces the life of Dougal.
Too many but Ascent will cover a great deal
Another good read if you can find a copy is Reinhold Messner and The Seventh Grade!
You might like The Boys of Everest:
It's a bit of a compilation of the Bonington generation and their climbs. It does suffer in that there is a degree of fictionalisation in some of the accounts of climbs, which grates somewhat, but it covers a whole range of expeditions.
You should also read the Tasker-Boardman Omnibus, which collates the published books of Joe Tasker and Pete Boardman. If you're interested in this era of Himalayan climbing, this is pretty much essential.
Try "Fragile Edge" by Maria Coffey, the partner of Joe Tasker. A wonderful, moving account from a different perspective.
Bonington - the obvious one would be 'I chose to climb' but I prefer his follow up 'The next horizon'. Everest South west face is another favourite.
Scott and MacIntyre: The Shishapangma Expedition.
Scott: Up and About.
Bonington's I Chose to Climb is a classic.
and Tasker's Savage Arena is a must.
I was going to post the same, this thread from 2006 might be of interest to anyone thinking of buying it (https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/culture_bunker/the_boys_of_everest-212824 ).
Following that thread I did buy & read the book & found the fictionalised sections rather annoying. But its a good introduction to the various characters even if there own books are more interesting (in my opinion)
The Shining Mountain by Pete Boardman is excellent, part of the BT Omnibus mentioned above.
I read it as a 15 yr old and was blown away - two guys heading out to the greater ranges to attempt an unclimbed route in lightweight style was massively inspiring. After having many climbing adventures of my own and now with kids I read it again last year. Still found it captivating but I couldn't reconcile the risk and commitment that comes with an ascent like that, it just terrified me!
I love Everest The Hard Way... amazing description of Scott and Haston snowholing just below the summit having topped out at dusk.
Thanks for that, just downloaded it
Another vote for savage arena.
also for pleasure, try the ascent of rum doodle
no picnic on mount kenya for a story about what can be achieved in difficult times.
"In Balance" by Peter Gillman is a very interesting book. Really a collection of his newspaper articles and interviews...many from that era of British Climbing ( he covered the Harlin Eiger direct climb in 1966 amongst others) A lot of stuff about Bonington/Scott/ Patey/Crew etc.
Covers from 1966 up to the mid 80's
Hi Hugh. I buy and sell books to raise funds for Community Action Nepal. I’ve got many of these recommendations for sale. The Climb by Anatoli Boukreev is excellent too. Any of Dougs books are good. As are Bonington’s. Ascent is excellent
I quite often put some up for sale. Feel free to ask ? I’ve hardbacks/paperbacks/collectors items and signed and unsigned! I just love books!
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