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Mountain Literature Classics: A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush

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In the mid 20th Century it wasn't real travel, says Ronald Turnbull, without danger, extreme discomfort, and exotic diseases. There's plenty of all three in this self-mocking but entirely introspection-free tale of amateur mountaineering.

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 profitofdoom 03 Oct 2022
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

Nice article, thanks

I read the book a couple of times years ago (I owned a copy but have somehow lost it). I highly recommend it

 Eam1 03 Oct 2022
In reply to profitofdoom:

Second that, great book 

 Qwertilot 03 Oct 2022
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

As are his other books - Newby really was good at finding ways to suffer

In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

I could have sworn they got taken up Ivy Sepulchre by way of preparation. What am I remembering, I wonder?

jcm

 profitofdoom 04 Oct 2022
In reply to Eam1:

You have to laugh, though (not at them, but with pleasure and admiration at the whole thing) about seconding Spiral Stairs (VD) as training for a 5809 metre peak in Afghanistan 

Post edited at 09:30
 felt 04 Oct 2022
In reply to profitofdoom:

The guy was quite nerveless. I've just finished his The Last Grain Race and as a teen he was shinning up to the top of these masts at sea in gale force winds.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moshulu#/media/File:Moshulu.jpg

 flaneur 04 Oct 2022
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> I could have sworn they got taken up Ivy Sepulchre by way of preparation. What am I remembering, I wonder?

My copy of A Short Walk is buried in a box somewhere but that's what Wikipedia says so you must be correct.

In which case, who were the PyG waitresses? Leading Ivy Sepulchre (E1 5b) in 1956 - one of the hardest routes in Wales at the time - was a jolly good effort as Newby might have said. 

 profitofdoom 04 Oct 2022
In reply to felt:

> The guy was quite nerveless. I've just finished his The Last Grain Race and as a teen he was shinning up to the top of these masts at sea in gale force winds.

The Last Grain Race - I'd forgotten that - thanks for the reminder

 mike123 04 Oct 2022
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles: nice to be reminded of my favourite book of any genre . I found it on the shelf of an Appartment in the alps whilst snow bound . Passed the time nicely and got be fired up for adventure .

 Siward 04 Oct 2022
In reply to mike123:

Ditto. One of my desert island books.

Can you travel Nuristan June? 

 Stichtplate 04 Oct 2022
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

Loved the bit where they ran into Wilfred Thessiger in the middle of nowhere and found themselves roundly mocked

In reply to Stichtplate:

Is that the bit where he calls them a couple of pansies? I’d forgotten that was ASWITHK.

jcm

 Stichtplate 05 Oct 2022
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> Is that the bit where he calls them a couple of pansies? I’d forgotten that was ASWITHK.

> jcm

Yep, due to them kipping on air mattresses I think (quite a few years since I read It).

In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

typo ... bmc exped was 2012 not 2021 which would have been more exciting just getting there !

 elliptic 05 Oct 2022
In reply to flaneur:

> My copy of A Short Walk is buried in a box somewhere but that's what Wikipedia says so you must be correct.

> In which case, who were the PyG waitresses? Leading Ivy Sepulchre (E1 5b) in 1956 - one of the hardest routes in Wales at the time - was a jolly good effort as Newby might have said. 

I've had a look to check and I think wikipedia is wrong - it was Spiral Stairs, but when they got there another party was already on it and the waitresses offered / joked / threatened to take them up Ivy Sepulchre instead (to Newby's horror).

The book doesn't then state explicitly which one they actually did (hence the confusion) but it seems clear enough to me it was Spiral Stairs after waiting for the other team.

 Sean Kelly 06 Oct 2022
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

I must have read this book shortly after it was first published, and enjoyed it immensely. It is no surprise that it has become a classic of travel literature.

Oh and Ivy Sep had a peg for aid, certainly when I repeated it in the 60s. Standard HVS.

Post edited at 15:34
 Cusco 06 Oct 2022
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

I remember finding the first part highly enjoyable but for me it sort of tailed off with the account of the climb, notwithstanding the final encounter with Thesiger after. Must read it again though. 

 toad 06 Oct 2022
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

On a similar (but earlier) note, Mission to Tashkent is interesting for an adventure in the Great Game

In reply to Sean Kelly:

> Oh and Ivy Sep had a peg for aid, certainly when I repeated it in the 60s. Standard HVS.

Two pegs, actually, in the 60s (as per Roscoe guidebook), as I did it in 1969. I repeated it in 1983 at E1 5b - pegs long since gone - and it was about 10 times better: a thrilling dynamic move round the overhang using an undercut.


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