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ARTICLE: What's on Your Bookshelf? #2

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 UKC Articles 17 Feb 2021
What's on Your Bookshelf #2

In our second What's on Your Bookshelf, Robert Durran lets us peruse his shelves of old, new, rare and valuable books. From private accounts of early alpine ascents to pre-war first editions, Robert's collection is undoubtedly unique.



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 chrishedgehog 17 Feb 2021

Lovely article. Got me thinking: If the Ken Wilson quartet were to sprout a fifth incarnation in the form of Hard Extremely Very Severe Rock (E9+), or something like that, I’m fairly confident that I could buy it, stack all five on top of one another and finally crack ‘Desert Island Arête’.

 alan moore 17 Feb 2021
In reply to UKC Articles:

Got some impressive rarities there Robert!

In reply to alan moore:

> Got some impressive rarities there Robert!

You are always welcome to borrow

 Grahame N 18 Feb 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

Got to agree with you about Campbell's obituary of Dougal Haston. Must be one of the most emotive pieces of writing ever written in a mountaineering context.

It can be found on page 209 of the 1977 (no. 168) SMC Journal -  https://www.smc.org.uk/journal/downloads   although the link doesnt work for me as I think its too big a file.

Post edited at 20:59
In reply to Grahame N:

What a really nice guy he was too. I was very fortunate to get to know him quite well about 40 years ago. We worked together quite closely - but I can't for the life of me remember what on. I would have to do some deep historic delving.

In reply to Grahame N:

> Got to agree with you about Campbell's obituary of Dougal Haston. Must be one of the most emotive pieces of writing ever written in a mountaineering context.

I think it is the fact that it is so directly and uncompromisingly addressed to his contemporaries in Scotland - it is hard to imagine the impact it must have had on them.

> It can be found on page 209 of the 1977 (no. 168) SMC Journal -  https://www.smc.org.uk/journal/downloads   although the link doesnt work for me as I think its too big a file.

The link doesn't work for me either and I can't find it elsewhere online unfortunately.

In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> What a really nice guy he was too. I was very fortunate to get to know him quite well about 40 years ago. We worked together quite closely - but I can't for the life of me remember what on. I would have to do some deep historic delving.

A short film here:

https://www.ukclimbing.com/news/2015/05/robin_campbell_-_a_portrait-69752

In reply to Robert Durran:

Thanks, Robert. Of course he was many years younger than that when I knew him. I remember him mostly for being a tremendous laugh (and also very knowledgeable with whatever the piece of mteering history it was that we were involved with.)

 RedWing 19 Feb 2021
In reply to UKC Articles:

If people want to read Campbell's obituary for Haston, here it is.

                    DOUGAL HASTON - CUMHA DUGHALL

So, mighty Haston, the painter of Lagangarbh, has gone now, too: killed in

some meaningless ski-ing accident. It's worst when they die abroad.

Remember the aching disbelief when Smith went, the dreams from which

you couldn't bear to wake, the feeling that you'd turn a corner, somewhere

near the High Street, and there he would be – tatty raincoat, grinning

suedes, wicked schoolboy smile – and the feeling that came after?

  At least they found Haston’s body and somebody, Moriarty, saw him

buried. You thought it didn't matter about Haston – he'd none of the

innocence of Smith, he'd been away from the High Street too long, he’d spent

too much time with the worshippers of money and fame - but then you saw

the newsreel of Moriarty carrying the coffin through the nnow and then it

mattered. The indomitable giant, his great head bowed, shuffling up through

the drifts with the front end of the stretcher and the black coffin swaying past

the camera made you crack.

  Now you wish you'd gone, don't you? You wish you'd mortgaged your

meaningless house a bit more and gone. Well, it's too late. Sometime soon

you'll be walking in the City and there he'll be – loping along in his big boots,

long hands slotted in pockets, ahoulders hunched, the big wolf grin and the

North Wall eyes, ready for anything. But he won't really, will he?

  You remember that time when you both hitched to the Ben, you got there

first and he had the key? You kipped in the shithouse, threw the Elsan

outside and cursed him. Four o'clock in the morning, a big blue shiny

morning, the door burst open and there he was, stripped to the waist cracking

that huge grin and waving the key in front of you. Or that other time when

you stood all the way from Paris in a train to Chamonix, stumbled out of the

station and didn't know a soul? You turned a corner and he was coming

towards you like a golden greyhound, sunglassed and sandalled, just back

from the Eiger and who could mistake that smile ?! Or the time you tried

that horrible route of his on the Tannery Bridge, 'grade six sustained' he said,

and you quivering on the final miserable fingerhold while he grinned down

the parapet and held out a merciful hand? Well these times are all gone

now, for you and for him, and won't be again. Except, once in a while you'll

get that kick in the guts that tells you it's a dream and you're going to wake

up and whenever you go moping about the old wynds and closes there'll be

the feeling at corners and the feeling that comes after.

  Remember Scott, sitting in some dreary single-end of a studio staring

at the camera like a poleaxed bull while the blathering B.B.C. imbecile asked

if he ever really knew him? What does knowing matter, (you felt like

screaming)! He's gone and, with him, a long loping stride, narrow hips, wide

shoulders, a lipless grin and bright blue bivouacked eyes.

                                                                                          Robin N. Campbell.

 Mike-W-99 19 Feb 2021
In reply to Grahame N:

> It can be found on page 209 of the 1977 (no. 168) SMC Journal -  https://www.smc.org.uk/journal/downloads   although the link doesnt work for me as I think its too big a file.

Hi Grahame, it'll work if you right click on the link and save it (exact terminology depends on your browser)

 Grahame N 19 Feb 2021
In reply to Mike-W-99:

> Hi Grahame, it'll work if you right click on the link and save it (exact terminology depends on your browser)

Thanks Mike, works now. Perhaps these instructions need to be added to the website page.

In reply to RedWing:

> If people want to read Campbell's obituary for Haston, here it is.

Thanks!

In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I hope you noticed your two books. Left hand bookcase, top shelf, far right

 tony howard 20 Feb 2021
In reply to UKC Articles:

Just want to say thanks to Robert for mentioning my Quest into the Unknown. Lots about discovering Wadi Rum, of which he is also an aficionado, as well as exploratory climbing around the world. Enjoy

In reply to UKC Articles:

Nice to hear you mention The Mountain of My Fear - I too have the double publication together with Deborah, and alwas feel like I am shouting into the void when I recommend it to anyone.  Deborah is my favourite of the two though, two guys in a tent trying not to kill each other and failing to climb a mountain.

In reply to RedWing:

Rips your heart out.

Mick

In reply to tony howard:

> Just want to say thanks to Robert for mentioning my Quest into the Unknown.

Started it this morning - great reading!

In reply to Mick Ward:

> Rips your heart out.

Yes, I think it has that effect on almost everyone.

In reply to Bobling:

> Nice to hear you mention The Mountain of My Fear - I too have the double publication together with Deborah, and always feel like I am shouting into the void when I recommend it to anyone.  

Great mountaineering stories which really stand out because they are told by someone who is just as much a great writer as a climber.

In reply to Robert Durran:

Yes, I thought I could see them, but wasn't sure.


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