Everest the Hard Way by Sir Chris Bonington hits the £1 shelf in my shop.
Hodder & Stoughton, 1976, Hardback in dust wrapper.
Contains a glossary of terms. 2nd impression. [First Edition: 1976] Illustrated by way of: Black & White Photographs; Colour Photographs; Maps;
From the cover: Before Chris Bonington and his team set out in August 1975, even their well-wishers gave them only a fifty-fifty chance of success. The South West Face of Everest had already defeated five expeditions, including one led by Bonington himself. But this time they advanced swiftly, the weather held and, through a combination of meticulous planning, superb teamwork and sheer climbing skill and endurance, four men were put on the summit the hard way.
Chris Boningtons narrative celebrates the big moments, but also pauses to take in the responses of the newcomers on the walk in from Kathmandu; he shares the logistical problems involved in keeping a large expedition moving, and the very real psychological ones of balancing and pairing lead climbers and giving each a chance to make the route on the Face. He describes the constant avalanche threat which made the Western Cwm more dangerous than the ever treacherous Ice Fall, and explains how lowering the sites of Camps 4 and 5 solved a supply problem and kept the upward momentum for the attack on the Rock Band, that notorious 1,000 foot of sheer rock, starting at 27,000 feet, which had barred the way to the summit for all previous attempts.
In covering the vital moments of the expedition, the author has been able to draw on first-hand accounts by his fellow climbers. Hamish Maclnnes describes bridging a thirty-foot crevasse; Martin Boysen expresses the excitement and satisfaction of lead climbing; Tut Braithwaite and Nick Estcourt take the climb stance by stance through the Rock Band, Estcourt, without oxygen, leading the most difficult pitch on Everest and by so doing solving the access to the summit. Dougal Haston and Doug Scott, the first Britons to set foot on the top of Everest, trace their route to the summit, and describe how afterwards, oxygen less at 28,700 feet, they spent a night out in China, bivouacking over the border ridge at the South Summit.
And Pete Boardman, the youngest climber in the party, retells his own ascent with the expedition chief Sherpa, Pertemba, and the agonising decision he was forced to make when the weather broke and climber-cameraman Mick Burke failed to return from the summit.
In following the day-by-day story of the whole expedition with frankness and clarity, Chris Bonington places events in an overall context and celebrates the achievement of a team that co-operated unstintingly to produce a triumphant success. The ample appendices bear witness to the work put into organising that success, and the magnificent colour photographs, tracing the story from the march in to the summit, make this a supremely beautiful book to look at, as well as a proud, exciting and fascinating story of a great achievement.
Good+ in Good+ Dust Wrapper. Edges of the dust wrapper somewhat rubbed and chipped, a little faded. Pages lightly age-tanned.
Blue boards with Gilt titling to the Spine.
239 pages. Index. 10¼” x 7¼”.
This book will be listed, sooner or later, for £6.50 on my delightful website… (added to my Sport Mountaineering category.) but get 50% off buying from my blog… below…