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|Description:||432 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.|
"Beyond Europe, the exploratory style of climbing favored by the British held sway much longer in the great ranges of the Himalaya and the Karakoram, as Mallory, Irvine, Mummery and the like lost their lives in contests against the unknown effects of high-altitude on man. From this vast frontier comes the story of the British obsession with Everest, the Germans' with Nanga Parbat, and the exploits of the Italians and Americans on K2, as Unsworth traces the challenges to the world's 8000-metre peaks through those contrasting first ascents of Everest and Nanga Parbat within weeks of each other." "At the same time, quite different methods of climbing had been in the making in North America. The foundations of mountaineering in this country - on the volcanoes of the Cascades, the crags of the Tetons, the glaciers of McKinley and St. Elias, the tilted strata of the Rockies, the great, granite pinnacles of Yosemite - developed independent of Alpine influences. These ascents owed nothing to the traditions of the Alpine Club or to Swiss guides. Says Unsworth, "Apart from the work of the founding fathers during the Golden Age of alpinism, this separate American development was the single most important event in the history of mountaineering."" "Unsworth literally covers the globe in the text, ranging from Greenland and Norway to the Pyrenees and the Tatras, from Chimborazo to Waddington, Kilimanjaro, the Caucasus and Mount Cook. He brings to life a vast gallery of legendary climbers as diverse as Crowley and Hunt, as revered as Welzenbach, Merkl, Underhill and Wiessner. But the real strength of this work is the way in which the author looks behind the mere chronology to relate climbing to the changing social ethos out of which it sprang."--BOOK JACKET.