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CONQUISTADORS OF THE USELESS: FROM THE ALPS TO ANNAPURNA. Lionel Terray 1963 1st UK edition No DJ
By Terray, Lionel
Price: $50.00


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London, 1963, 1st edition. 351 pp, 84 ills. Terray, one of the greatest climbers of this century, did first or notable ascents of Makalu, Fitzroy, Annapurna, Jannu, Eiger, Mt Huntington, Mt McKinley, etc. No DJ, old inscription on FEP, else Fine.

This is the autobiography of the French mountain climber and guide, Lionel Terray. He is the man who made the second ascent of the Eiger north wall in 1947 with Louis Lachenal, and then returned to take part in a most dramatic rescue on the same mountain in 1957; who went to the aid of two climbers marooned in a blizzard on Mont Blanc after the other guides in the area had refused to make the attempt; who went with Maurice Herzog on the great French Himalayan expedition to Annapurna, and has since climbed Makalu, Nilgiri and Jannu and many other summits.  

This book details the life of the great French mountaineer and guide, Lionel Terray, who died tragically in a rockfall in 1965. The first chapter deals with his early years, and his fight to counter the prejudice of the man on the street against climbing. The second chapter (off the top of my head) is about early climbs. The third chapter concentrates on his role as a mountaineer in fighting the German occupiers in France. In the fourth chapter, we find Lionel tacking some of the hardest alpine faces, such as the Walker Spur on the Grandes Jorasses.
 
The fifth chapter details his successful attempt, with his great friend Louis Lachenal, on the north face of the Eiger, preceded by a description of the tragic early attempts on the mountain, and followed by the jinxed rescue mission on the mountain in 1957. The next chapter describes the succesful French expedition to Annapurna in 1950, and the amazing escape from the mountain in dreadful weather after it had been climbed. It was the first ascent of an 8000 meter peak. This is followed by a chapter which includes his description of his work as a ski instructor in Canada. Terray was also an expert skier. Finally, the book closes with a description of his later climbs in the Himalayas and the Andes. 

This book is not just a description of climbs, but a muse on climbing philosophy, and an insight into society and life in general.

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