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CLIMBING EVEREST: MOUNTAINEERING AND THE SPIRIT OF ADVENTURE Pat Ament 2001 1st ed Hardcover DJ New Multiple Copies Available
By Ament, Pat
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USA, 2001, 1st ed. 176 pp, 30 b/w illustrations. Hardcover with dust jacket in New condition. No remainder mark.

Ament gives a well researched scrutiny to the most alluring of mountaineering goals. This vividly imagined reflection on climbing provides an entirely new perspective on mountaineering. 'It is not with skill that I wish to climb Everest,' writes master climber, author, and poet Pat Ament. 'I wish to climb it with curiosity and appreciation, with an artist's love . . . I want to be sunburned by the dream of life whose more diamond parts lie hidden in the rocks and in us.'

Ament's ten playful keys to climbing Everest all contain the same underlying message--that it is not an important thing to do. For those who believe that reaching the pinnacle of Everest will prove something, he says flatly that mediocre climbers have succeeded where expert climbers have failed. Everest is a metaphor for life, in his view, and life's power and meaning should be derived from seeking and valuing the sacred and the beautiful rather than from illusions of grandeur and fame.

Inventive, whimsical, and peppered with hilarious cartoons, Climbing Everest explores the ways in which physical adventure teaches us how to live our lives, appreciate the miracle of existence, and experience the wonder of life to the fullest. Hardcover, DJ, New.

From John Gill's Website:

Pat Ament : Pat and I first met in 1967, just after I had moved to Fort Collins. The friendship that resulted from our first encounter has lasted 36 years. Although ten years my junior, we had, in common the most important thing two climbers can have in common: remarkably similar perspectives of our craft.

We were both gymnasts, and Pat, independantly, had started using chalk in climbing only a few years after I had introduced it elsewhere. We both viewed rock climbing as an extension of gymnastics. What I had in pulling strength, Pat had in pressing strength. He could do a hollowback press to handstand from the floor, followed by a number of handstand push-ups. He once held a one-arm handstand on the parallel bars for 18 seconds (I don't think I ever went beyond 5). Along with one-arm mantels on the rock, he could also do a very slow and controlled muscle-up on the high bar, rotating both elbows simultaneously a very difficult feat.

But, most importantly for our friendship, we were aware of spiritual or mystical dimensions of the sport. We also thought of our climbing as an artistic endeavor.

Pat is a significant artist. He is a prolific writer, having written literally dozens of books about various aspects of climbing, including an original guidebook 'High Over Boulder', that set benchmarks for precision and accuracy. He is a composer, pianist, and singer, and his line drawings are superb. He is also, and fundamentally, a poet. The balance he has achieved between the physical realm including being a black belt Karate instructor and the artistic or spiritual realm is extraordinary.

Now , for a few words about his climbing feats. Besides setting new bouldering standards at Flagstaff Mountain, in Boulder, during the 1960s, he made significant climbs in Colorado and Yosemite. Pat's ascent of Supremacy Crack in Eldorado Canyon at the age of eighteen in 1965 established one of the hardest short climbs in the country. He authored the first 5.11 in Yosemite - the Center Slack at the base of El Cap - as well.

He is also a true master of safety in climbing , having the ability to place adequate protection in even the most barren of traditional climbs. Pat was a leading innovator and experimented with various approaches to rock climbing during a transitionary era, fraught with ethical dilemmas, toward the end of the Golden Age. He raised a few waves because of this and because of a powerful intellect and a quiet but forceful attitude, not averse to philosophical and verbal argument.

He has weathered these minor squalls with determination and resiliency, and to some extent, I think they define him. He is a rare renaissance man in an age of increasing specialization. The only true poet I know who weaves his spell upon the rock as well. (2003)


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