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Item #: OP5060-523
PIONEER WORK IN THE ALPS OF NEW ZEALAND Arthur P. Harper 1896 1st ed Hardcover Near Fine
By Harper, Arthur P.
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Detailed Product Description
London, 1896, 1st edition. 336 pp, large folding map, frontispiece and 39 other illustrations. This book is in its original blue cloth covered hardcover with an unusual gilt vellum label inlaid on upper front board, with gilt lettering to spine. There is very light wear or rubbing to the book's edges and spine, and the binding is tight and sound. This book has been taken care of very well. There are no internal flaws: no writing, foxing, discoloration, stains, or repairs. Endpapers are original and clean. Overall Near Fine condition.

This copy has the bookplate of balloonist and adventurer Steve Fossett. We not only bought it from the Fossett estate, we originally sold it to Steve Fossett in the 1990s, as it has my pencil mark inside the book.

A record of the first exploration of the chief glaciers and ranges of the southern New Zealand Alps. One of the best primary source exploration and travel accounts of the New Zealand Alps.

Climbing history:

The first recorded attempt on the summit was made by the Irishman Rev. William S. Green and the Swiss hotelier Emil Boss and the Swiss mountain guide Ulrich Kaufmann on 2 March 1882 via the Tasman and Linda Glaciers.

Mt Cook Guidebook author Hugh Logan believe they came within 50 metres of the summit. The first known ascent was on 25 December 1894, when New Zealanders Tom Fyfe, John Michael (Jack) Clarke and George Graham reached the summit via the Hooker Valley and the north ridge.

Despite an earlier failed attempt on 20 December, the local climbers were spurred on by their desire for the first ascent to be made by New Zealand mountaineers amid reports that the American mountaineer Edward FitzGerald had his eye on the summit. The party reached the summit at approximately 1:30pm after bounding up the last leg of the mountain full of excitement at reaching the top. The route they had successfully traversed was not repeated again until the 100th ascent over 60 years later in 1955.

Swiss guide Matthias Zurbriggen of FitzGerald's party made the second ascent on 14 March 1895 from the Tasman Glacier side, via the ridge that now bears his name. This is credited as the first solo ascent, although Zurbriggen was accompanied part of the way up the ridge by J Adamson. After Zurbriggen's ascent it was another ten years before the mountain was climbed again. In February 1905 Jack Clarke with four others completed the third ascent following Zurbriggen's route. So Clarke therefore became the first person to do a repeat ascent.

The first woman to ascend the mountain was Freda Du Faur, an Australian, on 3 December 1910. Local guide George Bannister, a nephew of another guide, Pahikore Te Koeti Turanga of Ngāi Tahu,[32] was the first Māori to successfully scale the peak in 1912. A traverse of the three peaks was first accomplished in 1913 by Freda Du Faur and guides Peter and Alex Graham. This 'grand traverse' was repeated in January 1916 by Conrad Kain, guiding the 57-year-old Mrs. Jane Thomson, considered at the time "a marvellous feat unequalled for daring in the annals of the Southern Alps".

Sir Edmund Hillary made his first ascent in January 1948. In February 1948 with Ruth Adams, Harry Ayres and Mick Sullivan, Hillary made the first ascent of the South Ridge to the Low Peak. In order to celebrate the life of Hillary the South Ridge was renamed as Hillary Ridge in August 2011.

Aoraki / Mount Cook is a technically challenging mountain with a high level of glaciation. Its level of difficulty is often underestimated and can change dramatically depending on weather, snow and ice conditions. The climb crosses large crevasses, and involves risks of ice and rock falls, avalanches and rapidly changing weather conditions. Since the early 20th century, around 80 people have died attempting to climb the mountain, making it New Zealand's deadliest peak. The climbing season traditionally runs from November to February, and hardly a season goes by without at least one fatality.

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park is home of the highest mountains and the longest glaciers. It is alpine in the purest sense - with skyscraping peaks, glaciers and permanent snow fields, all set under a star-studded sky.

Although it encompasses 23 peaks over 3000 metres high, this park is very accessible. State Highway 80 leads to Aoraki/Mt Cook Village which is situated beside scenic Lake Pukaki and provides a comfortable base for alpine activities.

Mountaineers regard the area to be the best climbing region in Australasia, while less skilled adventurers find plenty of satisfaction with the mountain walks that lead to alpine tarns, herb fields and spectacular glacier views. Encounters with cheeky kea (mountain parrots) are part of the fun.

At 27 kilometres in length, the mighty Tasman Glacier is a powerful piece of landscaping equipment. While it slowly carves the valley sides, it provides a landing place for small ski planes and helicopters. Surreal, milky lakes are a feature of the park - suspended, glacier-ground rock sediment makes the water opaque.


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