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TALES FROM THE STEEP: JOHN LONG'S FAVORITE CLIMBING LITERATURE John Long 1993 1st ed Softcover Fine
By Long, John
Price: $29.95


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Indiana, 1993, 1st edition. 184 pp. Softcover (only edition). Fine. 

Long's pick of the best true climbing stories, notable both for the quality of the climbing and quality of the writing. Authors include  Royal Robbins, Lionel Terray, Chuck Pratt, Geoff Tabin, Greg Child, Tom Patey, Joe Simpson, John Long, Heinrich Harrer, Jon Krakauer, Reinhard Karl, W.E. Bowman, and others. 

John Long, a recognized top rock climber of the 1970s and early 1980s, here collects recent accounts by climbers. Three of the 20 pieces are excerpts from mountaineering books published between 1950 and 1969. The rest are from climbers' magazines and similar sources. The accounts reflect the attitudes of climbers of the most recent generation.

Most contributions are reports of particular climbs, some of which ended disastrously. A few touch on common topics, such as the bush pilots who ferry climbers to Denali and the tense atmosphere as climbers of two different generations attempt a climb together. Humor surfaces occasionally. The language in which the material is written opens an additional window into the special male climbing world of 20 years ago.

From the Eiger's notorious North Face, to Maurice Herzog's timeless epic on Annapurna, to a stirring rescue on the small crag by literary critic and novelist Al Alvarez, Tales From The Steep will introduce non-climbers to the sheer arena of those '... playing on the frontiers of life and death... searching for the freedom which is the ultimate need of our natures.'

Here are stories '...that had to be told,' where the difference between epic achievement and disaster can depend on the breadth of a single knot. Chosen for both literary merit and authenticity, the stories in Tales From The Steep are required reading for anyone who appreciates classic adventures.


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