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Item #: OP1745A-106
DON WHILLANS: PORTRAIT OF A MOUNTAINEER 1971 1st ed Hardcover DJ Fine SIGNED by Don Whillans
By Whillans, Don and Alick Ormerod
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London, 1971, 1st edition. 266 pp, 25 b/w photos. Blue cloth hardcover with dust jacket. Book and jacket are both Fine condition.

SIGNED by Don Whillans on the half title page.




A leading figure in mountaineering in the 1950s-60s, who pioneered routes in Britain, the Alps and Himalaya, especially Everest and Annapurna. 

This is the climbing autobiography of legendary climber, Don Whillans. He had a colorful personality and an uncanny ability to crack hard route difficulties by using inventive moves and excellent, innate good route-finding. He pioneered many classic rock climbs in the UK, many with Joe Brown.
 
He climbed several difficult routes in the Alps including the first ascent of the Frney Pillar on Mont Blanc, Bonatti Pillar on Petit Dru, West Face of Petit Dru, Blaitire, Walker Spur on Grandes Jorasses, Eiger North Face attempt and rescue of another climber, several severe climbs in the Dolomites, near ascents of Trivor and Masherbrum in the Karakoram, climbs in Yosemite, first ascent of the Central Tower of Paine in Patagonia, Gauri Sankar attempt in the Nepal Himlaya, first ascent of South Face of Annapurna.
 
After writing this book he continued to climb and was on one of the early attempts (big international expedition) to climb the SW Face of Mount Everest. His climbing partners included Dougal Haston, Joe Brown, Ian Clough, Chris Bonington, Wilfrid Noyce, Dennis Gray, Royal Robbins, etc. Whillans died of a heart attack in 1985.
 
More:
If ever there was a climbing legend, it was Don Whillans in the UK. In the 1950s Don was putting up new routes with Joe Brown, at the cutting edge of British rock climbing at that time. Joe and Don also made several first ascents in the French Alps around Chamonix. As well as having a reputation as a top climber, Don also had a fiercesome reputation as a hard man, and did thump quite a few people.
 
As a mountaineer Don was a natural, with an uncanny sense of ability on the mountain. One example was Don finding a new route of desent to abseil whilst affecting a rescue with Bonington on the The North Face of the Eiger , enabling the team to descend more rapidly with their injured party. He was also known for this stoic capabilities whilst on expeditions - often surviving for days on cigar smoke and water alone, and was the first to offer his food to others.
 
When it came to cooking however, Don was also famous for his refusal to carry out such tasks. Don missed out on quite a few big British expeditions in his time, but triumphed on the South Face of Annapurna along with Dougal Haston with a British team led by Chris Bonington in 1970. Don was brought up in Salford, Manchester and died peacefully in his sleep on 4th August 1985, at 52 years old.

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