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Item #: OP241F-784
THE HALL OF THE MOUNTAIN KING Howard Snyder 1st ed Hardcover Near Fine
By Snyder, Howard
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New York, 1973, 1st edition. 207 pp, many b/w photos, appendices, endpaper sketch maps. Original gray cloth Ex Lib hardcover with blue metallic lettering on spine and no dust jacket. Fewer than usual library marks and wear. Near Fine.  

Critical account of the 1967 Joe Wilcox party disaster on Mount McKinley. [Neate S141.] 

Howard Snyder, the author, was the leader of a three-man team that was forced by Park rules to join Joe Wilcox's larger team. Seven members from Wilcox's group perished in a fierce storm. Controversy arose after Snyder wrote this book, Hall Of The Mountain King, his version of events and who was responsible. The climb was made via the classic Muldrow Glacier - Karstens Ridge route, the same route pioneered by Belmore Browne, and first climbed by Hudson Stuck for the first ascent of this Alaska giant, the highest peak in North America. Some members of Wilcox's team were lacking in experience, but it was mostly poor judgement and the storm that killed the climbers very close to the top of the mountain. Snyder and another member of his team reached the summit ahead of the Wilcox members (except for Joe Wilcox, who summited with Snyder).

Wilcox was criticized by Bradford Washburn after the tragedy for blaming the storm more than anything else for the deaths. This book was the first to be published about the expedition. Joe Wilcox wrote a very detailed book about the expedition published several years after Snyder's book, partly in rebuttal to points in Snyder's account. Wilcox presents some valid and good arguments, but the bottom line is that the poor guys who perished on the mountain got screwed by a combination of bad luck and bad judgement due to lack of experience with semi-arctic conditions; the disaster wasn't Wilcox's fault.

Several other books have been written on this tragedy: Joe Wilcox's White Winds; Joe Wilcox's Reader's Guide to Hall of the Mountain King; James Tabor's Forever on the Mountain.
 

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