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Item #: BK325A-8574
ENDURING PATAGONIA Gregory Crouch 2001 1st ed Hardcover DJ Fine Multiple copies available
By Crouch, Gregory
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New York, Random House, 2001, 1st edition. 225 pp, color photos. Hardcover with dust jacket. Fine.

Crouch made 7 expeditions to the Fitzroy area of Patagonia and has climbed with Charlie Fowler and Jim Donini. This book chronicles his breathtaking tales of success and failure in this most dramatic of mountain landscapes. Crouch is a West Point graduate and army ranger, and is the latest climber-journalist to try to capture the unseen heroics of those who reach the summits of the world's highest peaks. 

Instead of summitting familiar peaks, the Crouch describes three separate expeditions to the remote Patagonian mountain range in South America, a series of peaks straddling the border between Chile and Argentina. There he completes a successful climb up the Compressor Route of Cerro Torre, one of the world's most sought-after summits; a first ascent of the north face of Aguja Poincenot; and a treacherous winter ascent of the west face of Cerro Torre, another first.

These three climbs are bracketed by long vignettes about the unpredictable Patagonian weather and Crouch's disappointment with routine life back home in America, where he works construction and other odd jobs to pay for climbing trips. On the mountain, Crouch vividly describes the technical and psychological aspects of climbing, as well as the distinctions of the Patagonian peaks. He is also prone to bouts of macho philosophizing. 

Off the mountain, Crouch is so absorbed with thoughts of climbing that he contrasts everything in his life with his moments in the mountains. At one point he goes so far as to describe his marriage as "the ultimate base camp." For Crouch, clearly, climbing is akin to a religion, and chasing a summit is his only way of seeking salvation.


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