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CLIMBING EVEREST: MOUNTAINEERING AND THE SPIRIT OF ADVENTURE. Pat Ament 2000 1st edition Hardcover DJ New
By Ament, Pat
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2000. 176 pp, 30 ills. Ament gives a well researched scrutiny to the most alluring of mountaineering goals. This vividly imagined reflection on climbing provides an entirely new perspective on mountaineering. 'It is not with skill that I wish to climb Everest,' writes master climber, author, and poet Pat Ament. 'I wish to climb it with curiosity and appreciation, with an artist's love . . . I want to be sunburned by the dream of life whose more diamond parts lie hidden in the rocks and in us.' New hardcover with Dust Jacket.

Ament's ten playful keys to climbing Everest all contain the same underlying message--that it is not an important thing to do. For those who believe that reaching the pinnacle of Everest will prove something, he says flatly that mediocre climbers have succeeded where expert climbers have failed. Everest is a metaphor for life, in his view, and life's power and meaning should be derived from seeking and valuing the sacred and the beautiful rather than from illusions of grandeur and fame.

Inventive, whimsical, and peppered with hilarious cartoons, Climbing Everest explores the ways in which physical adventure teaches us how to live our lives, appreciate the miracle of existence, and experience the wonder of life to the fullest. Hardcover, DJ, New.

'Rembrandt often did self-portraits, and a few of his critics called him vain. My book 'Climbing Everest' is a type of self-portrait. It is a book about progression, how each of us moves upward through the various storms and camps of life. We each try to gain the next height, the next level of awareness or spiritual insight. The fact that I know my subject, climbing, very well is almost incidental to the real meanings of the book which are to be found somewhat between the lines. As with Everest, this book will require a little effort. You will have to be the measure of the task.'
 
'I write these words in the spirit of encouragement. Give the book a chance, find a place to quietly and honestly and truly read and feel it, absorb its messages, and see if it doesn't speak of life itself. It will speak of the struggles required of us and the joys. Life, like Everest, is at once both beautiful and terrible, rewarding and painful. This is a book about climbing, yes, but it is more a book about the inner soul and aspiring to the high realms of appreciation, friendship, art, strength, love, and deeper meanings. Everest is simply one of an infinite number of places the soul and spirit seek and need to attain.' -- Pat Ament
 
 
From John Gill's Website:

Pat Ament : Pat and I first met in 1967, just after I had moved to Fort Collins. The friendship that resulted from our first encounter has lasted 36 years. Although ten years my junior, we had, in common the most important thing two climbers can have in common: remarkably similar perspectives of our craft.

We were both gymnasts, and Pat, independantly, had started using chalk in climbing only a few years after I had introduced it elsewhere. We both viewed rock climbing as an extension of gymnastics. What I had in pulling strength, Pat had in pressing strength. He could do a hollowback press to handstand from the floor, followed by a number of handstand push-ups. He once held a one-arm handstand on the parallel bars for 18 seconds (I don't think I ever went beyond 5). Along with one-arm mantels on the rock, he could also do a very slow and controlled muscle-up on the high bar, rotating both elbows simultaneously a very difficult feat.

But, most importantly for our friendship, we were aware of spiritual or mystical dimensions of the sport. We also thought of our climbing as an artistic endeavor.

Pat is a significant artist. He is a prolific writer, having written literally dozens of books about various aspects of climbing, including an original guidebook 'High Over Boulder', that set benchmarks for precision and accuracy. He is a composer, pianist, and singer, and his line drawings are superb. He is also, and fundamentally, a poet. The balance he has achieved between the physical realm including being a black belt Karate instructor and the artistic or spiritual realm is extraordinary.

Now , for a few words about his climbing feats. Besides setting new bouldering standards at Flagstaff Mountain, in Boulder, during the 1960s, he made significant climbs in Colorado and Yosemite. Pat's ascent of Supremacy Crack in Eldorado Canyon at the age of eighteen in 1965 established one of the hardest short climbs in the country. He authored the first 5.11 in Yosemite - the Center Slack at the base of El Cap - as well.

He is also a true master of safety in climbing , having the ability to place adequate protection in even the most barren of traditional climbs. Pat was a leading innovator and experimented with various approaches to rock climbing during a transitionary era, fraught with ethical dilemmas, toward the end of the Golden Age. He raised a few waves because of this and because of a powerful intellect and a quiet but forceful attitude, not averse to philosophical and verbal argument.

He has weathered these minor squalls with determination and resiliency, and to some extent, I think they define him. He is a rare renaissance man in an age of increasing specialization. The only true poet I know who weaves his spell upon the rock as well. (2003)

For those of you interested in learning more about this great old friend of mine, I recommend Pat's Stories of a Young Climber an Autobiography . By the way, Pat Ament has a great new book : Everything That Matters (2004)


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