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Item #: BK1843-765
MOUNTAIN MEN: A HISTORY OF THE REMARKABLE CLIMBERS AND DETERMINED ECCENTRICAS WHO FIRST SCALED THE WORLD'S MOST FAMOUS PEAKS Conefrey 2001 1st UK ed New Hardcover DJ Last copy
By Conefrey, Mike, Tim Jordan
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Detailed Product Description
London, 2001, 1st UK edition. 288 pp, photos. New Hardcover, Dust Jacket.

A history of the world's first great climbers and eccentrics, the Duke of Abruzzi, Fritz Wiessner, Charlie Houston, Hermann Buhl, Edward Whymper, Albert Smith, Frederick Cook and Hudson Stuck, plus others.
 
An irresistible account of the pioneers of mountaineering 'as colorful and eye-opening as the characters involved.' -Guardian.

Traversing a century of climbing that begins with Victorian enthusiasts and ends with the conquerors of the Himalayan peaks, Mountain Men tells the stories of the extraordinary men who were the first to climb the world's best-known mountains: the Matterhorn, McKinley, Everest, and K2. Edward Whymper's relentless siege of the Matterhorn ended in controversy when four of his companions plunged to their deaths an hour after leaving the summit. In Alaska there have been many disputed claims to the first conquest of Mt. McKinley, and locals still insist that the honor belongs to three miners who climbed on a bet, armed with homemade climbing irons and bags of donuts.

For a hundred years mountaineers have fallen victim to the fatal attraction of K2. An Italian aristocrat, an American millionaire, and an English Satanist were among the first to reach its slopes. They found a place of disappointment and madness; one of them never returned. Accompanied by unique archival materials, detailed maps, and photographs, Mountain Men invites us to follow in the footsteps of these fearless explorers, and tells us their stories with all the romance and audacity, bravado and suffering, courage and miscalculation intact.
 
BBC producers Conefrey and Jordan (Icemen) have written an engrossing history of mountaineering that emphasizes the men who were driven to climb the Matterhorn, K2, Mount McKinley, and Everest. The book starts in 1853 with the opening of Albert Smith's Ascent of Mont Blanc show, a descriptive entertainment that aroused interest in alpinism. Until that time, mountains were gazed upon for pleasure but rarely climbed for sport. Smith inspired Edward Whymper, the first man to climb the Matterhorn, but death and controversy marred his party's descent.
 
After unsuccessful and fatal forays up K2 by the duke of Abruzzi, Fritz Wiessner, and Charlie Houston, two Italians finally captured this mountaineering prize. The authors also describe Dr. Frederick Cook's 1903 expedition to McKinley, which led to a raucous debate regarding his first ascent claim. Various expeditions later disproved his claims, and McKinley wasn't climbed until 1913. Also included in this collection is the story of Maurice Wilson, who in 1934 believed that faith alone would enable him to climb Everest. This work successfully captures the personalities of these legendary and unknown mountaineers.

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