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Item #: OP27A-6105
SEVEN YEARS IN TIBET Heinrich Harrer 1955 reprint Hardcover No DJ Fine [not signed] 4 copies available
By Harrer, Heinrich
Price: $4.99


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London, 1955, reprint. 268 pp, b/w photos, color frontispiece. Navy cloth hardcover with no dust jacket. Fine.

This is Harrer's masterpiece. After a 1939 attempt on Nanga Parbat, he was imprisoned by the British and escaped. With Peter Aufschnaiter he made it to Lhasa, where incredibly he became friend and tutor to the current Dalai Lama who was then a teenager. A great book about independent Tibet, and it's being swallowed into China.

We visited Heinrich Harrer twice in Austria, in 2001 and 2003, and were able to obtain some of the last books he autographed. Even in his 90s he was full of life and humor, and thoroughly enjoyed basking in the celebrity he so sincerely earned. He died in 2005.
 
Harrer was an Austrian interned in British India from the beginning of World War II. Finally in 1943 he escaped from that internment and, following a lengthy travel across 'the roof of the world' he wound up in Lhasa penniless and in rags. Met with kindness in Lhasa, he was not expelled back to India. Instead he was allowed to stay in Tibet, to work for the government (he spoke passable Tibetan by this time) and to tutor the young Dalai Lama.

When the Chinese Communists invaded Tibet in 1950 Harrer was forced to part from this lonely, able and affectionate youth. What a story. 

Heinrich Harrer became the most famous of the original four from the Eiger climb. He is now in his nineties. After the Eiger climb he joined a 1939 expedition to Nanga Parbat, a reconnaissance, but was arrested by the British in Pakistan once WWII started. His escape from the prison camp to Tibet and subsequent life with the young Dalai Lama led to his famous book, Seven Years In Tibet.

Harrer went on to become a consumate explorer and adventurer, much like Lowell Thomas, Eric Shipton and H.W. Tilman, but Harrer didn't limit his travels to mountains. Highly appreciative of native culture, Harrer travelled the world to remote mountains and jungles to experience the untouched civilizations. His adventures include trips to remote Amazon jungle tribes, Pacific Islands, remote Himalaya, and New Guinea where he and Philip Temple made the first ascent of Carstensz Pyramid, one of the Seven Summits [Denali, Everest, Vinson, Elbrus, Aconcagua, Kilimanjaro, Carstensz or Kosciusko].

Other notable mountaineering first ascents by Heinrich Harrer were Mount Hunter & Mount Deborah in Alaska with Fred Beckey in 1954 and Ausangate (6400m) in Peru's Cordillera Vilcanota in 1953.


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