Mountain climbing meets all the requirements for spellbinding adventure with its danger and its threats to endurance and survival. Bonington (The Everest Years), a world-class climber for three decades, documents the development of this high-risk sport in the Alps and Himalayas, from Edward Whymper and A.F. Mummery to the daredevil exploits of today's climbers. He recounts the major expeditions of the 1920s and '30s, then turns to the successful ascents of the big peaks that began with Sir Edmund Hillary on Mt. Everest in 1953. During the '80s, the Himalayas were overrun with climbers; in 1986 nine expeditions attempted two new routes on K-2-27 people reached the summit and 13 died. Reinhold Messner (1986) and Jerzy Kukuczka (1987) have scaled all 14 8000-meter peaks. Today, climbing is bolder, more difficult and still competitive; climbers search for new routes, go solo and make winter ascents. These are gripping stories of men and women who pushed themselves to the outer limits of endurance. Illustrations. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 10/03/1994 Release date: 10/01/1994 Genre: Nonfiction
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