Feeding the Rat: Profile of a Climber

Alfred Alvarez, Author, A. Alvarez, Author Atlantic Monthly Press $17.95 (152p) ISBN 978-0-87113-307-6
Outside the world of mountaineering, few recognize the name of Mo Anthoine, who climbs purely for pleasure, not to set records. Poet and critic Alvarez ( Offshore: A North Sea Journey ) has had the good fortune to climb with Anthoine; here, he offers an affectionate portrait of his unique friend. ``Feeding the rat'' is Anthoine's term for the challenge of a difficult climb, and he has ``fed the rat'' in the Alps, the Himalayas, the Karakorum, in Alaska, the Andes and New Zealand. His expertise on rock faces led to a career as cameraman for the BBC and movies. With another climber he designed the Joe Brown helmet that has become standard wear for mountaineers, and he also manufactures waterproof clothing for outdoor activities; but he still finds time to climb. Alvarez recounts spectacular adventures on the high peaks; he describes two of his own climbs with Anthoine, one of them including out-of-practice elders scaling the Old Man of Hoy in the Orkney Islands. This is a charming memoir, splendid for sedentary adventurers. Photos not seen by PW. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/30/1989
Release date: 05/01/1989
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