Two epic climbs in Alaska and a lifetime’s connection between climbers
- Simon McCartney
- Hardback (352pp)
- 28 Jul 2016
WINNER: 2016 BOARDMAN TASKER AWARD FOR MOUNTAIN LITERATURE
WINNER: Mountain And Wilderness Literature Award, 2016 BANFF MOUNTAIN BOOK FESTIVAL
'This book portrays life at the very edge of existence.' - Graham Desroy, Chair of Judges, Boardman Tasker Award
'Recalled and written thirty years after the fact, The Bond is an intoxicating read told with an immediacy that transports one directly onto the face of the mountain. The word epic is the most overused word in the climbers lexicon but this is an epic tale in the true sense of the word.' - Paul Pritchard, 2016 Banff Mountain Book Competition Jury
‘Man, the only – only – good thing about that climb was that you were tied on to the other end of the rope.’
Simon McCartney was a cocky young British alpinist climbing many of the hardest routes in the Alps during the late seventies, but it was a chance meeting in Chamonix in 1977 with Californian ‘Stonemaster’ Jack Roberts that would dramatically change both their lives – and almost end Simon’s.
Inspired by a Bradford Washburn photograph published in Mountain magazine, their first objective was the 5,500-foot north face of Mount Huntington, one of the most dangerous walls in the Alaska Range. The result was a route so hard and serious that for decades nobody believed they had climbed it – it is still unrepeated to this day. Then, raising the bar even higher, they made the first ascent of the south-west face of Denali, a climb that would prove almost fatal for Simon, and one which would break the bond between him and climbing, separating the two young climbers for over three decades. But the bond between Simon and Jack couldn’t remain dormant forever. A lifetime later, a chance reconnection with Jack gave Simon the chance to bury the ghosts of what happened high on Denali, when he had faced almost certain death.
The Bond is Simon McCartney’s story of these legendary climbs.
Simon McCartney was born in London in 1955 and was introduced to the mountains of the UK by his father, Mac. He became addicted to climbing in his early teens and spent his school holidays climbing all over the UK. A fine season in 1977 as the sorcerer’s apprentice to Dave Wilkinson, one of Britain’s leading alpinists, produced a number of paradigm-changing climbs. A first and extreme ascent in the Bernese Oberland and a string of second ascents and test-piece climbs around Chamonix changed Simon’s perspective on what was possible. The pair attempted a summer ascent of the north face of the Eiger but were thwarted by poor weather. Simon climbed the route in the winter of 1979. In 1977 Simon met Californian ‘Stonemaster’ Jack Roberts in a Chamonix bar. A partnership was formed and the pair went on to test the limits of their ability on two remarkable first ascents in Alaska, the second of which, on Denali in 1980, effectively ended Simon’s climbing career. Simon is now a successful businessman living in Hong Kong where his dubious talent in calculated but compulsive risk-taking has continued, albeit on South-East Asia’s most prestigious buildings. The Bond is his first book.
- Title: The Bond
- Sub-title: Two epic climbs in Alaska and a lifetime’s connection between climbers
- Imprint: Vertebrate Publishing
- ISBN: 978-1-910240-66-3
- Rights: Worldwide
- Publication: 28 July 2016
- Edition: First
- Author: Simon McCartney
- Foreword: Mark Westman
- Classification: Climbing and mountaineering (WSZG); Autobiography: sport (BGSA); United Kingdom: Great Britain (1DBK); Alps (1DFHA); Alaska (1KBBWK)
- Size: 234mm x 156mm
- Extent: 352 pages, black and white text with 2x 16pp colour plates
- Cover: Hardback
- Retail price: £24.00
Also available as an ebook:
- Imprint: Vertebrate Digital
- ISBN: 978-1-910240-67-0
- Publication Date: 28 July 2016
- Price: £20
'This book portrays life at the very edge of existence.'
Graham Desroy, Chair of Judges, Boardman Tasker Award
'Recalled and written thirty years after the fact, The Bond is an intoxicating read told with an immediacy that transports one directly onto the face of the mountain. The word epic is the most overused word in the climbers lexicon but this is an epic tale in the true sense of the word.'
Paul Pritchard, 2016 Banff Mountain Book Competition Jury
'It's absolutely superb.'
Alex Roddie, author of The Atholl Expedition
'This is a thrilling account of two exceptional climbs and of two extraordinary lives. Written with great modesty and honesty it has a remarkable freshness and urgency despite being written decades after the events. I only wish I could have read this in the early 1980’s. It would have been truly inspirational. Read it. This is about more than climbing. It is about humanity and friendship, guilt and courage, tenacity and frailty. It is everything that mountaineering is about. It will last in my memory like the great classics, "Annapurna", "The White Spider" and "The Last Blue Mountain", for its enduring revelation of the human spirit.'
Joe Simpson, author of Touching the Void
'This book is excellent.'
Henry Iddon, arts and literature officer at Kendal Mountain Festival