- Coming Soon
The Last Blue Mountain
The great Karakoram climbing tragedy
- ISBN: 978-1-912560-42-4256 pages
- Ralph Barker
- Publication date
- 5 Mar 2020
Coming March 2020
‘When an accident occurs, something may emerge of lasting value, for the human spirit may rise to its greatest heights. This happened on Haramosh.’
The Last Blue Mountain is the heart-rending true story of the 1957 expedition to Mount Haramosh in the Karakoram range in Pakistan. With the summit beyond reach, four young climbers are about to return to camp. Their brief pause to enjoy the view and take photographs is interrupted by an avalanche which sweeps Bernard Jillott and John Emery hundreds of feet down the mountain into a snow basin. Miraculously, they both survive the fall. Rae Culbert and Tony Streather risk their own lives to rescue their friends, only to become stranded alongside them.
The group’s efforts to return to safety are increasingly desperate, hampered by injury, exhaustion and the loss of vital climbing gear. Against the odds, Jillott and Emery manage to climb out of the snow basin and head for camp, hoping to reach food, water and assistance in time to save themselves and their companions from an icy grave. But another cruel twist of fate awaits them.
Ralph Barker was born in Middlesex in 1917. He joined the editorial staff of Sporting Life in 1934 and later went into banking. He had some early success as a writer, and several of his sketches were performed at the Windmill Theatre.
In 1940 he joined the RAF as a wireless operator and air gunner. After completing his training, he served with torpedo bomber squadrons, taking part in dangerous missions to attack ships bringing supplies to German forces. He left the RAF in 1946 to return to banking, but rejoined two years later. He went on to broadcast with the British Forces Network and work for the Air Ministry.
Barker began to establish himself as a serious author on RAF subjects and his first book, Down in the Drink, was published in 1955. This was followed in 1957 by The Ship-Busters, inspired by his wartime experiences. He was subsequently invited to write The Last Blue Mountain, which was first published in 1959. He retired as a flight lieutenant in 1961 and became a full-time writer.
Cricket was Barker’s lifelong passion, and he played for the RAF and various Surrey clubs. His first cricket book, Ten Great Innings, was published in 1964, followed in 1967 by Ten Great Bowlers.
Barker continued to write non-fiction titles on mainly cricketing and aviation themes, including a compendium of England–Australia Test matches and authoritative histories of the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War. His final book, Men of the Bombers, was published in 2005. He died in 2011.
- Title: The Last Blue Mountain
- Subtitle: The great Karakoram climbing tragedy
- Author: Ralph Barker
- Imprint: Vertebrate Publishing
- ISBN: 978-1-912560-42-4
- Rights: Worldwide
- Publication date: 5 March 2020
- Edition: New
- Size: 240mm x 162mm
- Extent: 256 pages
- Cover: Paperback
- Weight: 200g
- Retail price: £14.95
Also available as an ebook:
- Imprint: Vertebrate Digital
- ISBN: 978-1-912560-43-1
- Publication Date: 5 March 2020
- Price: £14.95