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Climbing the world's highest mountains in the coldest season
- ISBN: 9781912560387272 pages
- Bernadette McDonald
- Publication date
- 3 Sep 2020
Category finalist: Banff Mountain Book Competition 2020
Hardback available to order now
‘He appeared, without a word, in the tent’s entrance, covered in ice. He looked like anyone would after spending over twenty-four hours in a hurricane at over 8,000 metres. In winter. In the Karakoram. He was so exhausted he couldn’t speak.’
Of all the games mountaineers play on the world’s high mountains, the hardest – and cruellest – is climbing the fourteen peaks over 8,000 metres in the bitter cold of winter. Ferocious winds that can pick you up and throw you down, freezing temperatures that burn your lungs and numb your bones, weeks of psychological torment in dark isolation: these are adventures for those with an iron will and a ruthless determination.
For the first time, award-winning author Bernadette McDonald tells the story of how Poland’s ice warriors made winter their own, perfecting what they dubbed ‘the art of suffering’ as they fought their way to the summit of Everest in the winter of 1980 – the first 8,000-metre peak they climbed this way but by no means their last. She reveals what it was that inspired the Poles to take up this brutal game, how increasing numbers of climbers from other nations were inspired to enter the arena, and how competition intensified as each remaining peak finally submitted to leave just one awaiting a winter ascent, the meanest of them all: K2.
Winter 8000 is the story of true adventure at its most demanding.
(Ebook and audiobook available September 2020.)
SPECIAL EDITION HARDBACK SOLD OUT. Trade edition hardback available to pre-order now. We will publish 250 special edition hardback copies of Winter 8000 in September 2020. These will feature a numbered tip-in page, signed by author Bernadette McDonald and bound in to the front of the book. The special edition copies will be bound in orange Wicotex real cloth with silver foil blocking on the spine, with head and tail bands, and a special edition jacket. The special edition copies of Winter 8000 will be available exclusively from our website on a first-come, first-served basis for £24 per copy (with free UK P&P). The hardback trade edition of Winter 8000 will also be published in September 2020 and will be available to purchase at the same time for £24 (with free UK P&P). Trade edition hardback copies of Winter 8000 will be unsigned.
The North American edition of Winter 8000 is published by Mountaineers Books. Customers in the USA and Canada should visit the Mountaineers website to pre-order the book. We cannot accept orders from the USA and Canada.
Bernadette McDonald is the author of ten mountaineering books, including the multi-award-winning Freedom Climbers (2011). Among its international awards, Freedom Climbers won the Grand Prize at the Banff Mountain Book Festival, the Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature and the American Alpine Club’s H. Adams Carter Literary Award. Her other mountaineering titles include Tomaž Humar (2008), Brotherhood of the Rope: The Biography of Charles Houston (2007), Keeper of the Mountains: The Elizabeth Hawley Story (2012) and Alpine Warriors (2015). McDonald’s books have been translated into eight languages, and her international awards include Italy’s ITAS Prize (2010) and India’s Kekoo Naoroji Award for Mountain Literature (2008, 2009 and 2011). She has also received the Alberta Order of Excellence (2010), the Summit of Excellence Award (2007) and the King Albert Award for international leadership in mountain culture and environment (2006). She was the founding vice-president of Mountain Culture at the Banff Centre and served as director of the Banff mountain festivals from 1988 to 2006.
- Title: Winter 8000
- Subtitle: Climbing the world's highest mountains in the coldest season
- Author: Bernadette McDonald
- Imprint: Vertebrate Publishing
- ISBN: 978-1-912560-38-7
- Rights: World English language exc. North America
- Publication date: 3 September 2020
- Edition: First
- Size: 234mm x 156mm
- Extent: 272 pages, with two 8pp colour plates
- Cover: Hardback (jacketed)
- Weight: 500g
- Retail price: £24
Coming soon as an ebook and audiobook:
- Imprint: Vertebrate Digital
- ISBN: 978-1-912560-40-0
- Publication Date: 3 September 2020
- Price: £14.95
Reading Bernadette’s superb book brought back memories of our attempt on the South-West Face of Everest in autumn 1972 when the wind and bitter cold overtook us. K2 is the only 8,000-metre peak still unclimbed in winter. Already the most difficult and dangerous mountain in the world, its first winter ascent remains a huge challenge for climbers of this generation and the future. – Sir Chris Bonington
With this book, Bernadette McDonald burnishes her already shining reputation as one of our great climbing historians. These accounts give us a fascinating portrayal of the few alpinists who are willing to endure winter ascents of the world’s highest mountains. – Steve Swenson, author of Karakoram: Climbing through the Kashmir Conflict
Bernadette McDonald’s clear-eyed portrayal of the men and women who embark on these ferocious adventures reveals their addiction to the cruel, rarefied beauty of the high Himalaya, and how intense ambition pushes them to risk destroying their lives and shattering the hearts of those who love them. – Maria Coffey, author of Where the Mountain Casts its Shadow
Bernadette McDonald has done it again. She has chronicled the first winter ascents of the fourteen highest peaks on Earth by men and women who pushed the limits of mountaineering to glorious new extremes at a terrible cost. Rich in character and conflict, Winter 8000 never turns its back on the central question: Is it worth the risk? – David Roberts, award-winning author of Mountain of my Fear
There are no stories more terrifying, dramatic, and tearful than the abundant struggles, frequent tragedies, and rare successes in winter Himalayan climbing. – Steve House, author of Beyond the Mountain