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Mountaineering in Scotland - Undiscovered Scotland

The author's two Scottish mountaineering classics combined in one volume

Paperback (496pp)
  • Paperback £12.99
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‘Our climb is not one I shall ever repeat in like conditions. It became too exacting. But our day’s route led us through snow and ice scenery of deathless beauty. This lives strong in mind, while physical pains and trials, the so called realities of defeat and victory, have long been forgotten.’

Mountaineering in Scotland and Undiscovered Scotland are two of the greatest classics in mountaineering literature, here brought together in one volume.

If mountaineering books are to be measured by their inspirational value then W.H Murray's two great Scottish classics top the list for climbers and walkers. Bill Murray’s vivid descriptions of his Scottish climbing adventures, on ice and rock climbs, mountain walks and scrambles, have an immediacy that transports the reader to some of the most classic and sought after itineries in Britain.

This is a timeless antidote to modern-day tales of sterile athleticism; a manifesto for bold adventures into the unknown. His vivid descriptions have an immediacy that transports the reader to some of the most iconic routes in Britain. Here are the dramatic and addictive moments of the high mountains – the white magnetism of winter moonlight, the rough warmth of Cuillin gabbro, the mirror sharp clarity of burn pools, the still peace of wilderness evenings and the banter and comradeship of mountain days.

He records the saga of the early days of Scottish winter and summer pioneering, on rock and ice - replete with intrepid and adventurous days on the hill that should encourage even the most addicted climbing-wall lizard. Murray recounts the very essence of what exploratory climbing and deep mountaineering camaraderie is all about.

W.H. Murray was born in Liverpool in 1913, but two years later his father was killed at Gallipoli. The family moved back to Glasgow where Murray spent his childhood, school and college years before beginning a career in banking. He made his first climbs in 1934 and later joined a talented group of climbers in the Junior Mountaineering Club of Scotland. This instigated his lifelong love of Scottish winter climbing, and it was with this set of young innovators that Murray began to undertake the adventures that he eventually transcribed on Red Cross toilet paper as a prisoner of war. After returning to Britain from the camps, Murray once more began to climb with undamaged fervency, and later took part on key Himalayan expeditions of the 1950s. In 1951 Murray was on the critical reconnaissance that established a route up Everest via the Khumbu Icefall by which the summit of Mount Everest would eventually be reached. Marrying happily, Murray built a career as a writer and conservationist, writing Highland Landscape a counsel of protection for the National Trust of Scotland. Murray died in 1996, and his autobiography, Evidence of Things not Seen was published posthumously.

  • Title: Mountaineering in Scotland/Undiscovered Scotland
  • Sub-title: The author's two Scottish mountaineering classics combined in one volume
  • Author: W. H. Murray
  • Imprint: Bâton Wicks
  • ISBN: 978-1-898573-23-4
  • Rights:
  • Publication date: First published in 1979 by Diadem. This edition first published 1997, reprinted 1998 and 2003.
  • Edition: Second
  • Format: Paperback
  • Size: 215mm x 140mm
  • Extent: 496 pages; B&W text, map illustrations
  • Weight: 730g
  • Retail price: £12.99

‘The writing is sublime with descriptions of climbing that come close to the Buddhist idea of ‘ahimsa’; the shedding of self. It offers a more complex but satisfying answer to the questions why climb, than Mallory’s “because it’s there”.’ – David Rose, The Observer

'Glory be! A climbers book, and yet a writer's too!' – Geoffrey Winthrop Young

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