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The Boardman Tasker Omnibus

Savage Arena, Shining Mountain, Sacred Summits, Everest the Cruel Way

Paperback (872pp)
  • Paperback £22.00
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Peter Boardman and Joe Tasker were at the cutting edge of mountaineering during the 1970s and early 1980s. Talented writers as well as climbers, they left two legacies. One was their great endeavour, their climbs on high peaks with bold, lightweight and innovative methods; the second and more lasting achievement was the books they wrote and left behind.

The Boardman Tasker Omnibus brings together four books in which the two men describe their remarkable climbs, expeditions and first ascents. The books have become mountaineering classics; incredibly popular and brilliantly-written accounts that set the standard for mountaineering literature.

Tasker's Everest the Cruel Way is the story of an attempt to climb the highest mountain on earth by a new route – a climb which proved too much for a group of Britain’s finest mountaineers. And in Savage Arena, Tasker vividly describes his participation in the first British winter ascent of the North Face of the Eiger, his first ascent of the West Wall of Changabang with Boardman and his attempts on K2 and Kangchenjunga.

The Changabang ascent was described by Sir Chris Bonington as ‘a preposterous plan. Still, if you do get up it, it’ll be the hardest thing that’s been done in the Himalayas.’ Boardman’s account of the climb – very different to Tasker’s – is recounted in The Shining Mountain, whilst in Sacred Summits he combines the excitement of extreme climbing with acute observation of life in the mountains as he describes the remarkable ascents he made during one single climbing season.

The Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature was established in Pete and Joes’ honour, and is presented annually to the author or co-authors of an original work which has made an outstanding contribution to mountain literature. For more information about the Boardman Tasker Prize, visit:

The books are also available individually as ebooks. Visit Vertebrate Publishing.

Joe Tasker was one of Britain’s foremost mountaineers. He was a pioneer of lightweight, ‘Alpine-style’ climbing in the Greater Ranges and had a special talent for writing. He died, with his friend Peter Boardman, high on Everest in 1982 while attempting the previously unclimbed North East Ridge. Their deaths marked the end of a remarkable era in British mountaineering.

Born in Hull in 1948, Joe began rock climbing in his teens. Drawn to mountaineering, he made many remarkable ascents in the Alps, including the first British winter ascent of the North Face of the Eiger, before moving to the Greater Ranges. Here, Joe pioneered routes of extreme technical difficulty in a bold, Alpine-style – at a time when huge expeditions and siege tactics were still the mountaineering norm.

Peter Boardman was born on Christmas Day in 1950 and became one of Britain’s most-respected high altitude mountaineers. He was a mountaineering instructor at Glenmore Lodge in the Cairngorms, and National Officer of the British Mountaineering Council before being appointed Director of the International School of Mountaineering in Leysin, Switzerland.

He was part of Chris Bonington’s 1975 Everest expedition, made an almost impossibly difficult ascent of Changabang with Joe Tasker in 1976 and went on to climb Kangchenjunga and to attempt to summit K2, being beaten back by poor weather and exhaustion. Mount Kongur followed in 1981 and, in March 1982, in a small expedition with Chris Bonington, Joe Tasker and Dick Renshaw, he attempted the previously unclimbed and highly difficult North East Ridge of Everest, where he and Joe Tasker tragically lost their lives.

  • Title: The Boardman Tasker Omnibus
  • Sub-title: Savage Arena, Shining Mountain, Sacred Summits, Everest the Cruel Way
  • Authors: Peter Boardman, Joe Tasker. Foreword by Chris Bonington
  • Imprint: Bâton Wicks
  • ISBN: 978-1-898573-85-2
  • Rights: Worldwide (exc. North America)
  • Publication date: Jan 2012
  • Edition: First
  • Format: Paperback
  • Size: 233mm x 155mm
  • Extent: 872 pages; B&W text and images
  • Weight: 1,210g
  • Retail price: £22

First published individually between 1978 and 1982.

Also available as individual ebooks. Visit Vertebrate Publishing.

'The most riveting book on climbing that I have ever read.' – Chris Bonington

'A gripping story of tremendous courage and unbelievable endurance.' – Sir Edmund Hillary

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