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Climbs and Ski Runs

ISBN:
9781906148874
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'"Why do you climb?" The mountaineer has no answer to this question. The best things in the world cannot adequately be expressed in speech or print; they are part of the soul.'

In Climbs and Ski Runs, Frank Smythe takes the reader on Alpine ski trips and Dolomite adventures, up first ascents in North Wales and on to the mighty Brenva Face of Mont Blanc. He places pebbles for runners, 'shoots' crevasses and is struck by lightning. And yet, all the while, he perfectly captures the moments that make climbing and mountaineering so special, moments that will resonate with anybody who has spent time in the hills.

Frank Smythe was among the leading mountaineers of the early twentieth century and one of the finest climbing writers ever to put pen to paper. In Climbs and Ski Runs he documents his early forays into the mountains, giving a remarkable insight into that period of climbing and mountaineering. Yet it is not this that makes the book special. It is Smythe's ability to observe and recreate his surroundings and to write so compellingly about the climber's response to them, and to the moments of difficulty and danger, that brings Climbs and Ski Runs to life.

Available as an ebook:

Kindle (Amazon U.K. site)
Kindle (Amazon U.S. site)

 

Frank Smythe was an outstanding climber. In a short life – he died aged 49 – he was at the centre of high-altitude mountaineering development in its early years.

In the late 1920s he pioneered two important routes up the Brenva Face of Mont Blanc, followed in the 1930s by a sequence of major Himalayan expeditions: he joined the attempt on Kangchenjunga in 1930, led the successful Kamet bid in 1931 and was a key player in the Everest attempts of 1933, 1936 and 1938. In 1937, he made fine ascents in the Garhwal in a rapid lightweight style that was very modern in concept.

Smythe was the author of 27 books, all immensely popular. The erudite mountain writers of his era each offer something different. Bill Tilman excelled in his dry humorous observations. Eric Shipton enthused about the mountain landscape and its exploration. Smythe gives us wonderful detail in the climbing. His tense descriptions of moments of difficulty, danger, relief and elation are compelling – and we are not spared the discomfort, fatigue and dogged struggle. He also writes movingly about nature’s more beautiful and tender face – there is no keener observer of cloud, light and colour, the onset of a thunderstorm, or a sublime valley transformed by wild flowers.

There is also a strong feeling of history in his books: the superior attitudes of colonialism that, as the years rolled on, gave way to a more mellow stance and a genuine respect for his Indian and Sherpa companions.
Today, his books make compelling reading: well-written and gripping tales that offer fascinating windows into the history of climbing and exploration. They are essential reading for all those interested in mountaineering and the danger and drama of those early expeditions.

- See more at: http://v-publishing.co.uk/books/categories/e-books/camp-six.html#sthash.82cRGL1g.dpuf

Frank Smythe was an outstanding climber. In a short life – he died aged forty-nine – he was at the centre of high-altitude mountaineering development in its early years.

In the late 1920s he pioneered two important routes up the Brenva Face of Mont Blanc, followed in the 1930s by a sequence of major Himalayan expeditions: he joined the attempt on Kangchenjunga in 1930, led the successful Kamet bid in 1931 and was a key player in the Everest attempts of 1933, 1936 and 1938. In 1937, he made fine ascents in the Garhwal in a rapid lightweight style that was very modern in concept.

Smythe was the author of twenty-seven books, all immensely popular. The erudite mountain writers of his era each offer something different. Bill Tilman excelled in his dry humorous observations. Eric Shipton enthused about the mountain landscape and its exploration. Smythe gives us wonderful detail in the climbing. His tense descriptions of moments of difficulty, danger, relief and elation are compelling – and we are not spared the discomfort, fatigue and dogged struggle. He also writes movingly about nature’s more beautiful and tender face – there is no keener observer of cloud, light and colour, the onset of a thunderstorm, or a sublime valley transformed by wild flowers.

There is also a strong feeling of history in his books: the superior attitudes of colonialism that, as the years rolled on, gave way to a more mellow stance and a genuine respect for his Indian and Sherpa companions.

Today, his books make compelling reading: well-written and gripping tales that offer fascinating windows into the history of climbing and exploration. They are essential reading for all those interested in mountaineering and the danger and drama of those early expeditions.

  • ·  Title: Climbs and Ski Runs
  • ·  Author: Frank Smythe
  • ·  Imprint: Vertebrate Digital
  • ·  ISBN: 9781906148874
  • ·  Publication date: 07 February 2014
  • ·  Price: £4.99

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