One Day As A Tiger - Paperback
Alex MacIntyre and the birth of light and fast alpinism
- John Porter
- Paperback (256pp)
- 01 May 2015
GRAND PRIZE WINNER: 2014 Banff Mountain Book Festival
SHORTLISTED: 2015 Cross British Sports Book Awards
SHORTLISTED: 2015 Boardman Tasker Prize
‘The wall was the ambition, the style became the obsession.’
In the autumn of 1982, a single stone fell from high on the south face of Annapurna and struck Alex MacIntyre on the head, killing him instantly and robbing the climbing world of one of its greatest talents.
Although only twenty-eight years old, Alex was already one of the leading figures of British mountaineering’s most successful era. His ascents included hard new routes on Himalayan giants like Dhaulagiri and Changabang and a glittering record of firsts in the Alps and Andes.
Yet how Alex climbed was as important as what he climbed. He was a mountaineering prophet, sharing with a handful of contemporaries – including his climbing partner Voytek Kurtyka – the vision of a purer form of alpinism on the world’s highest peaks.
One Day As A Tiger, John Porter’s revelatory and poignant memoir of his friend Alex MacIntyre, shows mountaineering at its extraordinary best and tragic worst – and draws an unforgettable picture of a dazzling, argumentative and exuberant legend.
Also available as an ebook:
John Porter was born in Massachusetts and he started climbing at the age of twelve, serving his apprenticeship in the White Mountains, Rockies, Cascades and Yosemite. He moved to the UK in the early 1970s to do postgraduate work at Leeds University where he joined a team of climbers dedicated to clean ethics, alpine-style and the fostering of international partnerships.
Ascents of the north face of Koh-i-Bandaka (1977) and the south face of Changabang (1978) with Alex MacIntyre and Polish friends were achieved in the middle of the cold war. Other climbs include lightweight attempts of the west ridge of Everest in winter, the north-west ridge of K2, the east face of Sepu Kangri, first ascents of Chong Kundam I and V in the Eastern Karakoram, and many other notable climbs around the world over a period of fifty-five years. In 1980 he founded the Kendal Mountain Festival with Brian Hall and Jim Curran, and in 2011 he and Brian founded the online adventure film website SteepEdge.
John lives in the Cumbrian Lake District working as a consultant in the energy sector. He is a vice president of the Alpine Club and has previously been a vice president of the British Mountaineering Council and secretary to the Mountain Heritage Trust.
- Title: One Day As A Tiger
- Sub-title: Alex MacIntyre and the birth of light and fast alpinism
- Author: John Porter
- Foreword: Stephen Venables
- Imprint: Vertebrate Publishing
- ISBN: 978-1-910240-51-9
- Rights: Worldwide
- Publication date: 1 May 2015 (paperback)
- Edition: Second
- Size: 234mm x 156mm
- Extent: 256 pages, black and white with 2x 24pp colour plates
- Cover: Paperback
- Weight: 400g
- Retail price: £14.95
Also available as an ebook:
- Imprint: Vertebrate Digital
- ISBN: 978-1-910240-09-0
- Publication Date: 1 September 2014
- Price: £20
Ian Parnell, Climb magazine
'This book, which is full of humour and anecdotes, is written with exceptional liveliness. It is among the great books of alpinism.'
‘A book on climbing both humorous and perceptive, as close to the essence of our life as you can get.’
'One Day as a Tiger is a brilliant read on so many different levels: a vivid and perceptive biography of one of the most talented and innovative climbers of his generation, but going much further to unveil a forgotten story which encompasses the breathtaking confidence of the anarchistic and dynamic climbing culture that grew up during the cold war on both sides of the Iron Curtain.'
‘A meticulously-researched history of a generation of climbers so fuelled by ambition and adrenalin that they came close to climbing themselves into extinction. In telling the story of Alex MacIntyre’s meteoric, too-short life, the author explores difficult questions that all climbers grapple with: the fickleness of luck, the fragility of friendship and the frailty of life.’
‘Sid Vicious sang ”Regrets, I've had a few, but then again, too few to mention.” One of my greatest regrets is never having the chance to meet Alex Macintyre. He was a true inspiration. In One Day As A Tiger, John Porter skilfully and eloquently fills the gaps and answers the questions about a time and a style in British mountaineering that were as refreshing as punk rock was to music in the 1970s.’