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Two Mountains and a River

I made a resolve not to begin climbing until assured by a plague of flies that summer had really come

Paperback (256pp)
  • Paperback £12.00
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H.W. Tilman’s Two Mountains and a River picks up where Mount Everest 1938 left off. In this instalment of adventures, Tilman and two Swiss mountaineers set off for the Gilgit region of the Himalaya with the formidable objective of an attempt on the giant Rakaposhi (25,550 feet). However, this project was not to be fulfilled.

Not one to be dispirited, Tilman and his various accomplices— including pioneering mountaineer and regular partner Eric Shipton— continue to trek and climb in locations across China, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other areas of Asia, including the Kukuay Glacier, Muztagh Ata, the source of the Oxus river, and Ishkashim, where the author was arrested on suspicion of being a spy …

Two Mountains and a River brims with the definitive Tilman qualities— detailed observations and ever-present humour—that convey a strong appreciation of the adventures and mishaps he experiences along the way. With a new foreword from prominent trekker, climber and lecturer, Gerda Pauler, this classic mountaineering text maintains Tilman’s name as a unique and inquisitive explorer and raconteur.

Harold William ‘Bill’ Tilman (1898–1977) was among the greatest adventurers of his time, a pioneering mountaineer and sailor who held exploration above all else. Tilman joined the army at seventeen and was twice awarded the Military Cross for bravery during WWI.

After the war Tilman left for Africa, establishing himself as a coffee grower. He met Eric Shipton and began their famed mountaineering partnership, traversing Mount Kenya and climbing Kilimanjaro. Turning to the Himalaya, Tilman went on two Mount Everest expeditions, reaching 27,000 feet without oxygen in 1938. In 1936 he made the first ascent of Nanda Devi—the highest mountain climbed until 1950. He was the first European to climb in the remote Assam Himalaya, he delved into Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor and he explored extensively in Nepal, all the while developing a mountaineering style characterised by its simplicity and emphasis on exploration.

It was perhaps logical then that Tilman would eventually buy the pilot cutter Mischief—not with the intention of retiring from travelling, but to access remote mountains. For twenty-two years Tilman sailed Mischief and her successors to Patagonia, where he crossed the vast ice cap, and to Baffin Island to make the first ascent of Mount Raleigh. He made trips to Greenland, Spitsbergen and the South Shetlands, before disappearing in the South Atlantic Ocean in 1977.

  • Title: Two Mountains and a River
  • Sub-title: I made a resolve not to begin climbing until assured by a plague of flies that summer had really come
  • Author: H.W. Tilman
  • Imprint: Tilman
  • ISBN: 9781909461307
  • Rights: Worldwide
  • Publication date: 22 September 2016
  • Edition: New Edition
  • Foreword: Gerda Pauler
  • Classicication: Climbing and mountaineering (WSZG); Classic travel writing (WTLC); Autobiography: general (BGA); Central Asia (1FC); China (1FPC); Pakistan (1FKP)
  • Size: 216mm x 156mm
  • Extent: 256 pages, black and white text and photographs
  • Cover: Paperback
  • Retail price: £12.00

Also available as an ebook:

  • Imprint: Vertebrate Digital
  • ISBN: 9781909461314
  • Publication Date: 22 September 2016
  • Price: 4.99

Kindle UK

Kindle USA




'One of a collection of 16 books by the one and only great 'Bill' Tilman, or should I say H W Tilman one of our greatest mountain explorers and travel writers. Tilman was unique, as were his adventures. To read about them is both a pleasure and inspirational.'
– Tony Howard

'Tilman’s books enthral me.'
– Doug Elliot, Amazon reviewer

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