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Freedom Climbers Paperback – 20 Feb 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Vertebrate Publishing (20 Feb 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906148449
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906148447
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.6 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 49,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


"One of the most important mountaineering books to be written for many years." (Winner - Boardman Tasker Prize) "Painstakingly researched and well crafted, this remarkable book acknowledges the significance of Polish mountaineers during the golden age of Himalayan exploration. Fascinating." (ANDY CAVE)"

About the Author

Bernadette McDonald is the founding vice president of Mountain Culture at The Banff Centre in Canada and author of seven books on international mountaineering, including: Tomaz Humar (Random House UK, 2008); Brotherhood of the Rope: The Biography of Charles Houston (The Mountaineers Books, 2007) and I'll Call You in Kathmandu; The Elizabeth Hawley Story (The Mountaineers Books, 2005). In addition to the prizes scooped by Freedom Climbers, McDonald is the winner of numerous awards, including Italy's ITAS Prize for mountain writing (2010) and is a two-time winner of India's Kekoo Naoroji Award for Mountain Literature (2009 and 2008). She has also received the Alberta Order of Excellence (2010), the Summit of Excellence Award from The Banff Centre (2007), the King Albert Award for international leadership in the field of mountain culture and environment (2006), and the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal (2002).

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dr. N. Hollingworth on 3 Mar 2012
Format: Paperback
Bernadette McDonald has crafted both an informative and compelling book about polish climbers in the golden years of himalayan climbing when they dominated the scene. Bernadette also addresses the drive and philosophy of polish climbers during this period which is very interesting compared to western climbing attitudes. As such the history and background of Poland plays a significant part of undelying characteristics of many of the driven Polish climbers, and Bernadette skillfully draws these facts into the narrative throughout.
Beautifully written, it was one of the best books on mountaineering that I have ever read and well deserves the Boardman Tasker Award. It will remain an important record of Polish Mountaineering during this period.

One request: Please convince Voytek to spend some time with Bernadette and publish a book with his experience. It would be different to this book as Voytek sought international climbing partners like Alex MacIntyre and his small team, lean and fast Alpine approach was seed to most of the modern approaches to climbing big mountains. His canny instincts of backing off routes when he sensed danger also would be worth drawing out as he is one of only a few who survived this intense period of mountaineering from the Polish climbing scene.

Nigel Hollingworth
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Evelyn on 30 May 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Couldn't put the book down. Must read for the enthusiasts of mountaineering books.
This book presents some of the greatest climbers in the history of climbing & for me the best climber ever: Jerzy Kukuczka.
The book not only shows their great achievements & first winter ascents in the hardest conditions possible, but also the reality of their daily lives in communist regime.
The author had done a great research about the climbers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By DMH on 13 Mar 2012
Format: Paperback
As a non-climber but somebody interested in the lure of the outdoors, I wasn't sure how I would find this book. It opens by setting the Polish historical backdrop behind the main events. Before long, I was hooked by the fast-paced narrative. The style is very readable and becomes more poetic as the author gains insights into and understanding of this group of Polish climbers . As well as describing relevant expeditions, and the ups and downs of climbing, the text digs deeper to explore the internal and external motivation and conflicts of Polish climbers, including Voytek Kurtyka, Jerzy 'Jurek' Kukuuczka and Wanda Rutkiewicz. It also explores some gender issues relating to the ground broken and records set by female Polish climbers of this era. The text is well-researched and well-structured.
If you like photos, buy the hard copy rather than the Kindle version. I didn't spot the photos until I reached the end of the text and I would definitely have flicked back to them earlier in the paper version.
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