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Hands of a Climber: Life of Colin Kirkus Hardcover – Sep 1993

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Ernest Press; 1st edition (Sep 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0948153210
  • ISBN-13: 978-0948153211
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 15 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,044,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


A work of historical reference and a treasured glimpse into a private world. Colin Kirkus is portrayed as the honest, selfless, unassuming man he doubtless was. -- Charles Clarke, The Alpine Journal

Dean has done an excellent job bringing to life not just the character of Kirkus but also the scene of the 1930s and many other climbers active at that time. -- Ian Smith, High Magazine

Stephen Dean’s book is a definite ‘must’ for anyone who is interested in the history of climbing in Britain, in Alpine and Himalayan mountaineering. -- Peter Harding, Rucksack Club Journal

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Arne Hennemann on 16 Nov 2002
Format: Hardcover
This biography provides a detailed insight into the life of one of the most influential and at the same time (at least from my forgein point of view)most forgotten pioneers of British rock climbing. The description of the personality of Colin F. Kirkus as well as his development from a solitary rock climber in Wales during the 1920s to an aspirant running high on the list for Everest in pre-war times is gripping to read. Not only do the details of climbs and encounters along the route turn this book into a must for everyone with an interest in the British hills, but moreover, it is the deeply moving mixture of adventure, innocence, peace and tragedy experienced while out in the hills that describe the essentials mountaineering can hold in stock. Through the way S. Dean has animated the matter with his vivid narrative it seems to be almost possible to trace Kirkus and his allies tramping the hills with breeches, hemp rope and nailed boots. I am sure that every modern rock climber with a slight interest into the roots of the sport and the personal histories of some of its pioneers will take great pleasure in reading about the long way British rock climbing as well as Himalayan mountaineering have come to its modern stage.
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Format: Hardcover
When I was a little lad starting my climbing Colin Kirkus's book "Let's Go Climbing" was an inspiration. And Steve Dean's story of the life of my boyhood hero is a wonderful compliment to Kirkus himself. Between the evocative jacket photograph of Kirkus, coiled rope over shoulder, trusty camera in hand, and the book's end cover shot of Steve the author apparently presiding over the picture of the great cliff, 'Cloggy', "Hands of a Climber" is a simply stunning read. Kirkus's working life as an insurance office clerk was eclipsed by the brilliance and variety of his rock climbing, and Steve Dean's account of the numerous routes pioneered by this legend of that era - the '20s and '30s - is unputdownable! Kirkus met a tragic end in the RAF on a wartime bombing raid early in World War Two at the peak of his powers, but if nothing else this served to fix his place in mountaineering history.

Steve Dean's book is a must for every rock jock seeking inspiration and at the same time curious to find out how the top guys of old went about their cutting edge climbs. Kirkus's extraordinary climbing in the Himalayas is also dealt with in this superb account of his life.
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