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In High Places Paperback – 20 Mar 2003

4 customer reviews

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In High Places + Dougal Haston: The Philosophy Of Risk + The Hard Years: His Autobiography
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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books; Main edition (20 Mar. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841953911
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841953915
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 1.5 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 389,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"A fascinating book both as an insight into one of Britain's most intriguing climbers and also as an account of a particularly rich period of British climbing history." (Chris Bonnington)

"Haston's prose is fast-paced, economical and wellsuited to a climbing narrative." (Mountain Magazine)

"Haston's style of writing is crisp and laconic . . . There is no superfluous padding but the essentials are there, stark and bold. I very much enjoyed reading this book." (Alpine Journal)

From the Back Cover

"A fascinating book both as an insight into one of Britain's most intriguing climbers and also as an account of a particularly rich period of British climbing history." Chris Bonington

In his own words, Dougal Haston covers the years from his childhood in Scotland, where his love of climbing was first sparked, through to his development into perhaps the most formidable climber of his generation; his reputa- tion forged by his successful ascents of familiar peaks by unfamiliar routes (of which the most famous was the Eiger Direct).

Infused throughout with his passion for climbing and his great determination to succeed, In High Places is a compelling and eye-opening portrait of the climber as a young man and a must-read for all those with an interest in mountaineering.

"Haston's style of writing is crisp and laconic . . . There is no superfluous padding but the essentials are there, stark and bold. I very much enjoyed reading this book." Alpine Journal

"Haston's prose is fast-paced, economical and well-suited to a climbing narrative." Mountain Magazine

Front cover photograph: Everest courtesy: Chris Bonington Picture Library

Design by James Hutcheson


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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Jan. 2002
Format: Paperback
Dougal Haston could write very well, but this very selective autobiography isn't up to the standard of his best or anything like it. It recounts his 'progress in mountaineering' from scaling the 'Railway Wa's' of Currie near Edinburgh to Everest, and insofar as Haston assembled a formidable list of fierce ascents, often pushed through against the odds in grim conditions, it is undoubtedly of historic record value. But it does nothing for mountain literature - partly because Haston seems never quite to have decided whether he was aiming at the general reader or a climbing audience - or to illuminate the man or his motivation. Even Haston's 'closest friends' seem to have found it near-impossible to penetrate his shell of dour introspection, and there's practically nothing in this book to help understand his almost maniacal drive and the more anti-social and alienating elements of his behaviour (only part of which is acknowledged in this account).
The suspicion, if anything heightened by more recent writing including Jefff Connor's biography, is that Haston never really knew what he was about himself: a disappointment to those who have set him up as a kind of enigmatic guru of modern climbing. But that elusiveness and the sheer dynamic force of the man will probably ensure that he will continue to be a charismatic figure nonetheless, and that young climbers will continue to find inspiration in the brash energy of this book.
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By B. T. Jorgensen on 9 July 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found the book a reasonably interesting read, but it does cover a lot of ground and probably suffers as bit from this. It is certainly worth reading if you are interested in Dougal's life and times on the climbing scene and it does give some insight into the days when 'working class' class climbers began changing the traditional climbing scene, especially in Scotland.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent autobiography. Easy to read..takes you through Hastons earlier years. If you like books on climbing writtem by climbers then this is a good account. Despite some othere reviews, you do get a feel of what drew Haston to the mountains and the relationship he had with the challenges the mountains gave him. Amazon yet again excels on price for the book.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Feb. 2000
Format: Paperback
OK, so this isn't the greatest mountaineering book ever, but it still deserves a read, simply by virtue of being written by Dougal Haston, probably the greatest British climber since the war. He doesn't give much away, and one is always wondering what other people thought of him, but the most important thing about him was that he was a magnificent climber, who will be remembered for three ground-breaking ascents (albeit during the large expedition era): the Eiger Direct in 1966 (when John Harlin died), Annapurna South Face in 1972 with Don Whillans, and Everest South-West Face in 1975 with Doug Scott. Apparently he wrote a novel - but I don't think I'll be going to look for it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A superb yet modest summary of a brilliant climbing career. 3 July 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A sequence of breathtaking adventures from childhood onwards in which Dougal surpasses the achievements of most world class climbers of his day.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Good, but short 1 Aug. 1999
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This was a very interesting account of some big time climbs by one of the premier climbers of his day. His style is very direct, without the need to be overly critical of other climbers (a la Krakauer). He also manages to get into the discussion of climbing ethics with an elegantly simple statement of what it means to him, unlike some other climber/writers who use ethics to throw around blame for accident under the guise of ethics. The only thing I was disappointed in with this book was that it just seemed to stop out of the blue, almost as if he paused before he finished it, and then forgot to get back to it. All in all, though, a very good read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A chill, laconic voice 27 Sept. 2000
By K. Freeman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
characterizes Haston's retelling of his brief, stellar climbing career. A good antidote to the flowery romanticism of some other mountaineering autobiographies, this excellent book belongs on all climbers' shelves.
A most articulate account of mountain climbing 17 Nov. 2014
By Jim Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is great armchair mountaineering. He describes the battle between self doubt and confidence in the most challenging of situations. He talks about high ideals and high altitude. He was certainly a master of his craft. There were plenty of bumps along his road to success and he explains how those affected him. The descriptions of climbing things like The Eiger Direct, the Matterhorn, and Annapurna were simply wonderful reading. Being a novice climber my self i liked his descriptions of how he saw the advances in equipment and techniques. The last chapter is on climbing on the South-West Face of Mt. Everest. The attempt did not succeed, but he and Don Whillans lead up to around 27,500 feet. There was a storm of criticism of that climb and he attempts to justify his actions.
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