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Mountain Men: The Remarkable Climbers And Determined Eccentrics Who First Scaled The World's Most Famous Peaks [Paperback]

Mick Conefrey
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

27 Mar 2003
Traversing a century of climbing that begins with Victorian enthusiasts and ends with the conquerors of the Himalayan peaks, Mountain Men tells the stories of the extraordinary men who were the first to climb the world's best-known mountains: the Matterhorn, McKinley, Everest, and K2. Edward Whymper's relentless siege of the Matterhorn ended in controversy when four of his companions plunged to their deaths an hour after leaving the summit. In Alaska there have been many disputed claims to the first conquest of Mt. McKinley, and locals still insist that the honor belongs to three miners who climbed on a bet, armed with homemade climbing irons and bags of donuts. For a hundred years mountaineers have fallen victim to the fatal attraction of K2. An Italian aristocrat, an American millionaire, and an English Satanist were among the first to reach its slopes. They found a place of disappointment and madness; one of them never returned.Accompanied by unique archival materials, detailed maps, and photographs, Mountain Men invites us to follow in the footsteps of these fearless explorers, and tells us their stories with all the romance and audacity, bravado and suffering, courage and miscalculation intact.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; export e. edition (27 Mar 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306812266
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306812262
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 14 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,339,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

I've been making documentaries and writing books for over 20 years, mainly for the BBC but also for the History Channel and Discovery. Find out more at my website: mickconefrey.co.uk

Product Description

Review

"The stories are as colourful and eye-opening as the characters involved.... A great armchair traveller's read even if you don't know your Hillary from your Bonnington." Guardian"

About the Author

Mick Conefrey is a producer and director for the BBC. He produced the Mountain Men series. Tim Jordan was the associate producer of Mountain Men.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great historical climbs 5 Jun 2001
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book covers all the first ascents of some of the worlds best known peaks. The books goes into great detail about the facts and myths surrounding many of these peaks, and excellent book that covers more than the BBC documentry can tell. The book is easy to read and well laid out, i just wished it had more photos in it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Off Target? 18 May 2009
By D. Elliott TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Targeting an armchair audience for a BBC television documentary appears relatively straightforward with promises of "tall tales" and "high adventure", but it is more difficult to identify readers for this accompanying book. It is likely that for many climbers and mountaineers the subject matter is already well-known, and for the general public the choice of characters and exploits may be too restrictive. Emphasis is on men rather than mountains, and the Amazon Product Description confirms TV attention to viewer share by plugging a history of mountaineering with a dark side populated by "misfits ... charlatans ... rogues" and it mentions `Mountain Men' chronicling "foibles and eccentricities". Note the Product Description refers to Herman Buhl and Nanga Parbat yet this is not covered in the book. Vice versa the book does include stories associated with mountains not covered by TV which concentrates on only three - Matterhorn, Mt. McKinley and K2. Even so the likes of Albert Smith (Mt. Blanc) and Maurice Wilson (Everest) are hardly mountain men. It seems that with a wealth of material researched for TV the temptation could not be resisted to incorporate it in the book. Similarly after interviewing numerous mountaineers it was judged worthwhile to include commentaries - though here these may be a valuable part of `Mountain Men' with attempts to explain "Why climb ?".

Clearly `Mountain Men' was only written because of the TV documentary, and readers wishing to know more of the men selected (and their respective mountains) would do better to explore other publications. With regard to Mt. McKinley the publisher The Mountaineers Books in 2001 put together a trilogy of classics under the title `Denali - Deception, Defeat & Triumph' encompassing `To the Top of The Continent' by Dr.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking at times harrowing recount 27 Feb 2008
Format:Hardcover
Incredibly well written book recounting the various attempts by numerous climbers and glory hunters alike to be the first to scale the highest mountains in the world. At times quite harrowing and incredibly sad, at others thrilling. I couldn't put it down. I have re read it a couple of times now and it led me to find out more about other great (cold) feats such as the race to the south pole. As such, I have now read the journals of Shackleton and Scott regarding their south pole attempts. I am now on the lookout for a similar book which I think was called 'Ice-men' and was also the subject of a BBC series.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vivid, exciting, pioneering mountain climbs! 26 Sep 2008
By Francis Tapon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
OVERALL: As a mountaineer, I found it hard to put down this book, which gives wonderful details about some famous (and not-so-famous) pioneering climbs.

STORIES: It covers a guy with no climbing experience trying to solo climb Everest. A deceiver called Cook who claimed to be the first on Denali. Two amazing trips up K2. The conquering of the Matterhorn.

PROS: Great detail, good pacing, good prose.

CONS: Needed more photos and maps, which would have made it a 5 star book.

CONCLUSION: You don't have to be a mountaineer to appreciate this book. You just need to have an interest in history and mountain climbing.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 1 Dec 2010
By ARCD - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book is great - both my husband and I enjoy alpinism books, so we read lots of them. Product was shipped quickly and came in as described.
4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting True Story! 18 Sep 2008
By BookManBookWoman TV REVIEWS - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
"This is exciting true adventure about the first westerners to scale Mt. Everest, K2, Mt. McKinley and the Matterhorn."
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