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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gloriously warm-hearted and funny, 18 Sept. 2006
By 
Em (Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: One Man's Mountains (Canongate Mountaineering Literature) (Paperback)
Although I knew of Tom Patey's mountaineering reputation, I wasn't expecting to find that he was equally talented as a writer. It was the perfect book to take on a week's camping to the Highlands - a fabulous selection of climbing vignettes, with fondly painted portraits of many well-known names from the climbing scene. The characters are more than 3-dimensional - I've learnt more about people like Don Whillans and Chris Bonington than I would have from their own publications, I think.

The climbing accounts are honest and well-observed, but tales of this ilk can start to merge into one after a while. Not so here - the latter part of the book shines with Patey's satirical writing and bothy ballads. His wry observations on being glamourised as part of the BBC's outside broadcasts on climbing are marvellous. He identifies and slyly pokes fun at many mountaineering stereotypes without being harsh or viscious.

It's worth buying the book for the gem of a letter from a public school teacher to Hamish McInnes (p224), whose attitude towards his pupils' safety is an astounding contrast to today's risk-averse culture.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Humorous and Heartfelt, 14 Mar. 2009
By 
D. Elliott (Ulverston, Cumbria) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: One Man's Mountains (Hardcover)
This review is based on the hardback edition with Foreword by Chris Brasher. The book is an assemblage of articles written by Tom Patey who in addition to being a top-rate climber and prolific pioneer of new rock and ice routes in the 1950's and 1960's was a renowned raconteur and ballad performer. He contributed numerous articles to climbing journals and magazines and when he died aged 38 years in 1970, in a tragic abseiling accident on a sea-stack, he had been pulling many of these together prior to editing and publishing. Tom Patey is credited as author of `One Man's Mountains', though his wife played a key role in production of the book - a fitting tribute or memorial to her admired and loved husband. Articles appear as originally written. These are supported by song lyrics and poems incorporating many unpublished but familiar to countless climbers who have been entertained in bars, bothies, and at various gatherings. Tom Patey seemed to be as highly acclaimed by those who read his articles, laughed at his wit, heard him sing to music from his accordion, recite his poems, or repeat his climbs - or watched him on television. The first ascent of the Old Man of Hoy was Tom's brainchild and in 1966 became one of the BBC's most spectacular outside broadcasts.

The resultant book is full of humour and mockery that captures the essence of climbing for the fun of it with camaraderie between climbers, and this is the justification. Over his comparatively short climbing career Tom climbed with most leading exponents of the day - Joe Brown, Don Whillans, Chris Bonington, Paul Nunn, etc. - and all received good natured lampooning treatment. As well as coverage of his homeland, Scotland, there are articles featuring Norway, the Alps, Himalaya etc. Amongst the best of his personnel pieces are `A Short Walk with Whillans' on the north face of the Eiger, and `The Joe Brown Song' underlining Brown's legendary status; for Scottish climbing his classics contain `The Zero Gully Affair' as an important historical record with `Creag Meaghaidh Crab-Crawl' as a step-change in climbing evolution; and from foreign feats `The Mustagh Tower' recalls a most happy and successful lightweight extreme expedition. A section headed `Satire' embraces hilarious narrative including the favourite `The Art of Climbing Down Gracefully'. Continuity and linking commentary are limited, and there is some repetition, yet these minor matters stem inevitably from the nature of collecting existing material, and they do not detract from what is an outstanding climbing anthology that couples as a heartfelt biography on Tom Patey.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Funniest Book I've ever read about Climbing, 15 Sept. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: One Man's Mountains (Canongate Mountaineering Literature) (Paperback)
Patey spares no one in this satirical collection of essays articles and songs whether they're Military trained expedition leaders, well 'ard northern lads or mountain rescue supremos.
It is is love of the mountains and the people that climb in them that really shines through though.
It's a pity he's not still here to puncture some of the inflated egos in todays climbing scene.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Short walk with patey, 20 Mar. 2007
By 
D. E. Buxton - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: One Man's Mountains (Canongate Mountaineering Literature) (Paperback)
I came to read this book through a recommendation from my dad, an what a joy it turned out to be. As a young aspiring climber you want to try and learn all you can about the sport, and nothing can explain this than Patey's descriptions of climbing equipment and technique. This book has you laughing and inspired from the first page, "A short walk with Whillians" being one of the best. Two of the most well know climbers of the 60's walking to gether, a real insight of them both. A genuine book that can only be matched for wit by Muriel Gray's "The first fifty"
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 20 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: One Man's Mountains (Paperback)
Really enjoyed the story of the life of Tom Patey. Great value, book in good condition
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 18 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: One Man's Mountains (Paperback)
husband happy with it
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One Man's Mountains (Canongate Mountaineering Literature)
One Man's Mountains (Canongate Mountaineering Literature) by Tom Patey (Paperback - 15 Jun. 1997)
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