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The Seven Mountain Travel Books: H W Tilman Paperback – 5 Jan 2004
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About the Author
Tilman's belief was "any worthwhile expedition can be planned on the back of an envelope." He wrote fifteen mountaineering and sailing books.
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Tillman traveled in a time when travel itself was mostly an adventure rather than a packet of guaranteed itineraries; before travel guides could not only put you there but put you on the summit. Tillman and his contemporaries were working out how to even get close enough to attempt summitting major mountains of the Himalayas and other regions. Working out what made up teams that would be successful, what equipment would do the job, what and how food should be packaged to survive the months of transport and adequately feed the team.
Long before Tzening Norgay and Hillary made the summit read about the explorations all the way to the second step, Hillary's step, and even Tzening Norgay's early experience on Tillman and Shipton's Everest exploratory trips.
Of course, these are just the wondrous details, Tillman is also a pretty good story teller, with a wry wit that takes a chapter or two to acclimate to, as well as some of the turns of language used at that time. But, go with it and you'll be trekking the Himalayas and other regions before modern transport, modern mountaineering "strategies" and enjoying the wide open world it was then and laughing more than once at the ironies and travails of travel at the turn of the last century.
I would heartily recommend anyone to read the book, particularly if it is available, the Nepal Himalaya single edition, - great, great books for travelling minds (and soles..) so long as you can cope with the mountain of salt required to see some of Tilmans less emphatic points.
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