Escape Routes: Further Adventure Writings of David Roberts

Overview

In these twenty essays - some published here for the first time - Roberts ranges the globe, profiles explorers, and pursues his newest passions - backcountry archaeology and anthropology. From caving in the unexplored labyrinths of New Mexico to ascending Iceland's most famous mountain with Jon Krakauer to following the grueling Raid Gauloises race in the Patagonia wilderness to tracking Jeff Lowe on a new route on the Eiger - Roberts doesn't just write about these adventures, ...
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Overview

In these twenty essays - some published here for the first time - Roberts ranges the globe, profiles explorers, and pursues his newest passions - backcountry archaeology and anthropology. From caving in the unexplored labyrinths of New Mexico to ascending Iceland's most famous mountain with Jon Krakauer to following the grueling Raid Gauloises race in the Patagonia wilderness to tracking Jeff Lowe on a new route on the Eiger - Roberts doesn't just write about these adventures, he lives them.

In this new collection, writer, climber, and adventurer David Roberts reflects on the challenges of keeping one's life adventurous in the face of a radically changing world. These 21 essays, some published here for the first time, take readers from climbing adventures in Iceland to ancient cave burial sites in West Africa to history in the making in Tianamen Square. 256 pp. 12,000 print.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A collection of essays (some reprinted from Outside and other magazines) certain to provide vicarious thrills for even the most hardened adventure reader, laced with humor and cogent observations about modern-day wilderness exploration.

Clambering under, over, and through a variety of exotic settings ranging from the Himalayas to the Brooks Range in Alaska, Roberts (In Search of the Old Ones, 1996, etc.) is not easily daunted. He makes a wintry ascent of an Icelandic peak, participates in a media-emcumbered rafting trip down a previously untraveled river in Ethiopia, and spelunks through previously untrodden passageways deep in a New Mexican cave. Roberts writes with equal vigor about the adventures of colleagues, including an acquaintance who attempts to become the first to scale the infamous north face of the Eigar, in Switzerland, in winter, alone and without climbing bolts. As a climber with numerous firsts himself, Roberts has a knowledge of the sport that lends added shivers to his already strong prose. He profiles a mountaineer who has reached the summit of Everest four times, the last time solo and without oxygen, and who comes across the bodies of friends recently perished on the mountain. A former Outward Bound instructor, Roberts challenges the commonly held belief that participation by wayward youth or business executives in currently popular wilderness outings produces any measurable positive effect in later life. Hiking the backcountry around Moab, Utah, and interviewing long-time residents, Roberts finds little basis for environmentalists' claims that this area has been spoiled by tourists and mountain bikers, the vast majority of whom stay on limited, well-beaten trails. Across the world, in Mali, he climbs to previously unvisited and nearly unreachable cave burial sites and granaries of the Tellem, a long-vanished tribe.

As educational as it is exciting, written with wit and compassion, this is highly recommended reading for adventure enthusiasts of all stripes.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780898866018
  • Publisher: Mountaineers Books, The
  • Publication date: 8/1/1998
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Forward 9
Introduction 11
Storming Iceland 18
First Down the Tekeze 28
Lechuguilla: A New Mexico Marvel 44
Rambling through the Winds 54
The Race Diabolique 63
Bleau 78
Wandergolf in the Tirol 83
A Mountain of Trouble 94
Outward Bound Reconsidered 114
Roman Dial and the Alaska Crazies 127
The Moab Treehouse 137
Ed Viesturs: Confessions of an Altitude Junkie 151
The Hearse Traverse 166
Biking through Tiananmen Square 175
Quiet Days in the Brooks Range 185
The Gunks Revisited 192
Bandiagara: The Dogon and the Tellem 204
Campaign in the Clouds 224
Lost City of the Lukachukais 239
La Provence Ignoree 253
Acknowledgments 265
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