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When he first saw the Alps in 1860, Edward Whymper was a 20-year-old English wood engraver whose dream was to become an arctic explorer. Ambitious and hungry for adventure, he fell in love with the challenge the Alps presented and set out to conquer them peak by peak. Whymper made quick work of the challenge, racking up dozens of first ascents and acquiring a reputation as one of the best in the nascent field of mountaineering. But on the Matterhorn, considered to be mountaineering's Holy Grail at the time, Whymper met with failure again and again. On his eighth attempted ascent he finally succeeded, becoming the first man to reach its magnificent peak. The victory came at a heavy cost, however, as Whymper watched four of his companions fall to their deaths on the descent. It was a tragedy that would cast a shadow over the remainder of his life.
Published in 1871, Scrambles Amongst the Alps is Whymper's own story of his nine years spent climbing in the Alps. One of the first books devoted to the sheer thrill of mountaineering, it is a breathtaking account of the triumph of man over mountain in a time before thermal clothing, nylon ropes, global positioning systems, and air rescues. It also offers Whymper's controversial story of the tragedy on the Matterhorn. One of the best adventure books of all time, Scrambles Amongst the Alps is an essential classic of climbing literature by one of mountaineering's most legendary figures.
|Publisher:||National Geographic Society|
|Series:||National Geographic Adventure Classics Series|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Anthony Brandt attended Princeton and Columbia before becoming a freelance writer for Esquire, American Heritage, The Atlantic, Psychology Today, GQ, Men's Journal, National Geographic Adventure, and many other magazines. He was the essays editor of the Pushcart Prize for 18 years and has served as a nonfiction judge for the National Book Awards. Brandt is the editor of the Adventure Classics series for National Geographic Books, including the first edition of The Journals of Lewis and Clark.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Scrambles Amongst the Alps is unique in that it portrays an era of climbing and participants that is uninterviewable, ie it's a window on time, not only on climbing, but it includes glimpses on such things as dwarfism that Whymper owed to local water, and a cheese maker he encountered who had snot running down his nose and beard, and whose process for the cheese involved blowing through a horn into a vat of curds (Yeah-Yech!)...but this book includes all the makings of a blockbuster novel - high adventure, local flavor, history, as well as controversial and tragic drama. It's the only book that culminates with the first factual ascent of the Matterhorn (WOW!). If you've ever climbed a tree or mountain climbed, or wanted to do these things, then this book is for you.