The Mammoth Book of Mountain Disasters: True Accounts of Rescue from the Brink of Death
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Caught way up on the mountain, no one is safe, from the archetypal nightmare of Tony Kurtz, seen to freeze to death by his stranded rescuers as he hung off the Eiger, to events that unfolded on the Grand Teton, where rescuers narrowly escaped being clubbed to death by their reluctant rescuees. This collection of 35 first-hand accounts will shock and inspire in equal measure. Here is the original draft of Joe Simpson's classic Touching the Void and the first full telling of Jamie Andrew's extraordinary rescue from the Alps, which made headlines in 1999. Plus a specially commissioned account of the epic winter rescue on Mount Ararat, 2000 - the most remote mission ever undertaken by a helicopter-rescue team. And the rescuers own grim battles for survival. Compiled by one of the world's most respected mountaineers, this volume spans five continents - from the Appalachians to Mount Cook, from Peak Lenin to Siula Grande. It includes some of the brightest stars of mountaineering and mountain rescue: Joe Simpson, Doug Scott, Pete Sinclair, Milos Vrbe, Paul Nunn, Ludwig Gramminger, Karen Glazley, Ken Phillips and Blaise Agresti.
carried back to Montenvers. I couldn’t walk on level ground. Lionel spotted the guide Raymond Lambert on the Grépon and shouted to him to come and assist. In some twenty minutes Raymond and an aspirant guide joined us. In such distinguished company I had made steady progress back down to Montenvers. My ruminations were cut short by the need to make our 9.00 pm signal to our friendly stationmaster. In a few minutes answering flashes winked up at us. It was comforting to know 112 that down there,
summer the gully does not present a rock climb as such, though it possibly has a soggy attraction for athletic botanists. (Winter is another matter entirely.) But in summer the walls on either side of the gully present sport of a vertical and intimidating nature, especially the great sweep of rock on the left, known for obvious reasons as Slime Wall. To its right, with the symmetrical uniformity of a dank tenement close but superbly executed, is the slit of Raven’s Gully. To the right again,
raising the standard in both winter and summer. Sadly, he was to fall to his death four years later on a descent in the Pamirs with Wilfrid Noyce. One slipped (an eye-witness is not sure which one) and pulled 139 the other off. Though the first person to fall managed to stop he couldn’t then hold his companion on the rope and so both plunged to their deaths. I remember Robin awakening on my floor in Glencoe where he used to doss from time to time, covered in feathers which had moulted overnight
echoes of mocking laughter wafted up out of Raven’s Gully. Shibboleth obviously considered that by the inviolate middle pitch she retained her virtue. We could feel her exulting in her subtle triumph. Reluctantly, we climbed down by a fearful loose chimney on Cuneiform Buttress opposite to review the situation. There was no doubt about the direct line. And so we returned next weekend, vowing to prove for once and for all who was master. An alpine start from base camp saw us at the foot of the
Ballachulish slate quarries by bus. John Kennedy was one of these. Gillies, police and shepherds all turned out in force; the shepherds with their dogs hoped that the collies could locate Henderson if he should be buried under the snow. Some thirty years later I was also to use my dog to find a buried avalanche victim only a short distance away in Glencoe, but was soon to realise that dogs have to be specifically trained for this work, especially for locating bodies. As a direct result, I later