Chris Bonington's Everest
From the Back Cover
Mount Everest, the world's highest mountain peak, has a magnificence, a compulsive attraction that has lured so many climbers over the years. One such was Chris Bonington, Britain's best-known climber. He first accepted the challenge of Everest in the early 1970s and has since made no less than four expeditions to its different faces.
His first, unsuccessful, attempt was on the formidable South West Face that had repulsed so many expeditions. But in 1975 he returned to lead a successful ascent of this face, which put the first Britons on the summit.
In 1982 he went back with a pared-down team for an attempt on Everest's North East Ridge. Tragically, Peter Boardman and Joe Tasker were killed, and the expedition abandoned. Following this, Bonington vowed he was finished with Everest, but in 1985 the lure became too strong to resist and he joined a Norwegian expedition to tackle the South East Ridge route. At 50 Bonington recognized that this was probably the last opportunity for him to achieve for himself something he had helped others to reach the chance to stand on the world's highest point. This time he went to the summit.
Bonington's original accounts of his four Everest expeditions appeared in his books:
Everest South West Face (1973),
Everest the Hard Way (1976),
Everest the Unclimbed Ridge (1983, written with Charles Clarke)
The Everest Years (1986).
To mark the 50th anniversary of the first ascent of Everest, he has drawn upon these volumes and the diaries of the time to write and reflect on the changes that have come to the mountain area he loves and the developments that have transformed the horizons of Himalayan climbing. The result is an absorbing first-hand account of one man's fascination with a mountain, illustrated by some of the most remarkable photographs taken during the expeditions, which give a real sense of the variety, beauty and majesty of Everest. This very personal book is also an overview of the evolution of Himalayan climbing during the last 50 years by one of its most acclaimed exponents.