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Download or Read No Place to Fall : Superalpinism

Read online or Download No Place to Fall : Superalpinism in the High Himalaya by Victor Saunders



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No Place to Fall is Victor Saunder’s follow up to his Boardman Tasker Prize winning debut book Elusive Summits. Covering three expeditions to familiar and unfamiliar ranges in Nepal, the Karakoram and the Kumaon, each shares the exhilaration of attempting new alpine-style routes on terrifyingly committing mountains. In 1989 Victor Saunders and Steve Sustad completed a difficult route on the West Face of Makalu II, only to be brought to a storm-bound halt above 7000 metres while descending. Without food or bivouac gear, they endured a tortuous descent after a night in the open. Two years later the pair were with a small team in the Hunza valley exploring elusive access to a giant hidden pillar on the unvisited South-East Face of Ultar, one of the highest and most shapely of the world’s unclimbed peaks. Climbing at night to avoid being caught out by the torture of sun on ice, they were a few pitches from the summit ridge on soft snow and rotten ice before equipment failure committed them to a dire descent. In 1992 Victor Saunders was part of a joint Indian-British team climbing various peaks in the Panch Chuli range and exploring its approaches from the west. A happy and successful expedition narrowly avoided ending in tragedy when Stephen Venables broke both legs in a fall on the descent from Panch Chuli V and Chris Bonington survived another fall going to his aid. The dramatic evacuation of Venables, in which the author took a major part, forms an exciting climax to a book which describes at first hand what it is like on the cutting edge of contemporary alpine-style climbing in the world’s highest mountains. As well as exciting climbing action, No Place to Fall offers enviable mountain exploration, enriched by sharing the lives of the mountain peoples along the way. Victor Saunders also casts a perceptive, if bemused, eye over his fellow climbers and reflects on the calculation of risk that drives them back year after year to chance their lives in high places.

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