Inspirational Reading

Discuss your favorite wilderness related books. Share your favorite poetry, quotes and folktales. Here's your chance to showcase your creative side!
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Harlen
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Inspirational Reading

Post by Harlen » Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:31 pm

From within the mountain of polar travel, and mountaineering books I've had the pleasure to read, one jumps out at me as being truly inspiring. "One Man's Mountains" is Dr. Tom Patey's humble, and at times breathtaking, account of his and his friends mountaineering exploits. The man is just so down to earth, honest, and has such a charming wit. And he was an amazing climber! Chris Bonington states in his Introduction that Patey had "a solo climbing standard at just about the same level as when leading-" i.e., on a rope. This was quite rare in those days. Yes, Patey was fearless, and tough- seemingly impervious to cold. He was also known for his passion for finding elegant new routes, always preferring to climb something new than to repeat popular climbs.

One of the most inspirational things about Patey for me is the fact that he would shoot off to climb at a moments notice- barring immediate surgeries. Apparently, he could have gone much father in his field of medicine, but had the good sense to seek after a more complete life, coupling his fine career with a constant flow of expeditions, both big and small, into wild mountain country. Yes, he died young on one of these solo exploits, but one feels with Patey, more so, than any other climber who died young, (there will be arguments here?) that he packed a very full lifetime into his shortened span of mere years- Doctor, Climber, Musician, Singer, Writer, Poet, and sadly too, a beloved family man with three children.

I highly recommend his book ... please recommend one to me. Thanks, Harlen.








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Dave_Ayers
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Re: Inspirational Reading

Post by Dave_Ayers » Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:37 pm

No replies? Thanks Harlen, I'll check that book out.

A few I've read that were inspirational for me are:
Touching the Void by Joe Simpson
High Adventure by Sir Edmund Hillary
Above the Clouds by Anatoli Boukreev

There were more, but those 3 come to mind at the moment.

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Harlen
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Re: Inspirational Reading

Post by Harlen » Mon May 29, 2017 10:54 am

Thanks Dave, I've read them and enjoyed them all immensely! I just re-read Gaston Rebuffat's classic: Starlight and Storm, and really enjoyed that again too. Rebuffat really loved his time in the mountains, and sharing climbs with his partners- such a positive force. This book recounts his ascents of all the classic north face routes in the alps- The Dru, Piz Badile, the Matterhorn, Grandes Jorasses, Cima Grande de Lavaredo, and of course- The Eiger.

One of the valuable things I learned from this book is about the truly brutal conditions that these climbers were willing to endure on the way up mountains; how they did it, and when they occasionally died trying. Its both a cautionary, and inspiring group of tales.

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Hobbes
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Re: Inspirational Reading

Post by Hobbes » Mon May 29, 2017 11:12 am

How about something a little closer to home?

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=12398

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Harlen
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Re: Inspirational Reading

Post by Harlen » Mon May 29, 2017 12:33 pm

Okay Karl,

How about Carl Sharsmith's biography? Sierra climber, ranger, and pre-eminent botanist, and all-around great guy.
carl book 157.JPG
You Karl, who willingly hikes up Shepherd and other long east side passes over and over again, will relate to this other Carl's fascinating, but brutal ethic "to climb the whole mountain." If I remember correctly, Sharsmith believed in starting a climb from the very foot of the mountain, primarily to view the progression of plant life, but also because he and his buddies were burly guys! He and his climbing / naturalist crew- who called themselves "the Trailfinders"- set some lofty goals back in their day - they were hiking and climbing ever since the early 1920's, bumping into Norman Clyde, et. al. Check this excerpt out Karl:

"From that time on, part of every summer was devoted to the Sierra. Carl envisioned that, beginning in the south, they should cross the range by every route from east to the west, and west to east, gradually working north until they had explored its entire length. On each trip he insisted that they start from the very base of the range in order to see all the life zones from the chaparral to alpine fell fields. "

Another great bunch of stories about a wonderful man, whom I once had the pleasure to spend an evening with in his cabin in the Toulumne, where he assisted me in my own botanizing- keying out a interesting form of alpine paintbrush I had collected. HIs old Munn's book of Cal. Flora was thumbed through like no book you've ever seen! A shining and virile presence even in his late 80's. I recommend this book highly, though mind you, it's not all about the Sierra. Harlen.
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