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Chris Bonington books

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Chris Bonington books

Postby dmiki » Wed Nov 30, 2005 8:53 am

Hi,

Are all these Chris Bonington books worth purchasing / reading? (I`ve found customer reviews on Amazon for some but not all of them.)

- Annapurna South Face
- Everest, the Hard Way
- Everest: The Unclimbed Ridge
- Chris Bonington's Everest
- Everest, south west face
- Everest Years

thank you
Michael
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Re: Chris Bonington books

Postby fdoctor » Wed Nov 30, 2005 9:03 am

The Annapurna book is the first mountain book I read, given to me as a birthday present about 30 years ago. I recently tried to re read it and found it a little bit dry and laborious, but I will persevere. But it's a classic so, perhaps worth having in a collection
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Re: Chris Bonington books

Postby Charles » Wed Nov 30, 2005 9:42 am

read the first three, good to have in the collection.
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Re: Chris Bonington books

Postby dadndave » Wed Nov 30, 2005 9:52 am

dmiki, I have a copy of "The Next Horizon" which you didn't mention in your list.

Yes, the old stuff is a bit dry, fdoctor, but it was a "boy's own" world in those days. and at least Bonnington was a break from the earlier tradition of the "stiff upper lip" school of British mountaineering. (Not that I disparage in any way those magnificent old bastards in their Harris Tweeds takin' on Everest) Bonnington was really the first Pom to try and make a living as a climbing journalist, and despite himself, in some ways, captured the spirit of blokes like Tom Patey, Dougal Haston., Joe Brown, and heaps of others.
What is this "scientific method" you speak of?
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Re: Chris Bonington books

Postby fdoctor » Wed Nov 30, 2005 5:30 pm

I take back (almost) what I said. I've just spent the afternoon, after a bit of dusting and hoovering around the house, reading the first 100 pages or so of Bonnington's Annapurna book.
Three references to Tent peak (Tharpu Chuli) which I've just posted up and lots of references to an agency called Mountain Travel run by Col. Jimmy Roberts and Mike Cheyney, now called Sherpa Expeditions & Treks run by Nepali family friends of my wife.
I think also as I've just come back from the Annapurna Sanctuary it has come alive for me!
Sorry about the sudden unbridled enthusiasm!
(ps. My mother now in her 80's used to work with Bonnington in the English Lake District which period he refers to a lot in the early chapters)
Sorry again!
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Re: Chris Bonington books

Postby desainme » Thu Dec 01, 2005 12:36 am

I think he is kept my interest because of his assorted climbing partners and on his expeditions he has a fairly laissez faire attitude. This shows in his books when he passes the narrative along to other participants. I will mention Changabang in this category. Much less intense than the next book about Changabang but kind of kicked back. He also had a cool book about climbing in the Alps interspersed with weekends in Britain. He describes
Venetz' ascent of the final bit on the Grepon and makes it relevant to the contemporary climber.
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Re: Chris Bonington books

Postby Charles » Thu Dec 01, 2005 1:43 pm

Bonnington is a great publisist for our sport. Yes he was one of the first to make a living from his hobby by writing, photography and giving lectures.
Something that is also often ignorred by his detracters is that he was a damn good climber... from the 60s on! Some of the stuff he did on UK rock was very good, in the alps and on the bigger mountains of the world.
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Re: Chris Bonington books

Postby Finarphin » Fri Dec 02, 2005 4:50 am

The only one of these I 've read is Everest, the Hard Way. It's a good book; I actually own a copy. I like the photography: some unusual vantage points were recorded. The writing is ok; the climb itself was, of course, an important one. It might be worth having on that basis more than for the writing. I also heard Dougal Haston give a talk on the climb once, which was far more memorable than the book.

Maybe it's belaboring the obvious, but if you want just one book to represent the whole of mountaineering literature, then it would be Annapurna -- just Annapurna, not Annapurna a Woman's Place, or any of that la de dah.
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Re: Chris Bonington books

Postby Charles » Fri Dec 02, 2005 1:13 pm

From Herzog, Finarphin? If so, then yes it´s a classic!!
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Re: Chris Bonington books

Postby Nelson » Fri Dec 02, 2005 2:26 pm

For what it's worth, Jim Perrin, an award wining mountaineering writer has this to say about Bonington's <I>I Chose To Climb, The Next Horizon</i> and <i>The Everest Years</i>:

"these last three titles together constitute one of the most vivid and engaging - and consistently under-rated - climbing autobiographies ever written."
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Re: Chris Bonington books

Postby Charles » Fri Dec 02, 2005 3:33 pm

Jim Perrin, a verbose writer, in my humble opinion. Why use one word when a flowery sentence will do.
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Re: Chris Bonington books

Postby Nelson » Fri Dec 02, 2005 5:12 pm

<i>Why use one word when a flowery sentence will do</i>

To impress judges who give out awards? :-}
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Re: Chris Bonington books

Postby Charles » Fri Dec 02, 2005 6:04 pm

Nelson, yes and to bolster ones "artistic ego" :o))
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Re: Chris Bonington books

Postby Charles » Fri Dec 02, 2005 6:06 pm

To change the subject slightly I´ve just got Hans Dülfer written by Fritz Schmitt through the post. It´s been out of print for some time. I got it second hand from Amazon. I´ve been looking for it for ages, now I´m a happy camper in deed!!!!
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Annapurna South Face

Postby Sam Page » Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:18 am

Can we talk about books by Sir Chris Bonington again? Ok, good. I just finished reading Annapurna South Face about his expedition to, um, Annapurna South Face in 1970. The book raised some questions for me. Why did the book end so abruptly with scant discussion by Bonington of Haston's and Whillans' summit day? Why did Bonington keep leading expeditions that repeatedly killed his friends? And what exactly is piles? I thought those scattered questions might generate some discussion here.

Here is my review of the book.
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