The subtitle of this book is "Chris Bonington and the Tragedy of Climbing's Greatest Generation" and the underlying theme is the tragic loss of some of the finest climbers of the 1950s to 1980s. In this book, Clint Willis looks at parts of the life of British climber Chris Bonington and his contemporaries, men he calls, “climbing’s greatest generation.” Most of these young men had little money and returned to climbing between regular jobs, felt so strongly compelled to climb that they could not lead regular lives with lovers, wives and children. They returned to climb with Bonington over and over and to claim many first ascents and to claim others on their own turning the climbing world on its axis.
Willis' book is based on extensive interviews with surviving climbers and other individuals as well as five decades of journals, films, photographs, expedition accounts, and letters. It details several momentous successful and unsuccessful attempts to climb peaks such as K2 as well as the change from traditional siege style expeditions to small, alpine style expeditions. Some of the climbers highlighted in the book are: Martin Boysen, Tut Braithwaite, Joe Brown, Charles Clarke, Jim Curran, Hammish MacInnes, Dick Renshaw, Al Rouse, Doug Scott, Don Whillans, Peter Boardman, and Joe Tasker. Many spouses and friends are also mentioned in this book.
536 pages with black and white photographs