Thursday, 18 February 2010
Friday, 12 February 2010
With Jenssen's interest in the Arctic circle landscape, it wasn't a total suprise to discover he is also a skier and mountaineer. Many of the mountains he's climbed can be seen on his Northern Playground website, which is partly about the Lyngen peninsula area. Along with a picture of each mountain, and the route taken marked in red, he also lists the first ascensionists plus interesting historical information.
Thursday, 11 February 2010
Tuesday, 9 February 2010
Monday, 8 February 2010
Now Footless Crow has just reprinted the piece complete with a selection of Cleare's pictures. Part two appears next Friday.
A clue as to why the title made such an impact can be found in a quote by Ken Wilson when he was interviewed about the influences on Hard Rock. Wilson said:
"What was less of an influence was Rock Climbers in Action is Snowdonia, though I do think that it is a fine book, but it is not my style. It is all about the feeling of climbing and its verve and position and very 'photographic' and the captions are poetic rather than factual. Leo Dickinson, Ray Wood, Bob Keates and John Beatty are photographers that might be said to be part of that school. I favour a more scrupulously factual (some might say boring) approach and I particularly like to see the climber in his architectural setting."
The "verve and position" point seems to complement Dean's description that "something had appeared in print that in words and pictures really managed to convey just how rock climbing felt."
Apparently Al Alvarez was originally going to write the commentary but in the end was too busy to take on the work. However, Alvarez did write The Edge of the Impossible, a feature about 'hard' climber Peter Crew, and illustrated with Cleare's pictures, that appeared in the Observer magazine on August 22 1965. This, as Jim Perrin was to later put it (The way you climb is the way you are, The Climbing Essays), was a "wonderful and over-the-top essay," that a did good job of turning Crew "into climbing's first pop icon".
Sunday, 7 February 2010
Saturday, 6 February 2010
Writing as someone who is always on the look out for new book suggestions, I was intrigued to come across Ron Watters's Best book lists of outdoor literature. This includes lists covering UK and US climbing as well more general outdoor books.
First in line is Tony Astill's Top 100 British Mountaineering Books. Last time I mentioned this it was still a work in progress but now seems to be fixed. More about Astill on Les Alpes Livres. Watters also includes the reading list for an Outdoor Literature Class he teaches at Idaho State Universtity. Sounds like a fine way to spend a few months.
Thursday, 4 February 2010
Tuesday, 2 February 2010
President Obama's call for a halt to Constellation, the project that aims to send astronauts back to the moon by 2020 has generated plenty of coverage. Samples of the news and comment can be seen here, here, and here. For a good summing up of the issues take a look at Michael Robinson's The Death of the Constellation Program.
Monday, 1 February 2010
Just to recap, George Mallory and Andrew 'Sandy' Irvine were part of the third attempt on the 'Third Pole,' as Edward Whymper once dubbed it. On June 6 1924, the two climbers set out from their high camp at 23,100 feet to make a bid for the summit. They were last spotted on the afternoon of June 8 by Noel Odell who saw them near the Second step, a rock step at the base of the "summit pyramid."
The discovery of Mallory's body in 1999 reignited the debate as to whether they were in fact the first to reach the summit, nearly three decades before Hillary and Tenzing. Evidence cited that they had indeed been successful included the fact that there was no sign of a photograph of Mallory's wife Ruth on his body suggesting that he'd placed it on the summit. However, there was no concrete proof in the form of the camera and film.
Now, Everest historian, Tom Holzel, claims to have used high resolution satellite photos to try and locate the body of Irvine. Plenty of detail can be found on the Velocity Press site.