The Calling: A Life Rocked by Mountains: Blanchard, Barry
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The Calling: A Life Rocked by Mountains

Author(s): Blanchard, Barry

Copyright: 2014, US
Specifications: 1st, 8vo, pp.440, 36 color & 53 bw photos, black cloth
Condition: signed, dj unclipped, fine, cloth tight, fine

With riveting descriptions of avalanches and treacherous ascents, Blanchard chronicles his transformation from a poor kid from the wrong side of the tracks to one of the most respected alpinists in the world. At thirteen, he learned to rappel when he joined the 1292 Lord Strathcone’s Horse Army Cadets. Soon kicked out for insubordination, he was already hooked on climbing and saw alpinism as a way to make his single mother proud and rise above his family’s cycle of poverty. He describes early climbs attempted with nothing to guide him but knowledge gained from books and written trail descriptions and the cajones of youth. He slowly acquireed the skills, equipment and partners necessary to tackle more and more difficult climbs, farther and farther afield: throughout the Canadian Rockies, into Alaska and the French Alps and on to Everest, Peru, and the challenging mountains in Pakistan. From each he learns lessons that only nature and extreme endeavor can teach. This is the story of the culture of climbing in the days of punk rock, spurred on by the rhythm of adrenaline and the arrogance of youth. It is also a portrait of the power of the mountains to lift us – physically, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually – and the depths of relationships based on total trust in the person at the other end of a rope. With an accompanying playlist of classic punk and rock ‘n roll, includes climbs with renowned alpinists such as Kevin Doyle, Mark Twight, David Cheesmond and Ward Robinson.

Winner of the 2015 Boardman/Tasker Mountaineering Literature Award.

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