Virgin on Insanity: Bell, Steve
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Virgin on Insanity

Author(s): Bell, Steve

Copyright: 2016, UK
Specifications: 1st, 8vo, pp.v, 246, 17 color & 40 bw photos, map/photo eps, black cloth
Condition: dj & cloth new

Outwardly, ‘Britain’s most experienced teenage Alpinist’ is a brave young mountaineer. But he’s not experienced at all, at least not in the way he really wants to be. Behind his death-defying climbs there lurks a great deal of fear - fear of the opposite sex, fear of failure, fear of not being ‘man enough’.

He seeks manhood in the mountains, yet he believes he will only truly gain it by losing something. Harrowing escapades in Scotland, the Alps and Alaska are interspersed with excruciating sexual encounters and unsettling hitch-hiking rides. When the mountains fail him, he seeks meaning with a religious cult in Colorado. Eventually he succeeds in his quest, only to find that he’s lost more than he bargained for.

Steve Bell started climbing in 1975 at the age of 16. He soon became one of Britain’s up-and-coming young mountaineers, notching up winter ascents of the Matterhorn and Eiger north faces before he was 21, as well as numerous first ascents of rock climbs in the south-west of England.

He spent a season with the British Antarctic Survey and four years as a Royal Marines Officer before co-founding Himalayan Kingdoms, a trekking and mountaineering company. He pioneered the concept of commercial high altitude expeditions in the UK and in 1993 became the first Briton to guide clients to the summit of Everest. In 1995 he founded Jagged Globe, which is now one of the world’s leading mountaineering companies. With JG he led expeditions to all of the coveted Seven Summits, the highest point in all seven continents. He edited the book, Seven Summits, which was published in five countries in four languages.

A coming-of-age story of high adventure, youthful insecurity and immature love. The situations might be extreme, but the deeper issues will be familiar to man.

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