Climbing Author Interviews and Book Reviews

Climbing Author Interviews and Book Reviews

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March 8th, 2003, 5:43 pm #1

I will try to post book reports and author interviews under this topic.
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March 8th, 2003, 5:45 pm #2

Here's an excellent article in the Seattle Post-Inelligencer on 80-year-old bachelor climber Fred Beckey who writes scholarly books that are the definitive books on the Cascades and has the title of climber of most unclimbed peaks


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Excerpts:
"Range of Glaciers" is a scholarly history of the exploration and survey of the Northern Cascade Range, not a mountaineering guidebook like his best-known works. Yet many of the people who lined up to meet Fred Beckey that Sunday weren't history buffs but young, hero-worshiping climbers.

They beheld one of the least famous of the world's most accomplished athletes, a wiry, slightly stooped nomad who has set records that will never be broken -- and who, at the age of 80, is still at it, relentlessly.
For years, mountaineering journals and climbers' tales have buffed the outlaw-tinged Beckey mystique: his independence, prickly personality, raucous sense of humor and seeming aversion to fame; his endless pursuit of unclimbed peaks and routes, his knowledge of mountains no one else has heard of and even his womanizing -- "He's going to do that until he's dead," says Sybil Goman, an ex-girlfriend and a still-close friend.

Beckey seemingly set out to climb practically everything else, with less fanfare, on leaner, quicker, Alpine-style trips with a few scruffily outfitted pals. His renown began in the North Cascades, British Columbia Coast Range and Alaska and spread elsewhere.
There is even a Mount Beckey, a previously unnamed, 8,500-foot peak in Alaska's remote Cathedral Mountains that Beckey and two partners were the first to climb in 1996.

"Nobody has been as prolific (in first ascents), and nobody ever will be, because there aren't enough (unclimbed) mountains left," Bertulis said. "So he's one of a kind in history."

The fabled alpinist curtly dismisses any suggestion that he might have more first ascents than anyone else on earth.
"I don't know. I don't care," he said in an interview. "I don't want to claim that, and I really don't care. There are people in Europe who have probably done more new routes."

Beckey's rock-star status with young climbers stems from his age-defying, never-ending climbing career and also from his books, especially the three-volume, 1,000-page Cascade Alpine Guide. It describes nearly every route on each of the hundreds of peaks in the Cascades north of the Columbia River.

Beckey turned 80 Jan. 14. Yet he typically climbs with people in their 20s and 30s -- partly because many of them, like their single-minded, never-married, Gypsy-like elder, aren't yet encumbered by spouses, mortgages, families and 9-to-5 jobs.
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/111 ... ey08.shtml

Fred Beckey on web

Fred Beckey Books: Page 1 and 2
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March 24th, 2003, 11:33 pm #3

Karen Berger's books were discussed here:
http://www.network54.com/Hide/Forum/mes ... 1048525865
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April 19th, 2003, 3:15 pm #4

I will try to post book reports and author interviews under this topic.
This book, written jointly by legendary mountaineer and former Indo-Tibetan Border Police officer M.S. Kohli and Kenneth Conboy, deputy director of the Heritage Foundation, Washington DC, provides an absorbing and authentic account of a top secret operation undertaken by the intelligence communities of India and the US after the Sino-Indian war of 1962.
The objective of the operation was to have a sensor with a nuclear-fuelled generator planted in the Himalayas by a team of Indo-US mountaineers to monitor nuclear and missile developments in China. While practically all the mountaineers selected from the Indian side came from the Intelligence Bureau and its allied agencies, those from the US were private climbers, with the CIA providing the leadership.

The first attempt to plant the device on Nanda Devi in 1965 was beaten back by bad weather. Instead of bringing the device back, the team, with the clearance of the IB and the Aviation Research Centre (ARC) HQ in New Delhi, left it cached on the mountain, planning to return the next year to retrieve it. When the team returned, it had disappeared—causing concern about possible radioactive contamination of the environment.

The first attempt to plant the device on Nanda Devi in 1965 was beaten back by bad weather. Instead of bringing the device back, the team, with the clearance of the IB and the Aviation Research Centre (ARC) HQ in New Delhi, left it cached on the mountain, planning to return the next year to retrieve it. When the team returned, it had disappeared—causing concern about possible radioactive contamination of the environment. retrieved the next year and returned to the US. The idea of using a device with a nuclear-fuelled generator was thereafter abandoned. Instead, a gas-powered device and a solar-powered one were planted in peaks in the Leh region and in the Northeast.

After the spy-in-the-sky satellites in the 1970s, which performed the same tasks more effectively and with much less risk of a political controversy, technical spies in the Himalayas lost their relevance. The sensitive joint project was kept a well-guarded secret till 1978, when Outside, an American journal, exposed it with a highly exaggerated and alarming account of the likely hazards to the environment from the lost nuclear-fuelled generator.
http://www.outlookindia.com/full.asp?fo ... oksa&sid=1

Spies in the Himalayas: Secret Missions and Perilous Climbs (Modern War Studies) by M. S. Kohli Kenneth J. Conboy and other books on secret wars (including CIA involvement in Tibert) by Kenneth J. Conboy.
Last edited by dipper on May 9th, 2003, 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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May 9th, 2003, 2:59 pm #5

I will try to post book reports and author interviews under this topic.
Basalt author Cam Burns recently released his latest book, “50 Hikes in Colorado,” published by the Countryman Press, an imprint of W.W. Norton. The book is the 37-year-old author’s 16th title.
To stimulate interest in the book, Burns is donating his share of income from sales he makes in the Roaring Fork Valley to several areas nonprofits: Growing Years Preschool, the Roaring Fork Conservancy, and Cleanup Expeditions, a nonprofit Burns founded that leads trash removal expeditions to the world’s most popular mountains.
The book describes 50 of the best hikes in the Centennial State, most of them in Colorado’s scenic mountain areas, including a half dozen hikes in the Roaring Fork Valley. Hiking descriptions are supplemented by USGS maps and photographs by the author. The book, which sells for $16.95, is distributed by Burns’ Hard-Pressed Books outlet locally. For more information, call 927-2666.
Burns’ other authored and coauthored books include “The Shoes of Kilimanjaro & Other Oddventure Travel Stories” (Hard-Pressed Books), “Kilimanjaro & Mt. Kenya “(The Mountaineers Books), “Colorado Ice Climber’s Guide” (Chockstone/Globe-Pequot), “California’s Fourteeners: A Hiking & Climbing Guide” (The Mountaineers Books), “Climbing California’s Fourteeners” (Palisades Press), and “Selected Climbs of the Desert Southwest” (The Mountaineers Books). His essays have appeared in the books “World Mountaineering” (Mitchell-Beazeley, UK), “Ascent,” “The Walker Within” (The Lyons Press), “I Really Should Have Stayed Home” (RDR Books), and others.

http://www.postindependent.com/apps/pbc ... 032&Ref=AR

Cameron Burns Books (part 1)
Cameron Burns Books (part 2)
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July 14th, 2003, 1:35 pm #6

I will try to post book reports and author interviews under this topic.
Jon Krakauer's new title, Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith, probably will ignite a firestorm of angry rebuttals from Mormons when it arrives in stores Tuesday. They will see the well-researched and evenhanded book as an attack on their lifestyle and profound faith.
Heaven uses the murder of a young Mormon wife, Brenda Lafferty, and her 15-month-old daughter in 1984 as a launchpad to probe the roots of all religious faith and the extremes to which it can be taken. Lafferty and her child were killed by her brothers-in-law in revenge because she resisted their fanatic faith, a renegade form of Mormonism not sanctioned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This included a terrifying level of wifely submission.
http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/revi ... nner_x.htm

News coverage of Kraukauer:
http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&scori ... n+Krakauer

Jon Kraukauer Books
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Anonymous
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July 21st, 2003, 7:34 pm #7

Bout' time somebody said something.
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Surgent
Surgent

July 21st, 2003, 10:10 pm #8

Jon Krakauer's new title, Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith, probably will ignite a firestorm of angry rebuttals from Mormons when it arrives in stores Tuesday. They will see the well-researched and evenhanded book as an attack on their lifestyle and profound faith.
Heaven uses the murder of a young Mormon wife, Brenda Lafferty, and her 15-month-old daughter in 1984 as a launchpad to probe the roots of all religious faith and the extremes to which it can be taken. Lafferty and her child were killed by her brothers-in-law in revenge because she resisted their fanatic faith, a renegade form of Mormonism not sanctioned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This included a terrifying level of wifely submission.
http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/revi ... nner_x.htm

News coverage of Kraukauer:
http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&scori ... n+Krakauer

Jon Kraukauer Books
Absolutely brilliant book, couldn't put it down. Well written and researched, and definitely not an 'attack' book by any means. Highly recommended. It'll be interesting to see if any ripple effect comes from this book. Regardless, it's a good book and Krakauer does a commendable job of keeping it even-keeled.
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Fred
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July 29th, 2003, 8:11 pm #9

I suppose Jon K would do well to stay out of the Unitas. I'm sure he is not to popular with the LDSs. I can't wait to read his book.

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Ken Akerman
Ken Akerman

July 31st, 2003, 3:35 pm #10

Jon Krakauer's new title, Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith, probably will ignite a firestorm of angry rebuttals from Mormons when it arrives in stores Tuesday. They will see the well-researched and evenhanded book as an attack on their lifestyle and profound faith.
Heaven uses the murder of a young Mormon wife, Brenda Lafferty, and her 15-month-old daughter in 1984 as a launchpad to probe the roots of all religious faith and the extremes to which it can be taken. Lafferty and her child were killed by her brothers-in-law in revenge because she resisted their fanatic faith, a renegade form of Mormonism not sanctioned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This included a terrifying level of wifely submission.
http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/revi ... nner_x.htm

News coverage of Kraukauer:
http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&scori ... n+Krakauer

Jon Kraukauer Books
<a href=http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/searc ... 193735>Jon Krakauer</a> has made some factual errors in <a href=http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/de ... 6>[i]Under the Banner of Heaven[/i]</a> and has structured his narrative to imply connections that can't be supported. But on the whole, he has written a gutsy book.

Because truth trumps accuracy and courage is more important than pleasing readers, Under the Banner should be read by anyone hoping to understand if there is a causal connection between Mormon history and the violence associated with oddball polygamist cults.

People predisposed to be defensive to criticism of <a href=http://www.lds.org>The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints</a> are unlikely to appreciate the nuances of Krakauer's argument. He does not, for example, argue that violence in the early history of the LDS Church makes violence in contemporary polygamist cults inevitable. But he does present a portrait in which the present is the sum of all that is past.

<a href=http://www.sltrib.com/2003/Jul/07272003 ... .asp>Click here to read the rest of the article</a>.
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