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Joint Winner of the Boardman Tasker Prize 2005 and Winner of the Banff Mountaineering History Award 2005. A fascinating and thought-provoking biography of a climbing legend.

Don Whillans has an iconic significance for generations of climbers. His epoch-making first ascent of Annapurna's South Face, achieved with Dougal Haston in 1970, remains one of the most impressive climbs ever made - but behind this and all his other formidable achievements lies a tough, recalcitrant reality: the character of the man himself.

Whillans carried within himself a sense of personal invincibility, forceful, direct and uncompromising. It gave him sporting superstar status - the flawed heroism of a Best, a McEnroe, an Ali. In his own circle, his image was the working-class hero on the rock-face, laconic and bellicose, ready to go to war with the elements or with any human who crossed his path on a bad day.

Reviews

A packed and entertaining book . . . Exhaustively researched and beautifully written

M. John Harrison, The Guardian

Wonderfully crafted . . . One of the most gifted chroniclers of mountaineering . . . Perrin records it all with a subtle sympathy, laying bare British mountaineering's most mythologized figure

The Independent

An extraordinarily rich and unsentimental vision . . . The genius of this exceptional biography is that it articulates both sides of Whillans' character . . . It is by turns funny and tragic . . . This is a fine book. It was worth the wait

Climb

Compelling, beautifully written . . . There could not have been a better writer qualified to tell it

Ed Douglas, Climber

A kind of modern tragedy . . . Yet for all his failings, Whillans remains a legend

Observer

Created an enduring, breathtaking legend

The Glasgow Herald

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Formats & editions

  • EBook

    9781446409480

    August 1, 2011

    Cornerstone Digital

    384 pages

    Online retailers

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  • Paperback

    9780099416722

    April 15, 2006

    Arrow

    384 pages

    RRP $29.99

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