Among Secret Beauties: A Memoir of Mountaineering in New Zealand and the Himalayas: Wilkins, Brian
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Among Secret Beauties: A Memoir of Mountaineering in New Zealand and the Himalayas

Author(s): Wilkins, Brian

Copyright: 2013, Australia
Specifications: 1st, 8vo, pp.215, 54 color & 20 bw photos, 2 maps, wraps
Condition: new

Wilkins was one of a number of world-class New Zealand climbers who entered the world stage in the 1950s. In this memoir he shares his experiences of climbing in the Southern Alps and the Himalaya. He was a member of the New Zealand Alpine Club's 1954 expedition to Baruntse which also included Charles Evans, Norman Hardie, Edmund Hillary, and George Lowe. This expedition climbed over 20 peaks over 20,000', including the first ascent of Baruntse (23,690'), and attempted Chamlang (24,012'). During this expedition, Wilkins was the climber most closely associated with Hillary. Hillary’s two narrow escapes from death during the expedition saw Wilkins in a unique position to gauge the character and actions of this legendary figure at a formative stage in the famous climber’s career. (Hillary’s account of this expedition was published as ‘East of Everest’.) Also included is Wilkins’ account of the first ascent of the northeast ridge of New Zealand’s Mt. Aspiring, a gripping drama of survival and human endurance and a test of the ethics of mountaineering. This is a nice addition to the early Himalayan literature with wonderful photos.

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