Alpine Warriors: McDonald, Bernadette
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Alpine Warriors

Author(s): McDonald, Bernadette

Copyright: 2015, Canada
Specifications: 1st, 8vo, pp.335, 93 color & 37 bw photos, black cloth
Condition: signed, dj & cloth new

After the Second World War a period of relative calm began in Josip Broz Tito’s Yugoslavia. Through elaborate training programs and state-supported expeditions abroad, Yugoslavian alpinists began making impressive climbs in the Himalaya as early as 1960. These teams were dominated by Slovenian climbers, since their region includes the Julian Alps, a fiercely steep range of limestone peaks that provided the ideal training ground.

After Tito died in 1980, however, the calm ended. Inter-ethnic conflict and economic decline ripped Yugoslavia apart, and by 1991 Slovenia was independent. The new country continued its support for climbers, and by 1995 all of the 8000ers had been climbed by Slovenian teams. Some of the most dramatic and futuristic climbs were made by these ferocious alpinists, most of them unknown in the West.

McDonald uncovers a dramatic era of Slovenian alpinism through the lens of one of the country’s greatest climbers and writers, Nejc Zaplotnik. His book, Pot (The Way), remains a Slovenian classic, not just for alpinists, but for ordinary citizens. His words and spirit form a thread that weaves throughout Alpine Warriors and opens the door to the souls of these Balkan climbers.

Winner 2015 Banff Mountain Book Festival Mountaineering History Award.

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