Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"By breakfast time we had made good progress and were able to look out on the neighbouring hills"

"After breakfast we began to tackle or job in real earnest."

Climbing Borrowdale Fells, Cumbria (1926)
An extract from Claude Friese-Greene's 'The Open Road'

view it here. more extracts here.

For those of you interested in climbing and the history of gear, I would recommend Invisible on Everest: Innovation and the Gear Makers. Written by Mary B. Rose in conjunction with Mike Parsons, who ran the British company Karrimor for a number of years, Invisible on Everest is a highly readable romp through the history of climbing / outdoor gear. From the early days of Edward Whymper, Blacks in the 1930's, to Yvon Chouinard, the authors trace the growth of climbing and the various innovations in gear that resulted as a collaboration between climbers and producers. Much of the focus is on British and European companies so don't expect a detailed history of Gerry, North Face, or Holubar. Dispelling the notion that climbers on early expeditions on Everest were dressed for 'a Connemara picnic, surprised by a snowstorm', the book reveals that much of the gear in the past was sophisticated, well thought out, and, ultimately, effective.

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