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Unjustifiable Risk?: The Story of British Climbing



Pub. Date:
Midpoint Trade Books Inc
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This is the edition with a publication date of 11/1/2010.

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To the impartial observer Britain does not appear to have any mountains. Yet the British invented the sport of mountain climbing and for two periods in history British climbers led the world in the pursuit of this beautiful and dangerous obsession. Unjustifiable Risk is the story of the social, economic and cultural conditions that gave rise to the sport, and the achievements and motives of the scientists and poets, parsons and anarchists, villains and judges, ascetics and drunks that have shaped its development over the past two hundred years.Over the years, increasing wealth, leisure and mobility have gradually transformed climbing from an activity undertaken by an eccentric and privileged minority into a sub-division of the leisure and tourist industry, while competition, improved technology and information have helped to create climbs of unimaginable difficulty at the leading edge of the sport.Today's climbers would be instantly recognizable to their Victorian predecessors, with their desire to escape from the crowded complexity of urban society and willingness to take 'unjustifiable' risk in pursuit of beauty, adventure and self-fulfillment.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsp. x
Introductionp. 1
Before 1854: In Search of the Sublimep. 7
From gloom to gloryp. 8
Aesthetes and heroesp. 15
1854-65: A Conscious Divinityp. 29
1865-1914: Gentlemen and Gymnastsp. 51
The Alpsp. 57
The Lake Districtp. 79
North Walesp. 91
Scotlandp. 99
Outcropsp. 104
The Greater Rangesp. 107
1914-39: Organised Cowardicep. 123
The Lake Districtp. 136
North Walesp. 142
Scotlandp. 151
Outcropsp. 156
The Alpsp. 158
The Greater Rangesp. 169
1939-70: Hard Men in an Affluent Societyp. 189
North Walesp. 205
The Lake Districtp. 218
Scotlandp. 221
Outcropsp. 234
The Alpsp. 237
The Greater Rangesp. 248
After 1970: Reinventing the Impossiblep. 261
Rock climbingp. 282
Mountaineeringp. 296
Because it's There?p. 323
Notesp. 341
A Note on Gradesp. 359
Glossary of Climbing Termsp. 361
Selected Bibliographyp. 363
Indexp. 379
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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