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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
|Before 1854: In Search of the Sublime||p. 7|
|From gloom to glory||p. 8|
|Aesthetes and heroes||p. 15|
|1854-65: A Conscious Divinity||p. 29|
|1865-1914: Gentlemen and Gymnasts||p. 51|
|The Alps||p. 57|
|The Lake District||p. 79|
|North Wales||p. 91|
|The Greater Ranges||p. 107|
|1914-39: Organised Cowardice||p. 123|
|The Lake District||p. 136|
|North Wales||p. 142|
|The Alps||p. 158|
|The Greater Ranges||p. 169|
|1939-70: Hard Men in an Affluent Society||p. 189|
|North Wales||p. 205|
|The Lake District||p. 218|
|The Alps||p. 237|
|The Greater Ranges||p. 248|
|After 1970: Reinventing the Impossible||p. 261|
|Rock climbing||p. 282|
|Because it's There?||p. 323|
|A Note on Grades||p. 359|
|Glossary of Climbing Terms||p. 361|
|Selected Bibliography||p. 363|
|Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.|