TOTAL ALPINISM

BY RENE DESMAISON

1982 FIRST EDITION

FRENEY PILLAR MONT BLANC WITH WALTER BONATTI

THE WALKER SPUR DIRECT IN WINTER IN TERRIBLE WEATHER


This is the first printing of the first UK edition of TOTAL ALPINISM by Rene Desmaison. This book was published in London by Granada in 1982. The book measures 24cm tall x 16cm, and has 202 pages, 24 b/w photos, index. Autobiography of leading French climber. Many period classics: Frêney Pillar tragedy with Bonatti, the Hemming-Burke rescue of 2 German climbers from the Dru (controversial), 2nd winter ascent of the Walker Spur of the Grandes Jorasses (Desmaison gives chapter title “first winter ascent” but Bonatti & Zappelli had climbed it 2 weeks earlier), Cima Ovest N Face, 1st winter ascent W Face Drus, brief 2-page chapter on the first ascent of Jannu, etc. The second half of the book is on the tragic struggle on the unclimbed Walker Direct in winter where Desmaison almost died and his partner, Gousseault, did die. Two years later Desmaison made the 1st ascent, again finishing in rotten weather. Desmaison's climbs were some of the most extreme attempts and ascents up to that time. He pushed the limits and should be considered one of the main progenitors of modern extreme alpinism. Many criticized him at the time as being foolish and selfish with his climbing ambitions. In hindsight, it has become clearer that through rigorous physical and mental training he had honed his skills and mental composure to tackle the routes without being reckless or frivolous.

CONDITION: Original navy boards with silver lettering spine. The original dust jacket is in fine condition with no tears, no chips, tiny bit of curling at the very edges of the spine. The book is in fine condition except for a tiny bump to the lower outside corner tip. No previous owner marks or writings are in the book. Tight binding, no foxing. Price: $125.


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