Mixed Emotions, Mountaineering Writings of Greg Child
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Greg Child recalls the events and people that have shaped his climbing career in this collection of stories and essays.
Chamoux, reached the summit via the Abruzzi route. Chamoux’s ascent, a single twenty-four-hour push from base camp, was a mind-boggling athletic feat, especially considering that just two weeks before he had sprinted up the neighboring slopes of 26,400-foot Broad Peak in seventeen hours. The real action, though, was on K2’s south face: a two-mile-high expanse of ice-plastered vertical rock, avalanche gullies and hanging glaciers delineated on one side by the Abruzzi Spur and on the other by the
and Shiva the Destroyer. Around these lay offerings of coins, kukris (the curved knives carried by Nepalis), jagged lumps of quartz, incense sticks, candles, juniper boughs, faded flowers, handfuls of grain and likenesses of the gods shaped from dough. Nima made puja, offerings to the gods. He lit several oil lamps and incense sticks and then sparked a blaze of juniper. The rising smoke suggested ascent toward heaven. While we left offerings of cookies and coins, Pasang took up the conch shell
Cameras in hand instead of rifles, Roskelley and I creep up on them like predators. He motions silently for me to follow his moves. We stay upwind so the sheep can’t smell our scent. The forty-strong herd senses something is up, but the old ram with the big, curved horns—the leader of the herd—cannot see us or smell us. We crawl and drift from boulder to boulder across the meadow, stalking now, like the snow leopards that hunt the sheep. Roskelley had seen one of those big cats near the foot of
of the disagreement in writing, but need not follow the LO’s orders. Meanwhile a witness appeared out of the rubble: a Spanish climber heading up to jumar his ropes on Great Trango Tower. “He seemed torn between his climb and this crazy spectacle,” says Beyer. “I said, ‘Hey, man, wait a few minutes and you’ll see the biggest fistfight of all time.’ I knew I couldn’t fight off ten guys, but a witness might be useful.” Despite the offer of a ringside seat, the Spaniard left. With a cry of
a bit as if in disgust, then say, ‘Hey Bog Brush! Get me a beer!’ ” And Leo Dickinson, the British adventure filmmaker, balloonist and parachutist, is a connoisseur of Whillans stories. He tells of Whillans at an airfield, about to take his first parachute jump: “After studying the aerial antics of parachutists all day, Don decided it was safe to try,” said Dickinson. So Whillans signed up for a jump with an instructor, who, in turn, had been studying Whillans, as he wasn’t the usual shape for