Top Read #3 (The Shining Mountain)
For the third in our occasional Top Reads series we are delving into the world of classic mountaineering literature and offering one of the best expedition accounts I've ever read. Top Reads #3 is The Shining Mountain by Peter Boardman.
Pete, along with his regular climbing partner Joe Tasker, were childhood heroes of mine. I became aware of them around the time I was cutting my own climbing teeth on the Gritstone Edges of Derbyshire while they, in contrast, were making ground breaking ascents in the Alps and starting to make their mark on world mountaineering. The Shining Mountain, Pete's first book, is an account of his ascent, with Joe Tasker, of the West Face of Changabang in the Garwhal Himalaya.
At the time of their ascent the west face was unclimbed due to it's extremely technical climbing and objective danger. Joe and Pete had to develop new techniques, including designing insulated hammocks that could be hung from the face, to make the climb possible. It was a challenge above and beyond their expectations and, in succeeding, they opened a new chapter in Himalayan mountaineering. Pete's account of it is both gripping and beautifully written.
If you are interested in mountaineering it's a must read. The Shining Mountain is now only available as part of the Boarman Tasker Omnibus which is book combining all Pete and Joe's books in to one volume (they are all great reads). It is published by Baton Wicks and the ISBN number is 978-1898573128.