IN HIGH PLACES by Douglas Hasten


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The object of going onto a mountain is to climb it; to reach the end of your chosen route."" Sometimes you succeed, sometimes you don't. This then is a record of victory and defeat in high places -- Sisyphean doings which began perhaps with the climbing of a stone wall (""I shall search my mind for shadowy traces of a love of rock"") progressing competitively through the peaks of Scotland, the Dolomites in Northern Italy, the Eiger and Eiger Direct, on to the Himalayas and Everest, ""very much a logical movement, each step a necessary part of the whole so that to miss one would leave a bad gap in your mountaineering experience."" More philosophic and less cinematic than those accounts of single, disaster-prone climbs (e.g., Snyder's The Hall of the Mountain King, KR, p. 633), Haston's memoir of his career -- up-and-down career -- has the cold-fingered intensity of a man with his head in the clouds and his feet on the ground.

Pub Date: Aug. 13th, 1973
Publisher: Macmillan