THE LAST BLUE MOUNTAIN by Ralph Barker
Kirkus Star

THE LAST BLUE MOUNTAIN

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

The attempt to climb the 24,270 foot Haramosh, 1000 miles North East of Karachi in the Himalayas, is sensitively recorded here- and if this is perhaps not the highest mountain, or one of the more showily strenuous accounts, it has many moments of excitement, of real tragedy, and of awareness of the five men who engaged in this expedition. It was in Bernard Jillott, a year out of Oxford, who organized the ascent, that the mountaineering impulse and ideal was most strongly developed; he enlisted Streather, a man of greater self-sufficiency as well as experience, as well as Emery, a medical student and poet, Scott Hamilton, a voluble American, and Rae Culbert, an outspoken New Zealander. A temperamentally compatible group, they remained that way- even during the days of inactivity which followed the first two weeks of excellent weather, and the later period of stress. With falling snow, and poor visibility, their chances of reaching the top diminished as the natives' resistance to go on increased; along with the dull skies and dispiriting delays, there were the increasing dangers of ice cliffs and avalanches. Jillott and Emery fall-but survive and escape, surprisingly, but there is a second accident in which Jillott is killed- Culbert is stranded, and the others are by now too weak to rescue him so that he is left to die alone..... The obdurate dream of men such as this to ""see over the next hill"", the exhilaration which must be equalled by cool and practical skill, the courage which must surmount failure and the sense of striving which survives that failure and gives it meaning for others- all transcend the actual incidents of this particular attempt.

Pub Date: Feb. 18th, 1959
Publisher: Doubleday