Vertebrate Publishing
Freedom Climbers

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Glossary - Banff Mountain Festival close

The Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival celebrates mountain literature and film, bringing together film makers, writers, publishers, editors, photographers, athletes, adventurers; and - of course - readers. The Book Competition is an internationally recognised literary competition that will celebrate its 20th year in 2013.

A list of all the winners that we stock can be seen here.

Glossary - Bernadette McDonald close

Bernadette McDonald is a Canadian author who has written a number of non-fiction books, primarily on mountaineering history and biography. She has also edited a number of books, has been a director of the Banff Festival and won the 2011 Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature with Freedom Climbers.

Freedom Climbers

Freedom Climbers
(Vertebrate Publishing, 2012)

Freedom Climbers tells the story of the extraordinary Polish adventurers who emerged from under the blanket of oppression following the Second World War to become the world’s leading Himalayan climbers.

Tomaz Humar

Tomaz Humar(Arrow Books, 2009)

In August, 2005, Tomaz Humar was trapped on a narrow ledge at 5900 metres on the formidable Rupal Face of Nanga Parbat. He had been attempting a new route, directly up the middle of the highest mountain face in the world - solo. After six days he was out of food, almost out of fuel and frequently buried by avalanches. Three helicopters were poised for a brief break in the weather to pluck him off the mountain.

Brotherhood of the Rope

Brotherhood of the Rope: the Biography of Charles Houston
(Bâton Wicks, 2007)

It was a failed summit attempt and a failed rescue in the Himalaya that brought Charles Houston, M.D., fame and adulation in the mountaineering world. His leadership of the K2 expedition of 1953 is still celebrated as the embodiment of all that is right and good in the mountains. The disaster which followed the retreat from close to the summit remains one of the most dramatic escapes in mountaineering history.

Glossary - Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature close

The Boardman Tasker Charitable Trust was established to promote literature by providing an annual award to authors of literary works, the central theme of which is concerned with mountains. The prize of £3,000 commemorates the lives of Peter Boardman and Joe Tasker and is given to the author or co-authors of an original work which has made an outstanding contribution to mountain literature.

A list of all the winners that we stock can be seen here.

Freedom Climbers by Bernadette McDonald is the first book to win the two most prestigious English language mountain literature prizes in the same year. It tells the story of the extraordinary Polish adventurers who emerged from under the blanket of oppression following the Second World War to become the world’s leading Himalayan climbers. Although they lived in a war-ravaged landscape, with seemingly no hope of creating a meaningful life, these curious, motivated and skilled mountaineers built their own free-market economy under the very noses of their Communist bosses and climbed their way to liberation.

At a time when Polish citizens were locked behind the Iron Curtain, these intrepid explorers found a way to travel the world in search of extreme adventure – to Alaska, South America and Europe, but mostly to the highest and most inspiring mountains of the world. To this end, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and Nepal became their second homes as they evolved into the toughest Himalayan climbers the world has ever known.

In her most engaging book to date, renowned and award-winning author Bernadette McDonald weaves a passionate and literary tale of adventure, politics, suffering, death and – ultimately – inspiration.

'One of the most important mountaineering books to be written for many years.' Boardman Tasker Prize

'Painstakingly researched and well crafted, this remarkable book acknowledges the significance of Polish mountaineers during the golden age of Himalayan exploration. Fascinating.' Andy Cave

Freedom Climbers

  • author: Bernadette McDonald
  • publisher: Vertebrate Publishing 2012, 1st UK edition, 239p., flapped paperback
  • ISBN: 9781906148447
  • size: 23.4x15.8cm
Vertebrate Publishing

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