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David_Parker

Great Adventure Stories

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I second David Parker's nomination of Bill Tillman's writings.

For those that don't know, he and Odell had the first ascent of Nanda Devi. Later in life he would sail to remote regions and then climb whatever was in his path. He made the first traverse of the Patagonian ice cap from the Calvo glacier with one other man who did not even speak english. The journey took a year and involved sailing from England past the tip of South America, finding a suitable slip for the boat, walking across the ice cap and back and then sailing home via the Panama Canal. His writing style is very humorous and self deprecating.

He was lost at Sea in 1977 while attempting to reach Smith island in the Antarctic. He was in his 70's at the time and still going strong.

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I think Endurance was boring and dry. I like all of Tilmans books though. That guy is the shit man! He rode his bike across Africa, and hunted big animals and was in WWars and all that sheeeot wink.gif

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How about "In the Zone" by Peter Potterfield? It's accounts of three mountaineering survival epics, including his own accident in the Cascades. Pretty engrossing reading.

 

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Into the zone is a good one, i agree,

for funny adventure, try "The Boat that Wouldn't Float" by Farley Mowat.

Say, i thought Richard Dana's story was fictional but based on his real life experiences, i guess i was wrong..

There are a lot of great classic literature that would qualify for nomination

 

Robinson Curusoe ?sp by Daniel Defoe

Three Musketeers by Dumas

Count of Monte Cristo by ??? Defoe??

the combined leatherstocking tales by

James Fenimore Cooper

Pilgrim's Progress by Paul Bunyon

the Narrow Road to the Interior by Basho

I guess I read way too much as a kid...

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Count of Monte C. is Dumas too, silly!

In SF, climbing stories, I recommend "Green Mars" and Escape From Kathmandu, both by Kim Stanley Robinson, and Kingdoms of the Wall by Robert Silverberg.

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This summer on a drive to WA from CA I listened to a book on tape called "A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush" In the late '50s this guy quits his job, spends a few days in Wales to get some basic rock training, then heads across Europe and on to Afghanistan with his buddy for climbing and adventure.

A truly hilarious book is "A Walk in The Woods" by Bill Bryson. The guy had never done much outddor stuff in his life and decides to travel the Appalachian Trail.

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An excellent read is "Men Against the Clouds", about a 1932 expedition to China to climb Sikang. This is way back in the era of steel, canvas, and wood; the things these guys did, given what they had to work with, are truly amazing. I skimmed this book years ago and have tried to get it through the Seattle Library but it has been unavailable for a long time; they are trying to repair the binding or somesuch.

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How about "Barrows Boys" (1999 or 2000), a history of British explorations in Africa and the search for the Northwest Passage, or "The Last Place on Earth". The latter book is an account of the trips to the South Pole, and how smart and cagey Norwegians are, and how Scott was a dumbass English fop. The "Last Place..." was also a PBS miniseries (1985). I forget the authors, but both are available in the King Co. Lib. Sys.

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"The Adventures of Gargantua and Pantagruel" by Rabelais, or Voltaire's "Candide"- great ribald adventure stories!

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"The Long Walk" and "No Picnic on Mt Kenya" besides those other worthy suggestions. R.E. the Long Walk - the guy was tortured before he was put in the camp in Siberia and escaped the Gulag in mid-winter with next to nothing.

No Picnic on Mt Kenya: Italian WWII POW escapes to climb Mt Kenya because he's bored - then returns to the POW camp after the attempt. The Brits put him in solitary until they found out what he did during his "leave."

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Some years ago I read a series of books by a fellow named Peter Hathaway Capstick. He tells some pretty adventurous tales about hunting various man eating beasts in Africa and other parts of the world. Really enjoyable reading and highly recommended to those looking for adventure literature.

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The Worst Journey in the World, by Apsley Cherry-Garrard. Scott's last trip to Antarctica. At minus 70, sleeping bags freeze solid before you can roll them up or stuff them away. Nothing to do but strap them to the sled and trudge on. Beat them into submission each evening.

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Two more - water related.

Running the Amazon by Joe Kane - the first descent of the complete Amazon, and a good study of a well conceived, but poorly executed expedition due to personaility conflicts. I've also had a chance to meet Kane and hear him speak on the trip.

The Search for the Pink-Headed Duck by Rory Nugent. Guy rafts/sails/canoes the entire length of the Bamaputra River in search of a rare duck that hasn't been seen for a century. An entertaining read and interesting discoveries and views of India.

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Crossing Antarctica

by Will Steger and Jon Bowermaster

written in journal entries by the first man to cross antarctica by foot (and dogsledding).

Im always fascinated by those who can survive in such exteme weather.

 

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