Starlight and Storm

Starlight and Storm

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The noted French climbing guide and first man to climb all six of the great north faces of the Alps offers a personal account of his climbing adventures, recounting the dangers, triumphs, and joy found in the more

Product details

  • Paperback | 160 pages
  • 138 x 214 x 22mm | 359.99g
  • Random House USA Inc
  • Random House Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 6 maps
  • 0375755063
  • 9780375755064
  • 89,314

Review quote

Known for his lyrical writing and his ability to convey not only the dangers of mountaineering but the pure exaltation of the climb, Gaston Rebuffat is among the most well-known and revered Alpinists of all time. He rose to international prominence in 1950 as one of the four principal stalwarts in the first ascent of Annapurna, the highest mountain climbed at that time. Yet his finest feat as a mountaineer was to be the first man to climb all six of the legendary great north faces of the Alps--the Grandes Jorasses, the Piz Badile, the Dru, the Matterhorn, the Cima Grande di Lava-redo, and the Eiger. With this elegant book, first published in 1954, Rebuffat transformed mountain writing. His insistence on seeing a climb as an act of harmonious communion with the mountain, not a battle waged against it, seemed radical at the time, though Rebuffat's aesthetic has since won the day. Through storms, avalanches, rock fall, unplanned bivouacs, and even the deaths of companions, we follow the Chamonix guide to the altar of his communion, on dark, icy walls that struck terror into the hearts of Europe's finest mountaineers. Nor are these deft narratives mere recitations of dangers faced and obstacles overcome, for Rebuffat pays as keen attention to the joys of comradeship won on these faces as he does to the climbs themselves. In our own day of corporate sponsorships, online expeditions, and eco-vacations, the purity of Rebuffat's vision of the Alps as (in the epithet of the title of another of his books) an "enchanted garden" shines forth in prose as fresh and stylish as any ever lavished on mountaineering. Gaston Rebuffat was born on May 7, 1921, in Marseilles, France. He was a recipient of France's prestigious Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur. He died in Paris on May 31, 1985. Jon Krakauer is the author of "Into Thin Air, " which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and "Into the Wild." His work has appeared in many magazines, including Outside, Smithsonian, and National Geographic. He chose the books in the Modern Library Exploration series for their literary merit and historical significance--and because he found them such a pleasure to more

Review Text

Sir John Hunt introduces Gaston Rebuffat (one of the four to return from Annapurna) and his book, which is briefly a discussion of the technique of mountain climbing, at greater length an account of various climbs he has made. All of it however is pervaded by the mystique- and the challenge- of the mountains- the world of "wind and wide spaces, starlight and storm" which has its special fascination. The individual climbs were made up the north face of the Grandes Jorasses (a satellite of Mont Blanc), of the Central Spur, of the Matterhorn (the ideal peak), in the Dolomites and the Engadine, and finally of the Eiger- where an endless night was spent on a ledge as snow- and avalanches- fell.... Rebuffat writes with the elation- and much of the eloquence- this special pursuit holds, and while this is - by comparison- a minor memoir- there will be an audience of devotees to follow his footsteps. (Kirkus Reviews)show more
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