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Games Climbers Play, The
Large climbing anthology. Draws material from climbing periodicals.
||Games Climbers Play, The
||Menasha Ridge Press
||1978, Reprint edition (November 1996)
|| (4.00 of 5)
|The Games Climbers Play
Ken Wilson (Ed)
The Essential Gist: Carefully selected anthology of the best Anglophone climbing writing up to the 80s.
60-second summary: Weedy anthologies of climbing writing such as Showell Style’s Climber’s Companion had been around for some time before ‘Well Read’ Ken took hold of the concept, pumped it full of steroids and made it vital and interesting. He rummaged around obscure club journals and the disposable medium of magazines, rescuing many now classic pieces from oblivion by sticking them between hard covers. The eclectic mix of material was sorted into broad themes then skilfully sewn together with masterfully authoritative introductions and analyses. Although some of the 60s & 70s magazine journalism has dated beyond redemption (much of Ian McNaught-Davis’s sexist nonsense is just now plain embarrassing for example, and much of what appears in the section on ‘mountain education’ is now of fusty historical interest only), most of the collection sparkles as brightly and vividly as the day it was written - a fact which large sales of the recent reprint testify to.
Characteristic excerpt: ‘Discreet walls first. I never want to see another wall as discreet as that. Small hidden holds 10ft apart with smirches, flickets and wrinkles in between, but where to go? Half lines leading to whole truths. And I follow one and see another, go again - and now suddenly I can say the climbing is unreasonable, but I think we mean the climber has lost his reason. So I hang on half a wire nut and smash hell out of my No 1 Clog, and make it thread a hole it wouldn’t before. And I feel safe now, perhaps it’s not so unreasonable - but it’s too late, because Ron is pulling m down with plenty of reason bottled up in his paws.’
Like this? Try this… Mirrors in the Cliffs. Jim Perrin (Ed) Baton Wicks
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