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2011 Boardman Tasker prize-winning modern history of Polish Alpinism / Himalayan climbing
||Rocky Mountain Books
|| (4.00 of 5)
|Blurb: Freedom Climbers, the most honoured book of mountaineering
literature published in Canada, tells the story of a group of 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 dreary, war-ravaged
landscape, with seemingly no hope of creating a meaningful life, these
curious, motivated and skilled mountaineers created 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 group of
Himalayan climbers the world has ever known.
Review: A very competent and well-written account of a fascinating group
of climbers. McDonald has chosen a few representative Polish climbers
to illustrate and add depth to her account of Polish climbing over the last
50 years. She covers an extraordinary group of climbers at a fascinating
period in history, and her in-depth profiles add depth and human interest
to a very impressive list of achievements. A good read for anyone
interested in Himalayan climbing.
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