Book of the week

AnnapurnaMy book of the week is Annapurna by Maurice Herzog.  If you’re interested in mountaineering  you should read it because it tells about the very first ascent of an 8000 meter peak, Annapurna 1, the 10th highest mountain in the world at  8,091 m (26,545 ft).  This was achieved in 1950 by a team of French mountaineers (Herzog, Lachenal, Rebuffat and  Terray)  without supplemental oxygen.   It’s the only 8000 meter peak which has been climbed on the first attempt, and it came at a cost:  Herzog lost all of his fingers and toes.

The chapters on route-finding and even the ascent are not particularly easy to read but the story of the descent is gripping.  The book has been described as self-serving and idealistic as it turned Herzog into a national hero and played down the role of his three teammates, but it is still a mountaineering classic .  Follow it up with True Summit by David Roberts for a more balanced account of what really happened in the expedition.

If you’d like to join in with our book of the week feature you can add a comment about this book, or tell us your own recommendation and who knows, maybe they’ll feature in a future book of the week post!

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