Two Mountains and a River

I Made a Resolve Not to Begin Climbing Until Assured by a Plague of Flies That Summer Had Really Come

Author: H.W. Tilman Gerda Pauler

Series title: H.W. Tilman: The Collected Edition

Paperback publication date: 01 Sep 2016

Paperback ISBN: 9781909461307

H.W. Tilman’s Two Mountains and a River sees him trek across Nepal, China, Pakistan and other areas of Asia, including Ishkashim, where the author was arrested on suspicion of being a spy ...

H.W. Tilman's Two Mountains and a River picks up where Mount Everest 1938 left off. In this instalment of adventures, Tilman and two Swiss mountaineers set off for the Gilgit region of the Himalaya with the formidable objective of an attempt on the giant Rakaposhi (25,550 feet). However, this project was not to be fulfilled. Not one to be dispirited, Tilman and his various accomplices – including pioneering mountaineer and regular partner Eric Shipton – continue to trek and climb in locations across China, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other areas of Asia, including the Kukuay Glacier, Muztagh Ata, the source of the Oxus river, and Ishkashim, where the author was arrested on suspicion of being a spy ... Two Mountains and a River brims with the definitive Tilman qualities – detailed observations and ever-present humour – that convey a strong appreciation of the adventures and mishaps he experiences along the way. With a new foreword from prominent trekker, climber and lecturer, Gerda Pauler, this classic mountaineering text maintains Tilman's name as a unique and inquisitive explorer and raconteur.

Harold William ‘Bill’ Tilman (1898–1977) was among the greatest adventurers of his time, a pioneering mountaineer and sailor who held exploration above all else. Tilman joined the army at seventeen and was twice awarded the Military Cross for bravery during WWI. After the war Tilman left for Africa, establishing himself as a coffee grower. He met Eric Shipton and began their famed mountaineering partnership, traversing Mount Kenya and climbing Kilimanjaro. Turning to the Himalaya, Tilman went on two Mount Everest expeditions, reaching 27,000 feet without oxygen in 1938. In 1936 he made the first ascent of Nanda Devi – the highest mountain climbed until 1950. He was the first European to climb in the remote Assam Himalaya, he delved into Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor and he explored extensively in Nepal, all the while developing a mountaineering style characterised by its simplicity and emphasis on exploration. It was perhaps logical then that Tilman would eventually buy the pilot cutter Mischief – not with the intention of retiring from travelling, but to access remote mountains. For twenty-two years Tilman sailedMischief and her successors to Patagonia, where he crossed the vast ice cap, and to Baffin Island to make the first ascent of Mount Raleigh. He made trips to Greenland, Spitsbergen and the South Shetlands, before disappearing in the South Atlantic Ocean in 1977.

Gerda Pauler was born in the late 1950s outside Munich and soon found out that she had inherited her mother’s passion for adventure. Whereas her female friends spent all their money on stylish clothes, she used hers for rucksacks, sleeping bags and travelling. However, she was almost thirty years old before she set out on her first trip to Nepal, and it was then that she developed a genuine love for the mountains. Now, twenty-five years later, she looks back at countless trips to the Himalaya and Central Asia – and knows that she will never get tired of visiting the area. She is the author of Great Himalaya Trail (Bâton Wicks, 2013). Dolpo: People and Landscape is her second book.

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