Like the desire for drink or drugs, the craving for mountains is not easily overcome
Author: H.W. Tilman Simon Yates
Series title: H.W. Tilman: The Collected Edition
Paperback publication date: 01 Mar 2016
Paperback ISBN: 9781909461222
The scope of H.W. ‘Bill’ Tilman’s When Men & Mountains Meet is broad, covering his disastrous expedition to the Assam Himalaya, a small exploratory trip into Sikkim, and his wartime heroics.
'We had climbed a mountain and crossed a pass; been wet, cold, hungry, frightened, and withal happy. One more Himalayan season was over. It was time to begin thinking of the next. "Strenuousness is the immortal path, sloth is the way of death".' First published in 1946, the scope of H.W. 'Bill' Tilman'sWhen Men & Mountains Meet is broad, covering his disastrous expedition to the Assam Himalaya, a small exploratory trip into Sikkim, and then his wartime heroics. In the thirties, Assam was largely unknown and unexplored. It proved a challenging environment for Tilman's party, the jungle leaving the men mosquito-bitten and suffering with tropical diseases, and thwarting their mountaineering success. Sikkim proved altogether more successful. Tilman, who is once again happy and healthy, enjoys some exploratory ice climbing and discovers Abominable Snowman tracks, particularly remarkable as the creature appeared to be wearing boots – 'there is no reason why he should not have picked up a discarded pair at the German Base Camp and put them to their obvious use'. And then, in 1939, war breaks out. With good humour and characteristic understatement we hear about Tilman's remarkable Second World War. After digging gun pits on the Belgian border and in Iraq, he was dropped by parachute behind enemy lines to fight alongside Albanian and Italian partisans. Tilman was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his efforts – and the keys to the city of Belluno, which he helped save from occupation and destruction. Tilman's comments on the German approach to Himalayan climbing could equally be applied to his guerrilla warfare ethos. 'They spent a lot of time and money and lost a lot of climbers and porters, through bad luck and more often through bad judgement.' While elsewhere the war machine rumbled on, Tilman's war was fast, exciting, lightweight and foolhardy – and makes for gripping reading.
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.
Simon Yates is an internationally acclaimed mountaineer, adventurer and author who first came to prominence in 1985 after the first ascent of the West Face of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes and the ensuing epic descent described in Joe Simpson’s book Touching the Void. In a prolific career spanning almost 30 years, Simon’s climbing adventures have taken him west to east, from Alaska to Australia; and from north to south, from the Canadian Arctic to the tip of South America. He has climbed with many of Britain’s leading mountaineers including Andy Cave, Mick Fowler, Andy Parkin, Paul Pritchard, Doug Scott, establishing many first ascents in the process. He is the author of two previous books: Against the Wall, and The Flame of Adventure, both released to critical acclaim and the former finishing as runner-up for the prestigious Boardman Tasker Prize. Simon lives in Cumbria with his wife, young son and daughter. When not writing and lecturing he runs his own expedition company, Mountain Dream.
Discounts & P&P
From Friday 1 April 2022, we offer 25% off to all newsletter subscribers. Simply sign up to our newsletter here to receive your discount code. If you're already a subscriber, we'll remind you of the code every time we send out a newsletter.
In addition, from 1 November until 23 December 2022, we're offering FREE standard UK P&P for orders, along with options to upgrade the delivery service at checkout.
Postage costs are dependent on order weight (book/s weight plus packing materials) and are calculated automatically upon checkout, before payment is taken. Full details of our delivery and returns information can be found here.
UK orders are sent Royal Mail Second Class as standard and should arrive within two to three working days. From 1 November until 23 December 2022, standard UK shipping is free. The option to upgrade UK shipping to Royal Mail 24 Next Day Delivery is available at checkout.
International orders are sent by Royal Mail International Tracked. Deliveries can take between a few days and a couple of weeks to arrive, depending on the delivery location. Please contact us if your country is not listed.
Update: September 2022. Most orders received through the Vertebrate Publishing Adventure Books website are dispatched from Gardners in Eastbourne, UK; some orders (such as signed copies of pre-orders, or limited stock items) are sent from our office in Sheffield, UK. If your order is for multiple items, you may receive more than one package, though we try to avoid this (if applicable, you would only be charged once for shipping). Orders received before 11 a.m. are dispatched the same day; orders received after 11 a.m. are usually dispatched the following business day. You will be sent a notification email when your order has been dispatched. If we are temporarily out of stock of a title we will advise by email.
Gift card purchases are delivered electronically – we do not dispatch physical gift cards. Full details are provided with gift card purchases.
Coming soon! Ebooks are fulfilled securely by our partner Glassboxx using their app. For more details about how to access your ebook, please refer to the information in your order confirmation.
Payment is made safely and securely using Shopify, which incorporates the world's leading payment gateways, including Stripe, Apple Pay and Google Pay. You can also check out with PayPal. All payments are handled directly by these payment gateways and Vertebrate Publishing Adventure Books does not process or store any cardholder details on the Adventure Books website.
We will happily refund or exchange any item that is returned to us in an unused, as new condition. If you want to make a return, contact us with your details. Once we've received the item(s), we will credit your account. If the item is faulty or damaged or we have sent the incorrect item we will refund postage.
If you're returning something because it's not suitable, you'll need to pay the postage costs to return it to us. We process most returns the day they arrive with us, and certainly within seven working days. Goods must be returned to us within 21 days.