Mountaineering in Scotland

Author: W.H. Murray

Series title:

Paperback publication date: 03 Mar 2022

Paperback ISBN: 9781839811685

Mountaineering in Scotland is one of the greatest classics in climbing literature. It records the early days of Scottish winter and summer pioneering, providing a timeless antidote to modern-day tales of sterile athleticism. W.H. Murray describes remarkable climbing adventures on some of the most iconic routes in Britain.

‘Our day’s route led us through snow and ice scenery of deathless beauty. This lives strong in mind, while physical pains and trials, the so-called realities of defeat and victory, have long been forgotten.’

Mountaineering in Scotland is one of the greatest classics in climbing literature. It records the saga of the early days of Scottish winter and summer pioneering, providing a timeless antidote to modern-day tales of sterile athleticism.

W.H. Murray’s vivid descriptions have an immediacy that transports the reader to some of the most iconic routes in Britain. In this book are the dramatic moments of the mountains, from walking and scrambling among the rough edges of the high mountain to sighting the mirror-sharp clarity of the burn pools in the valleys.

Through his tales of remarkable and addictive climbing adventures, Murray recounts the very essence of what exploratory climbing and deep mountaineering camaraderie is all about.

W.H. Murray was born in Liverpool in 1913, but two years later his father was killed at Gallipoli. The family moved back to Glasgow where Murray spent his childhood, school and college years before beginning a career in banking. He made his first climbs in 1934 and later joined a talented group of climbers in the Junior Mountaineering Club of Scotland. This instigated his lifelong love of Scottish winter climbing, and it was with this set of young innovators that Murray began to undertake the adventures that he eventually transcribed on Red Cross toilet paper as a prisoner of war.

After returning to Britain from the camps, Murray once more began to climb with undamaged fervency, and later took part on key Himalayan expeditions of the 1950s. In 1951 Murray was on the critical reconnaissance that established a route up Everest via the Khumbu Icefall by which the summit of Mount Everest would eventually be reached. Marrying happily, Murray built a career as a writer and conservationist, writing Highland Landscape, a counsel of protection for the National Trust of Scotland. Murray died in 1996, and his autobiography, The Evidence of Things Not Seen, was published posthumously.

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