"Life is brought down to the basics: if you are warm, regular, healthy, not thirsty or hungry, then you are not on a mountain... Climbing at altitude is like hitting your head against a brick wall - it's great when you stop."

Chris Darwin

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Conquistadors of the Useless

Conquistadors of the Useless: From the Alps to Annapurna.Terray, LionelMountaineers Books2001Frenchman Lionel Terray is one of mountaineering history's greatest alpinists, and his autobiography, Conquistadors of the Useless, stands among the "100 Greatest Adventure Books of All Time", according to National Geographic Adventuremagazine. Following World War II, when France desperately needed successes to heal its wounds, Terray emerged as a national hero, conquering summits atop the planet's highest mountains.This biography of Lionel Terry is filled with first-time feats and acts of bravery in the face of unspeakable odds. He climbed with legends such as Maurice Herzog, Gaston Rebuffat, and Louis Lachenal. He made first ascents in the Alps, Alaska, the Andes, and the Himalaya. Terray's gripping story captures the energy of an optimistic world shaking off the restraints of war and austerity. It's a mountaineering classic.97808988677879780898867787Conquistadors of the UselessBiographyen by Lionel Terray seems to have gotten extremely positive reviews. Being listed as one of National Geographic Adventure 's 100 Greatest Adventure Books of All Time is probably already good enough reason to read it. However, perhaps the most glowing review was that made by Explore magazine : "If my library was to somehow catch fire and I could only save one book, the long out of print Conquistadors of the Useless, by Lionel Terray, would be it."

Terray is probably best known for his role in the first ascent of French routeAnnapurna I8091mNorth face in 1950 (he did not summit) and in the first ascent of French routeMakalu8463mNW side. However, his routes on somewhat lower peaks, particularly SE faceFitzroy3440mSouth sideED-; 50-60°, VI+,A2/VII+300m/6 pitches of ice + 650m/14 pitches of rock, SE ridgeJannu7711mSouth side and Arista NEChacraraju Este6001mEast sideED2800m, 1 day may be even more important as they represented the absolute cutting edge of difficulty climbed at altitude at the time.

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