"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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Mountain Film Database

While browsing for bluray release of Reel Rock 11 I somehow landed at Mountain Film Database. It is a very welcome service, as I have a lot of interest in climbing films and have few items in my collection for which next to no information can be obtained in regular movie databases such as The Movie Database and The Internet Movie Database. Those general purpose databases usually list better known and commercially releases films, but omit plenty of lesser known films.

I am not entirely sure whether the absence of these films is due to imdb acceptance criteria or some other reason, but the fact is that no trace of many smaller climbing films can not be found in imdb. The Movie database is maintained by its users (that is to say anyone who bothers to register), so pretty much anything could be listed there- However, this is not often the case. And in some of the cases, the information that should be entered is not readily available anyway. Ijn any case, at the age when small and relatively inexpensive gear is good enough to produce great image and the services like SteepEdge, Vimeo, Youtube make publishing and distribution of these films affordable, the number of available content has skyrocketed and sizeable chunk of it is not listed in those mainstream movie databases.

Available content aside, the service also seems to provide map-based search. This does not exist in mainstream databases as it would not be applicable to a lot of other types of movies. However, for the climbing-specific content, it is a very welcome feature.

Doctor of Climbology

When reading the reviews about 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 I stumbled on few lists of climbing classic films and some other media. Since I am a big fan of climbing books and films, I thought to provide a links to some of those. Several of the books I've previously mentioned are mentioned on many of those lists.

Particularly often listed are the following books previously mentioned on this site: 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, The Shining Mountain, 1st Vintage Books Ed.Boardman, Peter & Tasker, JoeVintage Books1985n 1978 two English climbers, Peter Boardman and Joe Tasker, ascended the west wall of Changabang, a mountain in the Everest Range which is not as tall as Mt Everest (of course!) but is characterised by sheer granite faces, especially to the west.03947292930394729293The Shining MountainBiographyen, either as standalone or as part of The Boardman Tasker Omnibus: Savage Arena, the Shining Mountain, Sacred Summits, Everest the Cruel Way.Tasker, Joe; Boardman, Peter & Bonington, ChrisMountaineers Books1995Peter Boardman and Joe Tasker each two accomplished books which, deservedly, soon acquired classic status and became required reading for all those venturing to high altitude. It is fitting that the memorial to these two exceptional climbers and writers should take the form of the annual Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature. As for their own four books, these are now reprinted for the first time in one volume. 97808988643669780898864366Boardman-Tasker OmnibusNon-fictionen, The White Spider, Reprint edition.Harrer, HeinrichHarper Perennial1998At 13,025 feet, the Swiss Eiger doesn't approach the height of Everest or Denali, but the sheer rise and difficulty of its 5900-foot north face keeps it in the company of the world's most celebrated peaks. At the time Harrer (Seven Years in Tibet, originally the sequel to this volume) became part of the first successful summit climb in 1938, the north face of the Eiger was considered the "last and greatest of Alpine problems" left in the world. Originally published in 1959 (with chapters added in 1964 and an index covering subsequent Eiger climbs), this riveting account of his ascent and the history of confronting the EigerAbeginning with the first fatal attempts to conquer the north face in 1935Ais a crisply written paean to the mountain where Harrer first earned recognition as a world-class climber. A simple narrative style brings to life the many obstacles faced by Eiger climbersAsnowstorms, avalanches and a continuous shower of falling rocks among them. Harrer has a Hemingwayesque appreciation of the codes, bravery and rules of conduct governing the closed world of "true mountaineers." And he reserves special contempt for the sensation-seekers who gather to watch deadly feats of climbing from the ground below. Sections that document the evolution of climbing gear (Harrer wore no crampons on his 1938 ascent) and national rivalries in the WWII-era climbing community help make this volume an important contribution to the emerging canon of mountaineering literature.97800071978429780007197842White SpiderBiographyen, Touching The Void: The True Story of One Man's Miraculous Survival.Simpson, JoeVintage Books1998Concise and yet packed with detail, Touching the Void, Joe Simpson's harrowing account of near-death in the Peruvian Andes, is a compact tour de force that wrestles with issues of bravery, friendship, physical endurance, the code of the mountains, and the will to live. Simpson dedicates the book to his climbing partner, Simon Yates, and to "those friends who have gone to the mountains and have not returned." What is it that compels certain individuals to willingly seek out the most inhospitable climate on earth? To risk their lives in an attempt to leave footprints where few or none have gone before? Simpson's vivid narrative of a dangerous climbing expedition will convince even the most die-hard couch potato that such pursuits fall within the realm of the sane. As the author struggles ever higher, readers learn of the mountain's awesome power, the beautiful--and sometimes deadly--sheets of blue glacial ice, and the accomplishment of a successful ascent. And then catastrophe: the second half of Touching the Void sees Simpson at his darkest moment. With a smashed, useless leg, he and his partner must struggle down a near-vertical face--and that's only the beginning of their troubles.00997710120099771012Non-fictionen and Everest: The West Ridge, Reprint edition.Hornbein, Thomas F.Mountaineers Books1998Details the author and his partner Willi Unsoeld's ascent of Everest's West Ridge in 1963.97808988661629780898866162Everest: The West Ridgeguidebooken. The film High and Hallowed: Everest 1963 I've previously written about, is based on the last of those three.

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