Together with Chris Bonington and other distinguished British climbers, Stephen Venables was high on the unclimbed and sacred mountain of Panch Chuli when, at 1am on a dark Himalayan night, his abseil failed and he fell catastrophically, somersaulting from rock to rock and landing, seriously-wounded, at the end of a rope suspended above a 50-degree icefield. This is the story of his arduous and almost miraculous survival, and of the brilliant, committed teamwork which brought him to safety.
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Venables is one of the best climbers in the world, and one of the best writers about climbing . . . Read it, but be careful. You may never be content just to climb the stairs again - Mail on Sunday
The plummet experienced by Venables on the descent from his successful first ascent of Panch Chuli V in the Himalayas was of the kind most feared by climbers, the failure of an abseil point, an incident which usually guarantees death . . . Venables writes with understated elegance - Observer
Sensitive to the absurdity and honest about the selfishness, he is, more than most mountaineers, eloquent in describing the satisfactions climbing can bring . . . It is powerful, dramatic writing . . . This is one of the best mountaineering books to have been published for a long while - Sunday Telegraph
One of the most successful climbers of his generation . . . outstanding . . . his best book - Climber
Stephen Venables is best known as the mountaineer who in 1988 became the first Briton to climb Everest without oxygen - one of many pioneering expeditions around the world. He began climbing while at Oxford in the early 1970s, and has written eight books about his mountain travels, winning the Boardman Tasker Prize, the King Albert Medal and the Grand Award at Banff International Mountain Literature Festival. He has also appeared in several television documentaries and worked on two IMAX movies - appearing in Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure and writing Alps - Giants of Nature. His most recent book, Ollie, was a Sunday Times bestseller. He is President of the Alpine Club in the year of its 150th anniversary. He lives in Bath with his wife and son.