La plus belle escalade

Yesterday night, I finished reading La plus belle escalade du monde by Frédéric Flamant, unfortunately not (yet) translated into English. This little book on the most beautiful climbing (hi)stories is very pleasant to read. Once settled the debate on whether or not such a classification of the “most beautiful climbs” is possible, the preliminary overview of “climbing for beginners”, like the types of climbing difficulty, as well as the evolution of the climbing gear and tools, is well run and the selected 15 climbing stories are crisp but intense (I almost missed my metro station yesterday during Cassin’s climb of Eperon Walker). Everyone will most likely find fault with the absence of a missing North face (including myself for the sorely missing Heckmair’s climb of the Eigerwand), but there is a well-deserved entry on Ben Nevis Point Zero Gully and the invention of modern ice climbing by Scots! The book ends up with a good bibliography and several appendices that are also quite nice, including a list of people who should have been quoted. No picture though, apart from the iconic Totem Pole, which unfortunately is no longer because the upper two-third fell into the Tasman sea. In short, both a good intro and a good entry to specific books like my bedside Heckmair’s My Life and Lynn Hill’s Climbing Free: My Life in the Vertical World.

One Response to “La plus belle escalade”

  1. […] My Life, already mentioned in that post about Messner’s book, for the heart-stopping climb of the Eigerwand. There are better written […]

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