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Fatal Mountaineer


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The High-Altitude Life and Death of Willi Unsoeld, American Himalayan Legend

By Robert Roper

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Published by St. Martin’s Press, New York, 2002, 1st US Edition, D/w, Fine.   Biography of Willi Unsoeld (1926-1979), one of the greatest American climbers of the Himalayan golden age, who was a member of the first successful American Everest Expedition in 1963 led by Norman Dyhrenfurth.  Some three weeks after Jim Whittaker had become the first American to climb Everest, Willi Unsoeld and Tom Hornbein made the first ascent of the mountain via the West Ridge, descending via the South Col and hence also completing the first major traverse of a Himalayan peak (detailed in Hornbein’s book Everest: The West Ridge.  Unsoeld is also remembered for the ill-fated and controversial Expedition in 1976 to Nanda Devi, where tragically his daughter, named after the mountain, was killed.  Unsoeld himself died in an avalanche on Mt Rainier in 1979 at the age of 52.   Winner of the Boardman Tasker Award for 2002.

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Weight0.6 kg