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McDonald, Bernadette Alpine Warriors

ISBN 13: 9781771601092

Alpine Warriors

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Although Yugoslavia managed to avoid becoming involved in WWII until 1941, German armies invaded in April of that year and the Yugoslavian defense collapsed in less than two weeks. The state of Slovenia was split up amongst Germany, Hungary and Italy. Partisan groups, under the leadership of Josip Tito, managed to liberate the state by 1945, and then began a period of relative calm, under the benevolent rule of Tito. A Communist, he began to distance himself from the Soviet Union, looking to western economic models as Yugoslavia struggled to rebuild. During the thirty years following the war, a Yugoslavian passport was one of the best in the world, and Yugoslavians could travel freely during this time, if they had the money. Most did not.

But alpinists did. Through centralized government programs that established elaborate training régimes and state-supported expeditions abroad, Yugoslavian alpinists began making impressive climbs in the Himalaya as early as 1960. By the early 70’s, they had advanced to the 8000ers. Although not exclusively Slovenian, the teams were – not surprisingly – dominated by Slovenian climbers, since Slovenia is blessed with the Julian Alps. A fiercely steep range of limestone peaks, the Julian Alps provided the ideal training ground for Slovenian climbers, in both summer and winter. The brooding north faces and razor-sharp ridges taught them the skills they would need on the highest mountains on earth – the Himalaya.

But when Tito died in 1980, the calm period ended. Inter-ethnic conflict and economic decline ripped the country apart. Serbian Communist leader, Slobodan Miloševic, led the charge with, what appeared to be an unstoppable strategy of aggression and oppression. But he misread the strength and character of several Yugoslavian states, including that most northerly one – Slovenia. By the summer of 1991, Slovenia was an independent country.

Slovenia continued the tradition of support for climbers, and success breeds success. By 1995, all of the 8000ers had been climbed by Slovenian teams. And in the next ten years, some of the most dramatic and futuristic climbs were made by Slovenian climbers. Apart from a few superstars, most of these amazing athletes remain unknown in the West.

What prompted this Himalayan performance by a tiny nation of just two million people? Life in Slovenia during this period was defined by shortages, preoccupation with ethnic conflict and poor living conditions. Yet, like had previously happened in Poland, its neighbor to the North, Slovenian climbers seemed to thrive and excel in these trying conditions, setting standards that no other country could replicate.Hard Climb to Freedom explores the explosion of Slovenian alpinism within the context of its turbulent political history.

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A fascinating account of the extraordinary achievements of the alpinists from this tiny Slovenian nation which has spawned some of the most talented, colourful, controversial and innovative mountaineers of modern climbing history. Once started, I couldn’t put the book down till it was finished. Sir Chris Bonington, alpinist, author of I Chose to Climb


In Alpine Warriors, Bernadette McDonald exposes the mysterious desire that drives climbers into the void, that alluring domain of space and light. Reading these stories helps me to maintain my pride in belonging to that human tribe called climbers. Voytek Kurtyka, alpinist, author of Chinski Maharadza


Slovenia is a small country with a large but little-known role in climbing history. Alpine Warriors brings this overlooked story to life at last and what a story it is, brimming with philosophy, audacity and tragedy. McDonald’s cool prose and heartfelt insight are a gift. J.B. MacKinnon, author of The Once and Future World


Meticulously researched and gorgeously written, Alpine Warriors is a stirring love letter to the people of the mountains. Bernadette McDonald is at the peak of her game. Her writing sparkles with an energetic passion for adventure and love of a great wilderness story. Angie Abdou, author of Between and The Bone Cage


Bernadette McDonald’s Alpine Warriors is an emotional, compassionate and respectful exploration of how the extraordinary climbs of the Slovenian mountaineers were influenced by nationalism, war, poetry and revolution. Deeply researched and highly readable. David Chaundy-Smart, Gripped Magazine


Why have so many Slovenian climbers done so well despite Slovenia's position as measured in money or the height of its mountains as a small and relatively poor country? Why are their climbs and climbers also so deeply complicated, from Tomaž Humar to Tomo Cesen? What did America’s top alpinist, Steve House, learn when he was a teenage exchange student in Slovenia that helped shape his future? Alpine Warriors answers those questions, and many more that are specific to Slovenia but also universal to all climbers and anyone striving for a mountainous existence.


Bernadette McDonald’s latest book describes a country and people where every citizen feels obligated to climb the highest mountain in Slovenia at least once, even if they don’t have any arms or legs. Seriously. A country that helped shape a teenaged Steve House, produced Tomaž Humar, Tomo Cesen, Marko Prezelj, Silvo Karo, and dozens more talented climbers who re-wrote alpinism wherever they went, despite limited resources. I always thought the water in Slovenia had some sort of alpinism juice in it, but the truth is way more interesting: There’s a bible for Slovenian climbers that you’ve never heard of, but you’ll know after reading this book. Will Gadd, National Geographic Adventurer of the Year

"

Bernadette McDonald is the outstanding contemporary chronicler of international mountaineering. Her prolific output is notable for her participant’s understanding, elegant prose, diligent research and a gift for deft characterization. Her latest book, Alpine Warriors, is perhaps her best yet and relates the extraordinary story of post-war Slovenian climbing. The names here Zaplotnik, Humar, Karo, Prezelj and many others may not be household ones outside the small circle of mountain cognoscenti, but these are among the most impressive Greater Ranges activists in the history of the sport. Bernadette has done them justice, capturing the unique flavour of their small mountain country and its fierce individualism and pride. An enthralling read and the best mountain book you’ll pick up this year. Jim Perrin, climber, author of The Villain


Bernadette McDonald’s>Alpine Warriors is a groundbreaking history of Slovenian mountaineering that flows like an epic poem. To read this book is to plunge into a world of forests of limestone spires; peaks of crystalline snow and searing light; the aftershocks of brutal warfare and political strife; and the mysterious manuscript of the legendary Nejc Zaplotnik, who taught that alpinism could be an eternal path, through solitude, to an ineffable freedom. Katie Ives, editor-in-chief of Alpinist


Pound for pound, no country has influenced alpinism more directly or more deeply than Slovenia. The stories recounted here often seem heroic, but more importantly, they illuminate significant and little-known anecdotes from our common history as climbers. Slovenian alpinism encapsulates an approach that all climbers can aspire to. Steve House, alpinist, author of Beyond the Mountain


Slovenia has produced many of the best alpinists in the world, but most people can’t even find the place on a map. Bernadette McDonald has plunged into the culture, cults and controversies of the Slovenian climbing scene to produce a revealing portrait of a place where climbers enjoy the status of gurus, pro athletes and rock stars. It’s her best book yet. Greg Child, alpinist, author of Over the Edge


The exhaustive intensity of the research in this volume reminds us of siege mountaineering techniques; the writing and the masterful exploration of human motivations is elegant, like alpine style. Bernadette McDonald shows us a mountain way that stands on the shoulders of giants. Carlos Carsolio, alpinist


People write books for all kinds of reasons: to make money, to become well known, to tell a story they think others will read. Sometimes, if they are good enough writers, they write books to answer questions in themselves, and in the course of satisfying their curiosity discover unknown worlds of profound detail and infinite adventure. Bernadette McDonald is that kind of writer, and Alpine Warriors is that kind of book, about a heroic clan of climbers inexorably tied to the tragic history of the former Yugoslavia. This is a chapter in the history not just of international alpinism, but of the world itself. It shouldn't be missed. Ian Brown, author of The Boy in the Moon, feature writer at The Globe & Mail


Expertly researched and elegantly written, Bernadette McDonald’s book gives a superb insight into the relatively unknown world of elite Slovenian alpinism the motivations, philosophies and skills of these pioneering mountaineers. Alpine Warriors is a journey into the history and culture of Slovenia itself and the importance of mountains to the national psyche. Andy Cave, alpinist, author of Learning to Breathe


Alpine Warriors is one of the most important pieces of mountain literature of the decade. Bernadette McDonald shows us how Slovenian climbers helped push the limits of European and Himalayan alpinism. A combination of political, religious and economic factors played a major role in the formation of the country's impressive network of climbing clubs and questionable military-style ascents. But, as McDonald helps us understand, the solidarity that gave the Slovenians their winning edge, wouldn't last forever. A gripping historical read that belongs on every climber and armchair mountaineers bookshelf. Brandon Pullan, author of The Bold and Cold


With Alpine Warriors, Bernadette McDonald cements her much-deserved place as the reigning mountain historian of our time. Once again, she’s unearthed a too-little-known story that needs to be told, and has written it beautifully. McDonald’s understanding of the complex story of Slovenian climbing is exceeded only by her obvious compassion for the climbers themselves. A great book. Geoff Powter, author of Strange and Dangerous Dreams: The Fine Line Between Adventure and Madness


In this sweeping narrative, Bernadette McDonald casts a spotlight on the history of Slovenian alpinism. She tells the story of a nation’s love affair with mountains, played out through the exploits of an elite and uncompromising band of high altitude athletes. Her accounts of their audacious expeditions make for compelling, and sometimes harrowing, reading. Throughout the book she threads the inspired writing of the legendary climber Nejc Zaplotnik, helping us to understand what drove these mountaineers and what - despite the attrition - kept them on their path. An important story, meticulously researched and skillfully told. Maria Coffey, author of Where the Mountain Casts its Shadow and Explorers of the Infinite.


Well researched and beautifully written, Alpine Warriors is an intimate glimpse into the rich, complicated, relatively unknown Slovenian climbing world, and its towering influence on the global mountaineering stage. But it's far more than just a mountaineering tale. It's first-rate social history. This is a story that needed to be told. Zac Robinson, editor of Conrad Kain: Letters from a Wandering Mountain Guide 1903-1933


L'autore:

Bernadette McDonald is the author of nine books on mountaineering and mountain culture. She has received numerous mountain writing awards, including Italy’s ITAS Prize for mountain writing (2010), and is a two-time winner of India’s Kekoo Naoroji Award for mountain literature (2008 and 2009). In 2011, Bernadette’s first book with RMB,Freedom Climbers, won the Grand Prize at the Banff Mountain Book Festival (Canada), the Boardman Tasker Prize (UK), and the American Alpine Club’s H. Adams Carter Literary Award. She has also received the Alberta Order of Excellence (2010), the Summit of Excellence Award from The Banff Centre (2007), the King Albert Award for international leadership in the field of mountain culture and environment (2006), and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal (2002). Founding vice-president of Mountain Culture at The Banff Centre and director of the Banff Mountain Festivals for twenty years, Bernadette was born in Saskatchewan but has lived in the mountains all of her adult life. She divides her time between Naramata, British Columbia, and Banff, Alberta.

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Descrizione libro Hardback. Condizione: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Although Yugoslavia managed to avoid becoming involved in WWII until 1941, German armies invaded in April of that year and the Yugoslavian defense collapsed in less than two weeks. The state of Slovenia was split up amongst Germany, Hungary and Italy. Partisan groups, under the leadership of Josip Tito, managed to liberate the state by 1945, and then began a period of relative calm, under the benevolent rule of Tito. A Communist, he began to distance himself from the Soviet Union, looking to western economic models as Yugoslavia struggled to rebuild. During the thirty years following the war, a Yugoslavian passport was one of the best in the world, and Yugoslavians could travel freely during this time, if they had the money. Most did not. But alpinists did. Through centralized government programs that established elaborate training régimes and state-supported expeditions abroad, Yugoslavian alpinists began making impressive climbs in the Himalaya as early as 1960. By the early 70's, they had advanced to the 8000ers. Although not exclusively Slovenian, the teams were - not surprisingly - dominated by Slovenian climbers, since Slovenia is blessed with the Julian Alps. A fiercely steep range of limestone peaks, the Julian Alps provided the ideal training ground for Slovenian climbers, in both summer and winter. The brooding north faces and razor-sharp ridges taught them the skills they would need on the highest mountains on earth - the Himalaya. But when Tito died in 1980, the calm period ended. Inter-ethnic conflict and economic decline ripped the country apart. Serbian Communist leader, Slobodan Milosevic, led the charge with, what appeared to be an unstoppable strategy of aggression and oppression. But he misread the strength and character of several Yugoslavian states, including that most northerly one - Slovenia. By the summer of 1991, Slovenia was an independent country. Slovenia continued the tradition of support for climbers, and success breeds success. By 1995, all of the 8000ers had been climbed by Slovenian teams. And in the next ten years, some of the most dramatic and futuristic climbs were made by Slovenian climbers. Apart from a few superstars, most of these amazing athletes remain unknown in the West. What prompted this Himalayan performance by a tiny nation of just two million people? Life in Slovenia during this period was defined by shortages, preoccupation with ethnic conflict and poor living conditions. Yet, like had previously happened in Poland, its neighbor to the North, Slovenian climbers seemed to thrive and excel in these trying conditions, setting standards that no other country could replicate. Hard Climb to Freedom explores the explosion of Slovenian alpinism within the context of its turbulent political history. Codice articolo INJ9781771601092

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Descrizione libro Hardback. Condizione: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Although Yugoslavia managed to avoid becoming involved in WWII until 1941, German armies invaded in April of that year and the Yugoslavian defense collapsed in less than two weeks. The state of Slovenia was split up amongst Germany, Hungary and Italy. Partisan groups, under the leadership of Josip Tito, managed to liberate the state by 1945, and then began a period of relative calm, under the benevolent rule of Tito. A Communist, he began to distance himself from the Soviet Union, looking to western economic models as Yugoslavia struggled to rebuild. During the thirty years following the war, a Yugoslavian passport was one of the best in the world, and Yugoslavians could travel freely during this time, if they had the money. Most did not. But alpinists did. Through centralized government programs that established elaborate training régimes and state-supported expeditions abroad, Yugoslavian alpinists began making impressive climbs in the Himalaya as early as 1960. By the early 70's, they had advanced to the 8000ers. Although not exclusively Slovenian, the teams were - not surprisingly - dominated by Slovenian climbers, since Slovenia is blessed with the Julian Alps. A fiercely steep range of limestone peaks, the Julian Alps provided the ideal training ground for Slovenian climbers, in both summer and winter. The brooding north faces and razor-sharp ridges taught them the skills they would need on the highest mountains on earth - the Himalaya. But when Tito died in 1980, the calm period ended. Inter-ethnic conflict and economic decline ripped the country apart. Serbian Communist leader, Slobodan Milosevic, led the charge with, what appeared to be an unstoppable strategy of aggression and oppression. But he misread the strength and character of several Yugoslavian states, including that most northerly one - Slovenia. By the summer of 1991, Slovenia was an independent country. Slovenia continued the tradition of support for climbers, and success breeds success. By 1995, all of the 8000ers had been climbed by Slovenian teams. And in the next ten years, some of the most dramatic and futuristic climbs were made by Slovenian climbers. Apart from a few superstars, most of these amazing athletes remain unknown in the West. What prompted this Himalayan performance by a tiny nation of just two million people? Life in Slovenia during this period was defined by shortages, preoccupation with ethnic conflict and poor living conditions. Yet, like had previously happened in Poland, its neighbor to the North, Slovenian climbers seemed to thrive and excel in these trying conditions, setting standards that no other country could replicate. Hard Climb to Freedom explores the explosion of Slovenian alpinism within the context of its turbulent political history. Codice articolo INJ9781771601092

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