The Conquest of FitzRoy

Azema ( M. A. Azema )
700s -- Arts & Recreation  [ Browse Items ]
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Tonbridge Printers, United Kingdom 
The French Expedition to Mount FitzRoy, in the Patagonian Andes, reached the summit in February 1952. Their triumph was remarkable not because of the difficulties presented by its formation and geographical position. FitzRoy, a steeple of rock honed to a naked paint by the appalling Pacific gales, faces the climber with sheer cliffs from which earlier expeditions had not even been able to guess at a route to the summit. The French succeeded because they approached the problem in a new way. They realized that what they had to deal with was a major mountain in the form of a giant rock monolith, and their team was chosen from among mountaineers expert in the most modern techniques 'artificial climbing'. For climbers, it is the success of these techniques, brilliantly described, which will be the book's chief interest. Indeed, the least informed reader cannot fail to be held breathless by the chpaters 'The Assault" and 'Victory". He will be as anxious about the correct placcing of a piton, as strained when a flake of rock shifts under fingers groping for a precarious hold as anyone could be who knows by experience what the feat entailed.

Dr Azema, the expedition's leader and medical officer, had long though of FitzRoy as the 'Magic mountain'. It's extraordinary beauty and that of the land above which it rises --a land unmarked by man, where the condor planes above jewel-bright lakes, dead forests and vividly coloured rock formations--had cast a spell on him which grew stronger with every day spent on a the mountain's flank. This spell he shares with the reader. Even without its magnificent climax, The Conquest of FitzRoy would bee a fascinating book; an exceptionally vivid account of one of natures’ last and most lovely strongholds against man.
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