Jim Perrin's biography of climbing legend Don Whillams offers interesting insights into both Whillam's growth (and final decadence) as a climber and the development of crag climbing in post-war Britain. The specificities of gritstone climbing are also made apparent through interesting historical facts and anecdotes.
From the publisher:
Don Whillans has an iconic significance for generations of climbers. His epoch-making first ascent of Annapurna's South Face, achieved with Dougal Haston in 1970, remains one of the most impressive climbs ever made – but behind this and all his other formidable achievements lies a tough, recalcitrant reality: the character of the man himself.
Whillans carried within himself a sense of personal invincibility, forceful, direct and uncompromising. It gave him sporting superstar status – the flawed heroism of a Best, a McEnroe, an Ali. In his own circle, his image was the working-class hero on the rock-face, laconic and bellicose, ready to go to war with the elements or with any human who crossed his path on a bad day.
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