Come hear tales from Mountain Travel founder Allen Steck, who will be signing his new book A Mountaineer's Life at the Mountain Travel Sobek office in Emeryville, California, on Thursday December 14, 2017 from 5:30pm. Sixteen-year-old Allen Steck made his initial climb, a first ascent of Mount Maclure in the Sierras, with no hardware, no ropes, no experience. But the event turned his into a mountaineer's life. Over 70 years later Steck has had a prolific climbing career, including a 1954 expedition to Makalu, a 1963 first ascent of the south face of the Clyde Minaret, and a 1965 first ascent of the Hummingbird Ridge on Mount Logan.
In the book, the Oakland native reflects on how the perception of climbing in the United States has changed, writing, “When I started in 1946, climbing was little known or understood in America. Compare this to what climbing was like in France at the time, where the French Alpine Club was so vigorous that they easily funded an expedition to make the first ascent of Annapurna in 1950. In Yosemite Valley, climbing was simply tolerated; climbers had to check in with the rangers before attempting a route, and it was clear that they considered us rogues and vagabonds at best.”
A Mountaineer’s Life is filled with stories from the days when climbing was discovery, when men like Steck forged new routes, both literal and literary. With dry humor and detailed recall, he captures the excitement and intrigue of a time when there were few rules and no guidelines. As he says, “We do not deceive ourselves that we are engaging in an activity that is anything but debilitating, dangerous, euphoric, kinesthetic, expensive, frivolously essential, economically useless and totally without redeeming social significance. One should not probe for deeper meanings.”
Jointly with Norman Clyde, he was the first recipient of the Sierra Club’s Francis P. Farquhar Mountaineering Award in 1970. Also in 1970, he won the American Alpine Club’s Literary Award for co-authoring Fifty Classic Climbs of North America with Steve Roper.
After his talk, Allen will be signing copies of A Mountaineer’s Life. Copies will be available for purchase for $20—cash or check only, please.
Where: Mountain Travel Sobek office, 1266 66th St, Emeryville
When: Thursday December 14, 2017 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm
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