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Lou Whittaker: Memoirs of a Mountain Guide

Whittaker, Lou & Gabbard, Andrea

56 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0898863961 / ISBN 13: 9780898863963
Published by Mountaineers Books, Seattle, 1994
Used Condition: Fine Hardcover
From william maloney (BROOKLYN, NY, U.S.A.)

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271 pp., Illustrated. Bookseller Inventory # 002532

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Lou Whittaker: Memoirs of a Mountain Guide

Publisher: Mountaineers Books, Seattle

Publication Date: 1994

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

About this title

Synopsis:

"Everything I know, everything I believe in, I've learned from the mountains," says Lou Whittaker. This comes as no surprise when you realize that he has probably spent more time on mountains than off. One of America's most respected climbers for more than four decades, Lou Whittaker began his illustrious mountaineering career as a teenager in the Pacific Northwest, climbing insatiably in the Olympic and Cascade mountains with his twin brother, Jim. He stepped naturally into coveted spots on expeditions to formidable peaks in Alaska, the Himalaya, and the Karakorum, and went on to lead the expedition that made the first American ascent of the North Col on Everest in 1984. To Northwesterners, Lou's name is synonymous with Mount Rainier, where he has guided thousands to its summit since his own first ascent of the mountain at age nineteen.
In Lou Whittaker, Lou is at his storytelling best as he shares adventures and wisdom honed from the wild times of his youth to his more recent climbs with some of the country's best mountaineers. Tales of life as a young mountain rescuer, and later as mentor to others, are filled with his trademark humor, boundless energy, and compassion. He weaves his simple and practical philosophy through recollections of climbing with family, friends, and a host of fellow mountaineers, including Jim Wickwire, Pete Schoening, John Roskelley, Joe Kennedy, Jr., Peter Whittaker, and Willi Unsoeld. He recounts amazing episodes on K2, Kangchenjunga, and on Mount McKinley, where he participated in one of the most spectacular rescues on record, and replays adventures from his guiding days on his beloved Mount Rainier. Especially poignant are his memories of teammate Marty Hoey, a promising and well-liked young climber who died on the 1982 expedition to Everest. Evident and inspiring throughout these stories are his love for climbing and for life - even amidst such losses.
Lou finds great meaning in these words from William O. Douglas: "The struggle of man against man produces jealousy, deceit, frustration, bitterness, hate. The struggle of man against the mountains is different. Man then bows before something that is bigger than he. When he does that, he finds serenity and humility, and dignity, too." But Lou likes to put it another way: "When it comes down to dying," he says, "I want to know what it is like to have really lived." With plans for more climbing expeditions stretching well into the future, it looks like he's still on that mission.

About the Author:

Gabbard is a freelance journalist and has written hundreds of articles on outdoor subjects ranging from mountaineering to river running.

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