WINNER: Banff Mountain Literature Award 2021
Structured Chaos is Victor Saunders’ award-winning follow-up to Elusive Summits (winner of the Boardman Tasker Prize in 1990), No Place to Fall and Himalaya: The Tribulations of Vic & Mick.
He reflects on his early childhood in Malaya and his first experiences of climbing as a student, and describes his progression from scaling canal-side walls in Camden to expeditions in the Himalaya and Karakoram.
Following climbs on K2 and Nanga Parbat, he leaves his career as an architect and moves to Chamonix to become a mountain guide. He later makes the first ascent of Chamshen in the Saser Kangri massif, and reunites with old friend Mick Fowler to climb the north face of Sersank.
This is not just a tale of mountaineering triumphs, but also an account of rescues, tragedies and failures. Telling his story with humour and warmth, Saunders spans the decades from youthful awkwardness to concerns about age-related forgetfulness, ranging from ‘Where did I put my keys?’ to ‘Is this the right mountain?’
Structured Chaos is a testament to the value of friendship and the things that really matter in life: being in the right place at the right time with the right people, and making the most of the view.
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