The Games Climbers Play is a collection of essays, tales and stories that plugs into the frenetic world of rock climbers and mountaineers.
Written by a diverse band of writers who range from Frank Smythe, Dougal Haston and Pete Boardman to Martin Boysen, Ed Drummond and Yvon Chouinard, the book captures the joie de vivre that attends genuinely adventurous climbing, while never losing sight of the deadly serious game that it can become.
The collection of essays articles, poems and short stories was first printed in 1978 and has been reprinted a whopping six times – a testament to its popularity and position as a classic of climbing literature. Many of the entries are drawn from magazines and journals, which gives Games an immediacy not found in other collections. It is spiced with light-hearted and humorous items, tempered with some polemical and philosophical tracts and illustrated by Sheridan Anderson’s cartoons, which punctuate any hint of pomposity with their scathing caricatures and observations, to complete a truly irreverent picture of the climbing game.
This latest edition adds commentaries to each article. Despite the passage of time, the thoughts and ideas of the band of voices collected here are instantly recognizable as belonging to that breed of beings that gravitate towards vertical challenges. Climbers have always played, and always will, the very many varieties of their game, and this wonderful anthology is a wonderful reflection of that fact, a resource for the next generation; you are not alone, many have spent lifetimes enslaved to a playing the climbers game, and many more will follow, incensed by the mandate of this kaleidoscopic anthology.
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