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Escape from Lucania: An Epic Story of Survival
David Roberts

This book reminds me of one of those nifty boy scout epics where the heroes escape from a difficult spot with a bit of luck, pluck and a can-do attitude. In part, I feel it gets this kind of perspective is because the story was retold by the two climbers some sixty-five years after they made the climb and, through the years, the story has become polished. That said, While was nothing trivial about the adventure that Bradford Washburn and Bob Bates found themselves in when they climbed Mt. Lucania in Canada in 1937 after they were, in a sense, abandoned on a glacier approximately eighty miles from the nearest habitation.

The book doesn't give much of a sense of either the difficulties of the climb or the true hardships that they endured but this book, nonetheless, is an important part of mountain climbing history in North America.


This book was recognized as the Grand Prize Winner of the Banff Mountain Book Festival in 2003 and also won the Mountain Literature Category. Notes from the award citation:

A riveting story about the 1937 first ascent of Alaska’s Mount Lucania by two mountaineers who found themselves stranded on the mountain with inadequate gear and provisions due to bad weather and logistics. "The story leaps off the page," says jury member George Lowe about Bradford Washburn and Bob Bates’ climb of Mount Lucania, which in 1937 was the highest unclimbed peak in North America. "It loses none of its impact in the retelling by two 90 year-olds who had a miraculous escape by their own efforts."


Related Books

bullet True Summit: What Really Happened on the Legendary Ascent of Annapurna by David Roberts
bullet The Mountain of My Fear & Deborah: A Wilderness Narrative by David Roberts
bullet Moments of Doubt And Other Mountaineering Writings by David Roberts

Annapurna, First Conquest of an 8,000 Meter Peak by Maurice Herzog


White Spider: The Classic Account of the Ascent of the Eiger; Heinrich Harrer  Read Review

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