Wednesday, 13 November 2013 12:50

'The Summit' Book is Launched!

At last 'The Summit' booked is launched and available! Click here for more information and to purchase.

The Time Has Come

Ger McDonnell: His Life & His Death on K2
By Damien O’Brien

K2 is one of the world's most difficult and unpredictable mountains. At 28,251 feet, the world's second-tallest mountain, most climbers regard it as the ultimate achievement in mountaineering. On 1 August 2008 Ger McDonnell became the first Irish person to reach the summit of K2 as part of the Norit K2 team. But Ger and the other climbers didn’t know that below them an avalanche had swept away their ropes. Joy soon turned to dismay for the McDonnell family waiting by computers and phones as Ger’s status ‘Gerard Mc Donnell status unknown’ remained unchanged for what seemed an eternity.

The descent witnessed one of the worst tragedies in recent climbing history. Eleven climbers died, including Ger McDonnell. What exactly happened on that first day of August 2008? Could the disaster have been avoided? Echoing Ger’s final message before he set off for the summit, The Time Has Come pieces together the details of what happened that fateful day. Using eyewitness accounts, countless hours of interviewing surviving climbers, family, friends and others involved, photographic research and Ger’s writings, a compelling and revealing story of bravery and heroism in the face of terrible odds emerges. This epic account of 37-year-old Irishman Ger McDonnell reveals a man who was passionate about life and lived it to its entirety, a life that was short but filled with adventure.

Available through Collins Press nationwide soon.


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We're looking for an inspiring photograph to appear on our welcome page in 2012. So post your photo, and whoever gets the highest number of likes before 31st December will win this months voucher! So get your friends involved and good luck!!!

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Monday, 28 November 2011 11:50

A Journey to Adventure book review

Pat Falvey's adventure book covering many of the famous Seven Summits plus many other interesting locations with stunning pictures. The stories of why and how plus other tales from his journeys.

"From Carrauntoohil to South Georgia via
Mount Everest"
review by the late Joss Lynam in the Irish Mountain Log issue 85 - Spring 2008

The stories Pat Falvey tells are of his climbs in the Himalaya, on the other of the ‘seven summits’ and of his more recent Antarctic travel. It is not chronological – the chapter headings are the mountains he has climbed, although to some extent they follow his development from Carrauntoohil to South Georgia. I like this formula; one can read about all his experiences on one peak, rather than having to leaf back to check some reference. Some mountaineers have denigrated his climbs as “commercial” and certainly he gained experience with commercial leaders such as Jon Tinker. But the book shows how he benefited from the experience he acquired and became a leader himself of parties to mountains that he wanted to climb. The mountains Falvey describes are well worthwhile; Everest from the north and the south, Cho Oyu, Ama Dablam, McKinley and Vinson are all climbs for which I respect him, whether or not (as some of them were) they were ‘first Irish’ ascents. I accept that a ‘first something’ is a very necessary tool for getting sponsorship, but thereafter it is of less importance, for surely there is only one true first, the very first time a mountain is climbed, with its challenge of the unknown.

There is a clear picture in his stories of the risks in high-altitude climbing. On every one of the climbs at least one of his companions had to give up because of altitude sickness and he himself had to retreat from below the Second Step with aoap/ap. He records the fatalities in other parties of climbers who did not turn back in time. The photographs are exceptionally good and very numerous. There are about fifty full-page 25cm x 25cm pictures, including some that are a page-anda-half, and countless smaller ones. They aren’t credited, so I assume they are all by the author. For me, the ridge of Ama Dablam and the Second Step on Everest stand out, but there many others just as good and it is a credit to his photography in difficult conditions that his shots could stand up to such enlargement. Even of the small ones, there are very few that one could wonder why it was included. The book is worth the price for the photographs alone. Pat Falvey has now turned his attention to the Antarctic, though this book was written before his recent spectacular walk to the South Pole, a different, more sustained challenge. What next, one wonders?

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