Gregory Crouch has made many climbing expedition on four continents, most notably in Alaska and Patagonia and his work has appeared in National Geographic, Islands, Climbing and other magazines.
A writer for National Geographic and Outside magazines, Crouch is a veteran climber of four continents. His most notable climbs have taken place in Patagonia, the land shared by Argentina and Chile and one of the last unexplored places left in the world. Crouch has made seven "pilgrimages" to this rarely written about place, each of which is covered in this engaging memoir of risk taking and endurance. Climb by climb, the reader is taken along with Crouch as he struggles spiritually and physically to scale the mountains. Included are color photographs that capture the breathtaking views of this rugged land as well as a glossary of climbing terms. Worthwhile reading for those who enjoy adventure stories; recommended for all libraries. Stephanie Papa, Baltimore Cty. Circuit Court Law Lib., MD Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
"An otherworldly range of mountains exists in Patagonia, at the
southern end of the Americas. It is a sublime range, where ice and
granite soar with a dancer's grace. From the mountains' feet tumble
glaciers and dark forests of beech. The summits float in the
southern sky, impossibly remote. Climbers who gaze upon these
wonders ache to unlock their secrets. Hard, steep, massive, these
might be our planet's most perfect mountains."
--from Enduring Patagonia
Crouch, a West Point grad and army ranger, is the latest climber/journalist to try to capture the unseen heroics of those who reach the summits of the world's highest peaks. Instead of summitting familiar peaks, the author describes three separate expeditions to the remote Patagonian mountain range in South America, a series of peaks straddling the border between Chile and Argentina. There he completes a successful climb up the Compressor Route of Cerro Torre, one of the world's most sought-after summits; a first ascent of the north face of Aguja Poincenot; and a treacherous winter ascent of the west face of Cerro Torre, another first. These three climbs are bracketed by long vignettes about the unpredictable Patagonian weather and Crouch's disappointment with routine life back home in America, where he works construction and other odd jobs to pay for climbing trips. On the mountain, Crouch vividly describes the technical and psychological aspects of climbing, as well as the distinctions of the Patagonian peaks. Unfortunately, he is also prone to distracting bouts of macho philosophizing. Off the mountain, Crouch is so absorbed with thoughts of climbing that he contrasts everything in his life with his moments in the mountains. At one point, he goes so far as to describe his marriage as "the ultimate base camp." For Crouch, clearly, climbing is akin to a religion, and chasing a summit is his only way of seeking salvation. (Oct.) Forecast: Adventure enthusiasts and those already converted to the sport will welcome this addition to climbing literature, but general readers may find the author's single-mindedness and lack of local color less enticing. A West Coast and Rocky Mountain publicity tour should help support the title in the appropriate communities. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.