'Having spent time with Stephen on the Eiger, I know what good company he is. He has huge talent and a remarkable story to tell. His Everest climb was one of the great adventures of our time, but what is really fascinating is the life journey that took him to the top' Ranulph FiennesHigh wild places have dominated Stephen Venables' life and now he has written a full autobiography which explores how and – more importantly – why he became a mountaineer, and reveals a series of never-recorded adventures on four continents.
At its climax he revisits his dramatic success without oxygen on the Kangshung Face of Everest, described by Reinhold Messner as the most adventurous in Everest’s history and by Lord Hunt as ‘one of the most remarkable ordeals from which men or women have returned alive’. As Venables writes: ‘Although we didn’t go seeking deliberately an epic near-death experience, it did turn out that way – the ultimate endurance test for which all the previous adventures seemed, retrospectively, to be a preparation.’'If you’ve never climbed, Higher Than the Eagle Soars can still be read for its old-fashioned, self-effacing humour, as the story of a cultured man determined to place himself inside a tradition he loves. Or you can read it for the thrills and spills.’ M. John Harrison, Guardian'The story of his descent after a night spent the top is... both harrowing and deeply moving' Sunday Times'There can be no dispute about the magnitude of his achievement…Venables is superb on the terror and exhilaration of climbing...There is a particularly heart-stopping account of a journey up the north face of the Matterhorn. Insightful into his own character, Venables is honest enough to face up to the selfishness that mountaineering requires and the strain it puts on relationships’ Leo McKinstry, Books of the Year, Sunday Telegraph
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