The Fox of Glencoe by Hamish MacInnes
'At 3:00 am, with headlamps probing the gloom, we crept up Cotopaxi's glaciated flanks, turning sinister-looking crevasses and ascending steep icy walls. It was bitterly cold, and by the time we approached the summit, the wind cut through us like the arrow grass of the plains below. The violet sky was littered with stars and the great expanse of the Amazon was bathed in diffused light as we reached the rim of the vast crater, where an ominous-looking wisp of smoke eddied as if at the behest of an unseen deity.' The Fox of Glencoe chronicles the adventures of the legendary Hamish MacInnes and his achievements in the field of mountaineering. Throughout this rich collection of tales, Hamish's unorthodox character and pragmatic approach to risk and loss are conveyed with wry, elegant style, offering a glimpse into the mind of one of the greatest mountaineers of our time. Few people cram as much into a lifetime as Hamish did, and these memoirs reflect his restless curiosity and ability to marshal loyalty and support for the most outlandish schemes. The result is an eclectic array of tales that include youthful and historic first ascents, a disorganised attempt on Everest with only GBP40 and a borrowed tent; hunting for treasure in South America; dangling film stars from DIY contraptions off the North Face of the Eiger; hot air ballooning off Ben Nevis; and much else besides. Tenacious and inventive by nature, Hamish also committed much of his life to developing modern alpinism and promoting mountain safety and rescue. His legacy is vividly brought to life in this collection of unseen and retold stories, images and additional narratives from some of his closest friends. A portrait of a life lived to the full, The Fox of Glencoe captures a bygone age and will strike a chord with anyone with a spirit of adventure, and who sees possibilities rather than constraints.