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  • The First Crossing of Spitsbergen – Martin Conway – First Edition 1897

    And a rather exhausting full title …The First Crossing of Spitsbergen Being an account of an Inland Journey of Exploration and Survey, with Descriptions of Several Mountain Ascents, of Boat Expeditions in Ice Fjord, of a Voyage to North-East-Land, the Seven Islands, Down Hinloopen Strait, Nearly to Wiched Land, and Into most of the Fjords of Spitsbergen, and an almost Complete Circumnavigation of the Main Island.

    First edition published by Dent, London in 1897. Quarto, 372 pages, 8 coloured plates, 2 folding maps and 99 black and white illustrations. Original brown bevelled boards with tan spine, gilt lettering and decoration. Spine darkened somewhat as usual from sunlight. Occasional light spotting, plates and maps clean. A good to better copy.

    Martin Conway spent the summers of 1896 and 1897 exploring Spitsbergen. During the first year Conway led a party of five overland from Advent Bay to Bell Sound and on to Sassen Bay and Agardh Bay before returning. Altogether there were thirteen mountain ascents, such is the territory. During their endeavours they complied generous geologic and natural history collections.

    Sir Martin Conway (1856-1937) was a critic, politician, cartographer, mountaineer and more. He studied Mathematics at Trinity College, Cambridge. His first significant expedition was to Spitsbergen in 1896 (the subject of this book) and then an expedition to the Bolivian Andes. He was President of the Alpine Club 1902-04 and knighted for his cartographic work on the Karkoram region of the Himalaya. Later in life he was made First Baron Conway of Allington. Quiet a chap!

    Spitsbergen means “Pointed Mountains” from the Dutch. Now under the jurisdiction of Norway. The archipelago has been named Svalbard since 1925 with Spitsbergen reserved for the largest island, which is the 36th largest island in the World. Spitsbergen is the only island in the group with permanent habitation although even now there are barely 3,000 people.

    Conway across Spitsbergen – first time recorded


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  • Red Peak – Ascent of Pik Kommunizma

    Red Peak – Ascent of Pik Kommunizma

    An unusual mountaineering event form start to finish written by the expedition second Malcolm Slesser seemingly without the authority of leader Sir John Hunt.

    First American Edition, published by Coward McCann, New York in 1964. Octavo, 256 pages well illustrated from expedition photographs, charts , diagrams etc. A little ageing but still a very good copy.

    The first British / Soviet joint expedition to climb in the Soviet Asia Pamir Mountains. And a venture not without drama. No native porters were taken. Things got tense between the groups, two Englishmen died during the ascent of a particularly rugged stage. Hunt and several others gave up and went home. Slesser elected to stay … the frankness with which he describes the flare-ups as they struggled to reach the 25,000 foot peak adds to the drama of this unique climb

    Slesser writes frankly about the first British / Soviet joint mountaineering expedition.


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  • Sixth Archbold Expedition to New Guinea 1959 (Ascent of Mt Wilhelm) – Brass – Egloff’s Copy

    Sixth Archbold Expedition to New Guinea 1959 (Ascent of Mt Wilhelm) – Brass – Egloff’s Copy

    Results of the Archbold Expeditions No 86. Summary of the Sixth Archbold Expedition to New Guinea (1959)

    The Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, New York. Published 1964. Quarto, soft cover with standard blue wrapper, 215 pages plus illustrations from photographs at the end with a detailed folding map of the locations explored. Distinguished anthropologist Brain J Egloff’s copy. Very good condition.

    Richard Archbold (1907-1976), American zoologist, was from a wealthy background. He attended Columbia University but never finished his formal training. Before WWII he funded three substantial expeditions to New Guinea. One of the members of his team was the Toowoomba born Leonard Brass (1900-1971) a brilliant botanist. After the War the expeditions resumed with three further expeditions completed in New Guinea under the leadership of Brass. This is the “Summary” of the Fourth Expedition – 1953. Before the War Brass had moved to Canada and then the USA where he became a citizen, working closely with Archbold. He was a curator of the Archbald Collection housed and the American Museum of Natural History.

    Brian Egloff has had an inspiring career, assisting the National Museum of PNG, Port Arthur in Tasmania and the preservation and restoration of the Tam Ting Caves in Laos. He has published several interesting books … our choice being “The Bones of the Ancestors – The Ambum Stone” which centres on a 3,000-year-old New Guinea artefact that made its way to Australia.

    In this the Sixth Expedition, Brass and his team are back on the mainland. Based out of Lae they took in some high ground including New Guinea’s highest peak, Mount Wilhelm 14,950 feet, to which they made the top. Mt Otto and Mt Michael .. and also to the Eddie Creek region and the Upper Markham Valley

    Brass’s reports are written in a very readable style and whilst containing the scientific information expected (they collected another 50,000 specimens) his general narrative of the trekking and observations along the way are very enjoyable.

    Fundamental New Guinea record – Sixth Archbold


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  • The Journal of the Royal Geographical Society (Scientific Expeditions to Everest)  – October 1925

    The Journal of the Royal Geographical Society (Scientific Expeditions to Everest) – October 1925

    The Journal of the RGS in the familiar blue wrapper, 289-368 pages, folding coloured map plus period adverts. Complete and in excellent condition.

    Lengthy report by Fellow of the Society N.E. Odell … observations on the Rocks and Glaciers of Mount Everest. Excellent photographs accompany this article along with the folding map by the author of the Geology of Everest from the expeditions of 1921 and 1924. All undertaken in an interesting period given the history of subsequent attempts on the summit of Everest.

    Other reports of interest include The Movements of Indian Glaciers, which complements the above … and Lord Curzon’s Posthumous Work in India … and racial migration in the Balkans during 1912-1924 …

    Everest explored – scientific expeditions


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  • Hindu-Koh – Wanderings and Wild Sport on and Beyond the Himalayas  – Major General Donald Macintyre.– 1891

    Hindu-Koh – Wanderings and Wild Sport on and Beyond the Himalayas – Major General Donald Macintyre.– 1891

    Published by Blackwood, Edinburgh and London in 1891. Updated enhanced edition of 1891.

    Large octavo, 362 pages with numerous illustrations. Striking blue cloth cover with the large gilt illustration of the mountain goat to the front. Very good condition. The frontispiece is a piece of work displaying the “bag” in all its magnificence. The tissue guard to the frontispiece is a masterpiece describing each element of the “bag” … we have put a piece of white paper behind to for the scan so that you can see the detail more clearly.

    Macintyre travelled from Srinagar to Leh and on to Chang Chenmo and Lingzi=tang in 1871. This journey covers parts of Cashmere, Sind, Ladakh, Tibet and parts of China. Extensively in the Himalaya foothills. The account represents many years of travel and hunting in the region.

    The account contains vivid descriptions of the people and their customs. And the wildlife … including elephant, tiger, bear, leopard, musk-deer, ibex, mansheer, yak and many more. A primary and early source.

    Donald Macintyre (1831-1903) was a Major in the British Indian Army … 2nd Gurkha Rifles. He was awarded the Victoria Cross in the Lushai Campaign for successfully storming enemy battlements while under intense fire. His medal resides in the Gurkha Museum.

    Rare and valuable account of the broader Himalayas.


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  • Unclimbed New Zealand – John Pascoe

    Unclimbed New Zealand – John Pascoe

    Published by George Allen, London in 1950 originally published in 1939. Tall octavo, 245 pages with illustrations from period photographs. Showing some age whilst still a pretty copy ain a near full dust jacket.

    A popular NZ climbing book well written by Pascoe. The Arthur’s Pass Mountains; Waimakariri and Wilberforce Valleys; Rakaia Easters, Louper Valley etc

    Climbing not unclimbing New Zealand.


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