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Whillans' epoch-making first ascent of Annapurna's South Face, achieved with Doug Haston in 1970, set a standard to which modern mountaineers aspire. He counted UK greats Joe Brown, Chris Bonnington, and Doug Scott among his climbing partners. But Behind his superstar status lay a dark reality.
This was a man apt to drain a flask of Glenfiddich when high on the rope at altitude. He raged against his climbing partners and maintianed a reputation so tough that complete strangers punched him in bars just to see what he would do. In basecamp, he refused to make his own tea; at formal dinners, he refused to clean up or wear socks. Jim Perrin, an award-winning journalist, traces the rise and fall of this compelling--but flaw!
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