H. W. Tilman (15)

Snow on the Equator

ISBN: 9781909461147

Author: H. W. Tilman    Publisher: Lodestar Books

To those who went to the War straight from school and survived it, the problem of what to do afterwards was peculiarly difficult.' For H.W. 'Bill' Tilman, the s...


To those who went to the War straight from school and survived it, the problem of what to do afterwards was peculiarly difficult.' For H.W. 'Bill' Tilman, the solution lay in Africa: in gold prospecting, mountaineering and a 3,000-mile bicycle ride across the continent. Tilman was one of the greatest adventurers of his time, a pioneering climber and sailor who held exploration above all else. He made first ascents throughout the Himalaya, attempted Mount Everest, and sailed into the Arctic Circle. For Tilman, the goal was always to explore, to see new places, to discover rather than conquer. First published in 1937, Snow on the Equator chronicles Tilman's early adventures; his transition from East African coffee planter to famed mountaineer. After World War I, Tilman left for Africa, where he grew coffee, prospected for gold and met Eric Shipton, the two beginning their famed mountaineering partnership, traversing Mount Kenya and climbing Kilimanjaro and Ruwenzori. Tilman eventually left Africa in typically adventurous style via a 3,000-mile solo bicycle ride across the continent - all recounted here in splendidly funny style. Tilman is one of the greatest of all travel writers. His books are well-informed and keenly observed, concerned with places and people as much as summits and achievements. They are full of humour and anecdotes and are frequently hilarious. He is part of the great British tradition of comic writing and there is nobody else quite like him.


Bind: paperback


Pages: 215


Dimensions: 159 x 218 mm


Publication Date: 01-09-2015


$36.00
Ice with Everything

ISBN: 9781909461406

Author: H. W. Tilman    Publisher: Lodestar Books

In climbing mountains or sailing the seas one often has to settle for less than one hoped. ‘For most men, as Epicurus has remarked, rest is stagnation and act...


In climbing mountains or sailing the seas one often has to settle for less than one hoped. ‘For most men, as Epicurus has remarked, rest is stagnation and activity madness. Mad or not, the activity that I have been pursuing for the last twenty years takes the form of voyages to remote, mountainous regions.’ HW ‘Bill’ Tilman’s fourteenth book describes three more of those voyages, ‘the first comparatively humdrum, the second totally disastrous, and the third exceedingly troublesome’. The first voyage describes Tilman’s 1971 attempt to reach East Greenland’s remote and mountainous Scoresby Sound. The largest fjord system in the world was named after the Whitby whaling captain, William Scoresby, who first charted the coastline in 1822. Scoresby’s two volume Account of the Arctic Regions provided much of the historical inspiration for Tilman’s northern voyages and fuelled his fascination with Scoresby Sound and its unclimbed mountains. His first attempt on Scoresby had already cost him his first boat, Mischief, in 1968. The following year, a ‘polite mutiny’ aboard Sea Breeze had forced him to turn back within sight of the entrance to the Sound. With a good crew aboard in 1971, it was particularly frustrating for Tilman to find the boat blocked once more, this time by impenetrable ice off the entrance to the fjord. He refused to give up; his obsession with Scoresby Sound continued in 1972 and after a series of unfortunate events Sea Breeze ended up between a rock and an ice floe with a failed engine and a disastrous outcome. Safely back home in Wales, the inevitable search for a new boat began. ‘One cannot buy a biggish boat as if buying a piece of soap. The act is almost as irrevocable as marriage and should be given as much thought’. The 1902 Pilot Cutter Baroque, after not inconsiderable expense, proved equal to the challenge after Tilman’s first troublesome voyage in her to West Greenland in 1973.


Bind: paperback


Pages: 160


Dimensions: 156 x 260 mm


Publication Date: 06-04-2017


Nepal Himalaya

ISBN: 9781909461383

Author: H. W. Tilman    Publisher: Lodestar Books

The most mountainous of a singularly mountainous country. Throughout 1949 and 1950 H.W. ‘Bill’ Tilman mounted pioneering expeditions to Nepal and its Himala...


The most mountainous of a singularly mountainous country. Throughout 1949 and 1950 H.W. ‘Bill’ Tilman mounted pioneering expeditions to Nepal and its Himalayan mountains, taking advantage of some of the first access to the country for Western travellers in the 20th century. Tilman and his party—including a certain Tenzing Norgay—trekked into the Kathmandu Valley and on to the Langtang region, where the highs and lows began. They first explored the Ganesh Himal, before moving on to the Jugal Himal and the following season embarking on an ambitious trip to Annapurna and Everest. Manaslu was their first objective, but left to ‘better men’, and Annapurna IV very nearly climbed instead but for bad weather which dogged the whole expedition. Needless to say, Tilman was leading some very lightweight expeditions into some seriously heavyweight mountains. After the Annapurna adventure Tilman headed to Everest with—among others—Dr Charles Houston. Approaching from the delights of Namche Bazaar, the party made progress up the flanks of Pumori to gaze as best they could into the Western Cwm, and at the South Col and South-East Ridge approach to the summit of Everest. His observations were both optimistic and pessimistic: ‘One cannot write off the south side as impossible until the approach from the head of the West Cwm to this remarkably airy col has been seen.’ But then of the West Cwm: ‘A trench overhung by these two tremendous walls might easily become a grave for any party which pitched its camp there.’ Nepal Himalaya presents Tilman’s favourite sketches, encounters with endless yetis, trouble with the porters, his obsessive relationship with alcohol and issues with the food. And so Tilman departs Nepal for the last time proper with these retiring words: ‘If a man feels he is failing to achieve this stern standard he should perhaps withdraw from a field of such high endeavour as the Himalaya.’


Bind: paperback


Pages: 280


Dimensions: 156 x 216 mm


Publication Date: 06-04-2017


$36.00
In Mischiefs Wake

ISBN: 9781909461369

Author: H. W. Tilman    Publisher: Lodestar Books

I felt like one who had first betrayed and then deserted a stricken friend; a friend with whom for the past fourteen years I had spent more time at sea than on ...


I felt like one who had first betrayed and then deserted a stricken friend; a friend with whom for the past fourteen years I had spent more time at sea than on land, and who, when not at sea, had seldom been out of my thoughts. The first of the three voyages described in In Mischief’s Wake gives H.W. ‘Bill’ Tilman’s account of the final voyage and loss of Mischief, the Bristol Channel pilot cutter in which he had sailed over 100,000 miles to high latitudes in both Arctic and Antarctic waters. Back home, refusing to accept defeat and going against the advice of his surveyor, he takes ownership of Sea Breeze, built in 1899; ‘a bit long in the tooth, but no more so, in fact a year less, than her prospective owner’. After extensive remedial work, his first attempt at departure had to be cut short when the crew ‘enjoyed a view of the Isle of Wight between two of the waterline planks’. After yet more expense, Sea Breeze made landfall in Iceland before heading north toward the East Greenland coast in good shape and well stocked with supplies. A mere forty miles from the entrance to Scoresby Sound, Tilman’s long-sought-after objective, ‘a polite mutiny’ forced him to abandon the voyage and head home. The following year, with a crew game for all challenges, a series of adventures on the west coast of Greenland gave Tilman a voyage he considered ‘certainly the happiest’, in a boat which was proving to be a worthy successor to his beloved Mischief.


Bind: paperback


Pages: 172


Dimensions: 156 x 216 mm


Publication Date: 26-01-2017


$36.00
China to Chitral

ISBN: 9781909461345

Author: H. W. Tilman    Publisher: Lodestar Books

Upon this trackless waste of snow, cut by a shrewd wind, they sat down and wept. In China to Chitral H.W. ‘Bill’ Tilman completes one of his great post-war ...


Upon this trackless waste of snow, cut by a shrewd wind, they sat down and wept. In China to Chitral H.W. ‘Bill’ Tilman completes one of his great post-war journeys. He travels from Central China, crossing Sinkiang, the Gobi and Takla Makan deserts, before escaping to a crumbling British Empire with a crossing of the Karakoram to the new nation of Pakistan. In 1951 there still persisted a legend that a vast mountain, higher than Everest, was to be found in the region, a good enough reason it seems for Tilman to traverse the land, ‘a land shut in on three sides by vast snow ranges whose glacial streams nourish the oases and upon whose slopes the yaks and camels graze side by side; where in their felt yurts the Kirghiz and Kazak live much as they did in the days of Genghis Khan, except now they no longer take a hand in the devastation of Europe’. Widely regarded as some of Tilman’s finest travel writing, China to Chitral is full of understatement and laconic humour, with descriptions of disastrous attempts on unclimbed mountains with Shipton, including Bogdo Ola—an extension of the mighty Tien Shan mountains—and the Chakar Aghil group near Kashgar on the old silk road. His command of the Chinese language—five words, all referring to food—proves less than helpful in his quest to find a decent meal: ‘fortunately, in China there are no ridiculous hygienic regulations on the sale of food’. Tilman also has several unnerving encounters with less-than-friendly tribesmen. Tilman starts proper in Lanchow where he describes with some regret that he is less a traveller and more a passenger on this great traverse of the central basin and rim of mountain ranges at Asia’s heart. But Tilman is one of our greatest ever travel writers, and we become a passenger to his adventurers.


Bind: paperback


Pages: 184


Dimensions: 156 x 216 mm


Publication Date: 26-01-2017


$36.00
Mischief Goes South

ISBN: 9781909461321

Author: H. W. Tilman    Publisher: Lodestar Books

No sea voyage can be dull for a man who has an eye for the ever-changing sea and sky, the waves, the wind and the way of a ship upon the water. So observes H.W....


No sea voyage can be dull for a man who has an eye for the ever-changing sea and sky, the waves, the wind and the way of a ship upon the water. So observes H.W. ‘Bill’ Tilman in this account of two lengthy voyages in which dull intervals were few and far between. In 1966, after a succession of eventful and successful voyages in the high latitudes of the Arctic, Tilman and his pilot cutter Mischief head south again, this time with the Antarctic Peninsula, Smith Island and the unclimbed Mount Foster in their sights. Mischief goes South is an account of a voyage marred by tragedy and dogged by crew trouble from the start. Tilman gives ample insight into the difficulties associated with his selection of shipmates and his supervision of a crew, as he wryly notes, ‘to have four misfits in a crew of five is too many’. The second part of this volume contains the author’s account of a gruelling voyage south, an account left unwritten for ten years for lack of time and energy. Originally intended as an expedition to the remote Crozet Islands in the southern Indian Ocean, this 1957 voyage evolved into a circumnavigation of Africa, the unplanned consequence of a momentary lapse in attention by an inexperienced helmsman. The two voyages described in Mischief goes South covered 43,000 miles over twenty-five months spent at sea and, while neither was deemed successful, published together they give a fine insight into Tilman’s character.


Bind: paperback


Pages: 196


Dimensions: 156 x 216 mm


Publication Date: 01-09-2016


$36.00
Two Mountains and a River

ISBN: 9781909461307

Authors: H. W. Tilman, Gerda Pauler    Publisher: Lodestar Books

An expedition that cannot organise itself… on the back of an old envelope, is bound to suffer from the effects of too much organisation. Two Mountains and a R...


An expedition that cannot organise itself… on the back of an old envelope, is bound to suffer from the effects of too much organisation. Two Mountains and a River picks up where Mount Everest 1938 left off. In this instalment of adventures, Tilman and two Swiss mountaineers set off for the Gilgit region of the Himalaya with the formidable objective of an attempt on the giant Rakaposhi (25,550 feet). However, this project was not to be fulfilled. Not one to be dispirited, Tilman and his various accomplices—including pioneering mountaineer and regular partner Eric Shipton—continue to trek and climb in locations across China, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other areas of Asia, including the Kukuay Glacier, Muztagh Ata—the source of the Oxus river—and Ishkashim, where the author was arrested on suspicion of being a spy… Two Mountains and a River brims with the definitive Tilman qualities—detailed observations and ever-present humour—that convey a strong appreciation of the adventures and mishaps he experiences along the way. This classic mountaineering text maintains Tilman’s name as a unique and inquisitive explorer and raconteur.


Bind: paperback


Pages: 256


Dimensions: 156 x 216 mm


Publication Date: 01-09-2016


$36.00
Mostly Mischief

ISBN: 9781909461284

Authors: H. W. Tilman, Roger D. Taylor    Publisher: Lodestar Books

However many times it has been done, the act of casting off the warps and letting go one’s last hold f the shore at the start of a voyage has about it somethi...


However many times it has been done, the act of casting off the warps and letting go one’s last hold f the shore at the start of a voyage has about it something solemn and irrevocable, like marriage, for better or for worse. Mostly Mischief ’s ordinary title belies four more extraordinary voyages made by H.W. ‘Bill’ Tilman covering almost 25,000 miles in both Arctic and Antarctic waters. The first sees the pilot cutter Mischief retracing the steps of Elizabethan explorer John Davis to the eastern entrance to the Northwest Passage. Tilman and a companion land on the north coast and make the hazardous crossing of Bylot Island while the remainder of the crew make the eventful passage to the southern shore to recover the climbing party. Back in England, Tilman refuses to accept the condemnation of Mischief ’s surveyor, undertaking costly repairs before heading back to sea for a first encounter with the East Greenland ice. Between June 1964 and September 1965, Tilman is at sea almost without a break. Two eventful voyages to East Greenland in Mischief provide the entertaining bookends to his account of the five-month voyage in the Southern Ocean as skipper of the schooner Patanela. Tilman had been hand-picked by the expedition leader as the navigator best able to land a team of Australian and New Zealand climbers and scientists on Heard Island, a tiny volcanic speck in the Furious Fifties devoid of safe anchorages and capped by an unclimbed glaciated peak. In a separate account of this successful voyage, Colin Putt describes the expedition as unique—the first ascent of a mountain to start below sea level.


Bind: paperback


Pages: 216


Dimensions: 156 x 216 mm


Publication Date: 16-06-2016


$36.00
Mount Everest 1938

ISBN: 9781909461260

Author: H. W. Tilman    Publisher: Lodestar Books

Whether these mountains are climbed or not, smaller expeditions are a step in the right direction. It’s 1938, the British have thrown everything they’ve got...


Whether these mountains are climbed or not, smaller expeditions are a step in the right direction. It’s 1938, the British have thrown everything they’ve got at Everest but they’ve still not reached the summit. War in Europe seems inevitable; the Empire is shrinking. Still reeling from failure in 1936, the British are granted one more permit by the Tibetans, one more chance to climb the mountain. Only limited resources are available, so can a small team be assembled and succeed where larger teams have failed? H.W. Tilman is the obvious choice to lead a select team made up of some of the greatest British mountaineers history has ever known, including Eric Shipton, Frank Smythe and Noel Odell. Indeed, Tilman favours this lightweight approach. He carries oxygen but doesn’t trust it or think it ethical to use it himself, and refuses to take luxuries on the expedition, although he does regret leaving a case of champagne behind for most of his time on the mountain. On the mountain, the team is cold, the weather very wintery. It is with amazing fortitude that they establish a camp six at all, thanks in part to a Sherpa going by the family name of Tensing. Tilman carries to the high camp, but exhausted he retreats, leaving Smythe and Shipton to settle in for the night. He records in his diary, ‘Frank and Eric going well—think they may do it.’ But the monsoon is fast approaching... In Mount Everest 1938, first published in 1948, Tilman writes that it is difficult to give the layman much idea of the actual difficulties of the last 2,000 feet of Everest. He returns to the high camp and, in exceptional style, they try for the ridge, the route to the summit and those immense difficulties of the few remaining feet.


Bind: paperback


Pages: 216


Dimensions: 156 x 216 mm


Publication Date: 01-05-2016


$36.00
Mischief in Greenland

ISBN: 9781909461246

Author: H. W. Tilman    Publisher: Lodestar Books

Only a man in the devil of a hurry would wish to fly to his mountains, forgoing the lingering pleasure and mounting excitement of a slow, arduous approach under...


Only a man in the devil of a hurry would wish to fly to his mountains, forgoing the lingering pleasure and mounting excitement of a slow, arduous approach under his own exertions. H.W. ‘Bill’ Tilman’s mountain travel philosophy, rooted in Africa and the Himalaya and further developed in his early sailing adventures in the southern hemisphere, was honed to perfection with his discovery of Greenland as the perfect sailing destination. His Arctic voyages in the pilot cutter Mischief proved no less challenging than his earlier southern voyages. The shorter elapsed time made it rather easier to find a crew but the absence of warm tropical passages meant that similar levels of hardship were simply compressed into a shorter timescale. First published fifty years before political correctness became an accepted rule, Mischief in Greenland is a treasure trove of Tilman’s observational wit. In this account of his first two West Greenland voyages, he pulls no punches with regard to the occasional failings, leaving the reader to seek out and discover the numerous achievements of these voyages. The highlight of the second voyage was the identification, surveying and successful first ascent of Mount Raleigh, first observed on the eastern coast of Baffin Island by the Elizabethan explorer John Davis in 1585. For the many sailors and climbers who have since followed his lead and ventured north into those waters, Tilman provides much practical advice, whether from his own observations or those of Davis and the inimitable Captain Lecky. Tilman’s typical gift of understatement belies his position as one of the greatest explorers and adventurers of the twentieth century.


Bind: paperback


Pages: 216


Dimensions: 156 x 216 mm


Publication Date: 01-03-2021


$36.00
© 2022 Nationwide Book Distributors