On the Edge of Europe:
Mountaineering in the Caucasus
by Audrey Salkeld and Jose Luis Bermudez
Hodder and Stoughton, London, 1993; 260 pages
“This book is the offspring of the 1991 Alpine Club Symposium and attempts to collect together in one volume the first distilled mountaineering history of the range since Freshfield almost a century ago. It succeeds but not completely (…).
Although the discussion of Soviet mountaineering is all but absent, the authors have appended a chronology which is both informative and intriguing. I would like to know more about the young American M. Warburton who died shortly after establishing one of the hardest routes of the time in the eastern Caucasus with Soviet companions. Or what about those super-hard Czech and Polish routes, or the Mirror Wall of Ushba? After the chronology there follow source notes and a selected bibliography. I feel the latter would have benefited from annotation.
My impression of this book is that it is very good as far it goes. I will recommend it to you but remember this is not the whole story. The range has a distinctive Teutonic and Soviet history too.”
Victor Saunders, “Mountain Review”, 1994, No. 6, p. 67-68
„On the Edge of Europe is a fine reminder of what the Caucasus has to offer. It recollects the brilliant early climbing and exploration by Freshfield, Dent, Mummery, Longstaff and Raeburn, and provides an exciting outline of the German ascent of Ushba south from Svanetia organized by Rickmers in 1903.”
Laura Waterman, “American Alpine Journal”, 1994, p. 302-303
„As you might expect of erudite historians, Salkeld and Bermudez have lovingly documented the early years of exploration which was dominated by the Alpine Club. Mummery, Freshfield, Longstaff, all have articles or chapters to themselves as does Harold Raeburn's 'Attempt on Ushba' from the SMC Journal. Robin Hodgkin and John Jenkin write about their visit in 1937, and Messrs Hunt, Band, Ritchie, Nunn and Fowler describe post-War incursions by the Brits. In between these chapters there are brief descriptions of developments by German and Russian climbers. There is a comprehensive appendix of the history of climbing in the Caucasus, as well as source notes, bibliographies etc.”
Jim Curran, “High”, 1994, February, No. 135, p. 82-83