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Mountaineering in Patagonia

by Alan Kearney

Cloudcap. Seattle, Washington, 1993. Hardcover. 143 pages, 24 color photos, maps, topos.

“Several years ago I heard rumblings of a book on Patagonia being worked on by Alan Kearney and I waited for its debut with enthusiasm. Moments after eventually seeing it for sale in the Chessler Books catalog, I was on the phone with my credit card. "Overnight Delivery," I said. I can still recall my anticipation of the book's arrival, and my first look at it—smaller than expected; excellent quality photos; not a guidebook (which is how the publisher describes the book). At the conclusion of my first reading of the book I felt that the text was informative and well written; the photographs deserved to be displayed in a larger format, and the information was quite comprehensive and useful. (…)
Within its scant 143 pages, Mountaineering In Patagonia contains accounts of important ascents, an expedition planner, a list of all climbing routes, a bibliography, and a glossary. This shotgun approach might prevent anyone else in America from publishing a profitable, large-scale climbing book on Patagonia. This is good news for both Kearney and Cloudcap, but bad news for those of us that want bigger, more plentiful photos of climbing in Patagonia and a comprehensive guidebook that's in English, but isn't done in shorthand. What Kearney and Cloudcap have produced is excellent—I just wish there were more of it.”
Todd Swain, „American Alpine Journal” 1995, p. 349

“This is a slim but heartfelt book by an exacting climber describing an area that obviously means a lot to him. Essentially it is divided into three sections, one describing the Fitzroy group, another Cerro Torre and its satellites and the third the mountains of Paine. As well as these main headings there is a chapter detailing the geological and meteorological conditions that prevail in the region, a piece on "wildness" outlining the author's feelings with regard to the inaccessible pans of the planet and various appendixes. This text is accompanied by a series of the author's stunning colour photographs which vividly portray  the majesty of the patagonian landscape and capture something of the arduous nature of climbing among these imposing granite towers. (…)
Nicely produced, with occasional maps and diagrams, the book has a pleasant and satisfying feel but does suffer from certain basic flaws. My main criticism is that the book falls between several houses. As a definitive reference work - which the title implies - it is too skimpy and too personal in perspective.”
Sean Smith, “Mountain Review” 1993, No. 5, p. 69

“The urge to experience both the terrors and sublime joys not only of climbing on the beautiful and enigmatic peaks of the southern Andes, but, at times, simply trying to survive while on flat ground is what sets true Patagonia junkies apart. Alan Kearney has gone to climb in Patagonia five times. With the hard-won knowledge accrued from these exploits and from an obvious passion for these mountains, Kearney has undertaken the task of putting together a climbing source book on Patagonia. Finding, collating and coherently presenting all that information is a daunting task, so do not mistake the fact that Kearney's book, Mountaineering in Patagonia, is a labor of love.”
Michael Bearzi, “Rock & Ice” 1994, January/February, No 59, p. 115




See also
Climbing Ice
Fitz Roy
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