A new book, recently published by the Oxford Alpine Club (OAC), may be of interest to club members.
Titled ‘Of Mountains and Men’, and with a foreword by legendary British mountaineer Stephen Venables, the book is a real-life, detective-like quest to explore why climbing mountains is, for some people, a search for their soul.
The origin of this story is a visit to the memorial in Zermatt (Switzerland) of three Oxford students (William Bell, Ian McKean and James Ogilvie), killed together on the Matterhorn in 1948. Author Mateo Cabello was so moved by the inscription on the bronze plaque that he was inspired to find out more about their lives, hopes and dreams. In doing so, he unearthed the stories of a poet destined for greatness, a young Labour politician committed to make Britain a better place to live, and a decorated war hero. Above all, he unearthed a story about passion and zest for life, which is what this book is really about, with post-war Britain as a background; a story that will resonate not only with climbers and mountaineers but in general with any person passionate about the great outdoors.
This photo shows William (second from right), Ian (center) and James (second from left) and was taken in Zermatt the day before the accident. This picture plays a central role in this story.
The foreword, introduction and first chapter of ‘Of Mountains and Men’ are attached to give members a flavour of what it’s about.
You can find more information about ‘Of Mountains and Men’ online: http://www.omam2016.wordpress.com
Alternatively, the OAC website also contains information about the book, how to acquire it, etc. –www.oxfordalpineclub.co.uk.