"What transformed pure physical delight into something deeper was the fact that no-one had been here before..." Discover the fascinating stories of the men and women who have scaled the world's highest peaks. Featuring accounts of some of the world's most treacherous mountain climbs, this amazing collection covers the ascent of Mont Blanc in the 1780s, the golden age of alpine climbing which saw the Matterhorn and the Bietschhorn conquered, as well as the climbing of the great summits of the Americas and the Himalayan peaks, Everest and Annapurna. First Ascent is a unique survey of human achievement and a tribute to the adventurous spirit of mountaineers past and present.
One of the best-known mountaineers of his generation, Stephen Venables was the first Briton to climb Everest without oxygen, pioneering a new route at the same time. His first book, Painted Mountains, won the Boardman Tasker Award. He has also written for all the major national newspapers and appeared in numerous television programmes, including the BBC's Race for Everest and Mountain Men series, for which he climbed the Matterhorn in Victorian tweeds and nailed boots. A master storyteller and skilful photographer, he is also a motivational speaker whose illustrated lectures have inspired audiences all around the world.