High Asia: An Illustrated History of the 7,000 Metre Peaks. Jill Neate. The Mountaineers, Seattle, 1989. 213 pages, 140 photographs, 79 in color, 57 maps, and end papers. $46.00.
This extremely valuable resource book names 446 peaks between the heights of 7000 and 8000 meters. An impressive list in order of altitude tells what peaks have been climbed, when, and who made the first ascent. 177 are still unclimbed. The main part of the book gives detailed descriptions, when available, of all these peaks, often with photographs, summaries of early attempts or the story of the first ascent; also regional bibliographies. Jill Neate separates the mountains into sections: Assam Himalaya, Bhutan Himalaya, Central and Western Nepal, Himalaya, Kumaon and Garhwal Himalaya, Western Himalaya, Greater Karakoram, Lesser Karakoram, Hindu Kush, Pamirs, Tien Shan, China and Tibet. She adds a general bibliography.
This book is clearly the result of devoted and accurate work; it reads well. The author thanks Eugene Gippenreiter for updating sections on the Pamirs and Tien Shan, and Michael Ward for similar help with peaks in Tibet and the Kun Lun. Short biographies of twelve climbers or explorers, such as Claude Kogan, Tom Longstaff and Abalakov, add color to the sections, while the photographs are a major asset to the text. This is a first rate piece of work. It will be poured over by climbers and would-be climbers for many years to come.
Robert H. Bates