Author(s): John Wilson
Ever since the 1880s, when mountaineering was born in New Zealand with the first attempt to climb Aoraki/Mount Cook, we have had a special affinity with our mountains, and climbing them in particular. Mountaineers climb for many reasons and while the activity of mountaineering is often dangerous, they climb for pleasure and relaxation, for emotional and spiritual refreshment and the sense of achievement from reaching a summit. This book tells this fascinating story across the decades to the present day in over 200 photographs, many published for the first time, accompanied by informative captions. The photographs have been chosen to illustrate and reflect the distinctive character of New Zealand climbing to give non-mountaineers an idea what those engaged in the sport actually do, from start to finish of a mountain trip, and to convey something of the range of satisfactions that come from climbing.
Born in Timaru and raised there and in Christchurch, John Wilson returned from the United States in 1974 with a Ph.D. in history from Harvard University. His career since has embraced both history and journalism. He worked for some years as a leader writer for the Christchurch Press and was the founding editor, in 1983, of the magazine of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. In 2012 he published Joy of the Mountains - A Climber's Life, about John Harrison, one of New Zealand's leading climbers of the 1950s and '60s in association with the Canterbury Mountaineering Club and the New Zealand Alpine Club. He has also written histories of two rural areas of Canterbury, Cheviot and Waikakahi.