Learning to Breathe

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( 199 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780099472667: Learning to Breathe

At age sixteen, Andy Cave followed in his father’s and his grandfather’s footsteps and became a miner — one of the last recruits into a dying world.

Every day he would descend 3,500 feet into the Grimethorpe pit. But at weekends, Andy inhabited a very different world — thousands of feet above the pitheads of the colliery. Introduced to his local mountaineering club while a miner, he soon learned to cherish this newfound freedom. Living through the coalminer’s strikes of the mid-eighties — the guilt, the broken friendships, the poverty — Andy continued to indulge his passion, and in 1986, after much soul-searching, he quit the mines in order to take up mountaineering professionally. At the same time he decided to educate himself, acquiring, almost from a standing start, academic qualifications including a PhD. in sociology.

This extraordinary twin odyssey is graphically recalled in this remarkable book. Andy also recounts the grim tale of one of the steepest and most difficult summits in the world — the north face of Changabang in the Himalaya. Seventeen days later, he and two of his teammates — his best friend had already perished — crawled into base camp, frostbitten and emaciated. His account of this terrifying experience provides a dramatic climax to this extraordinary story.

Learning to Breathe is first and foremost a lively and humorous memoir, written with energy and insight, about two very different groups of men, each navigating equally inhospitable worlds. Finally, on a larger scale, it is an examination of our ability to draw on inner strengths and the strengths of others.

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About the Author:

Andy Cave was born into a mining family and is now an Alpinist with several formidable first ascents, and a qualified International Mountain Guide. He is also a University lecturer with a PhD. in the sociology of mining.

Review:

"A tale of split lives fused into one extraordinary story of adventure, laughter, tears and joy" * Joe Simpson * "A brilliant book, well-written, gripping, honest and very moving" * Chris Bonington * "Andy Cave's compelling autobiography is, like Joe Simpson's Touching the Void, a gripping book on mountaineering that will appeal even to those who didn't know they were interested in climbing ... Fascinating" * Observer * "Enthralling ... Cave's elegant writing draws on the congruence between mining and climbing, the black humour, the danger, the camaraderie ... Excellent" * Independent on Sunday * "The story of Andy Cave's transition from Yorkshire coal miner into one of Britain's best climbers echoes the heroic tones of Don Whillans or Joe Brown ... Thoughtful and often gripping ... Cave explains what it actually feels like to climb the kind of exceptionally dangerous routes that the rest of us, climbers or not, find unimaginable. There are few other climbers with the writing skills to be able to pull this off. There are fewer still who have led such an interesting and varied life as Cave" * Scotland on Sunday *

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Andy Cave
Published by Cornerstone, United Kingdom (2006)
ISBN 10: 009947266X ISBN 13: 9780099472667
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Book Description Cornerstone, United Kingdom, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. At the age of sixteen, Andy Cave followed in his father s and grandfather s footsteps and became a miner - one of the last recruits into a dying world. Every day he would descend 3,000 feet into Grimethorpe pit. But at weekends Andy escaped from the pithead to a very different world - testing his nerve on the cliffs and mountains around Britain, and forging endearing friendships with his new companions. Enduring the 1984-5 miners strike - the guilt, the broken friendships, the poverty - Andy continued to indulge his passion. In 1986, after much soul searching, he quit his job as a miner in order to devote himself to mountaineering. At the same time he decided to educate himself, acquiring almost from a standing start academic qualifications including a PhD in socio-linguistics. This extraordinary twin odyssey is graphically recalled in this remarkable book. In the Himalaya in 1997 Andy achieved a courageous first ascent on one of the steepest and most difficult summits in the world - the North Face of Changabang. Seventeen days later, he and only two of his team-mates crawled into base camp, frostbitten, emaciated and traumatised. His account of this terrifying experience provides a dramatic climax to this compelling story. Bookseller Inventory # ACD9780099472667

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Andy Cave
Published by Cornerstone, United Kingdom (2006)
ISBN 10: 009947266X ISBN 13: 9780099472667
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Book Description Cornerstone, United Kingdom, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. At the age of sixteen, Andy Cave followed in his father s and grandfather s footsteps and became a miner - one of the last recruits into a dying world. Every day he would descend 3,000 feet into Grimethorpe pit. But at weekends Andy escaped from the pithead to a very different world - testing his nerve on the cliffs and mountains around Britain, and forging endearing friendships with his new companions. Enduring the 1984-5 miners strike - the guilt, the broken friendships, the poverty - Andy continued to indulge his passion. In 1986, after much soul searching, he quit his job as a miner in order to devote himself to mountaineering. At the same time he decided to educate himself, acquiring almost from a standing start academic qualifications including a PhD in socio-linguistics. This extraordinary twin odyssey is graphically recalled in this remarkable book. In the Himalaya in 1997 Andy achieved a courageous first ascent on one of the steepest and most difficult summits in the world - the North Face of Changabang. Seventeen days later, he and only two of his team-mates crawled into base camp, frostbitten, emaciated and traumatised. His account of this terrifying experience provides a dramatic climax to this compelling story. Bookseller Inventory # ACD9780099472667

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Cave, Andy
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Book Description Arrow, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P11009947266X

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