Enduring Patagonia


EP PB coverEnduring Patagonia does a better job of explaining the attraction of climbing dangerous mountains than any of the Everest books I’ve read.” — Yvon Chouinard

Chosen by TheCultureTrip as one of the ten best books about Argentina–alongside Julio Cortazar, Bruce Chatwin, Ernesto Sabato, and Jorge Luis Borges.

“A crisp climbing narrative… readers will be cheering [Crouch] on, rapt”; “unvarnished moments of pure exhilaration”; “authentic alpine rambles, and not a little bit lunatic.” — Kirkus

“Tense and poetic”; “a thrilling read.” — Cascada

“Captures the danger and thrill and constant uncertainty.” — Santa Barbara News Press

What follows is the book teaser from the flap copy:

Charlie in the Ice Towers

Charlie Fowler on Cerro Torre

“Patagonia is a strange and terrifying place, a vast tract of land shared by Argentina and Chile where the violent weather spawned over the southern Pacific charges through the Andes with gale-force winds, roaring clouds, and stinging snow. Squarely athwart the latitudes known to sailors as the roaring forties and furious fifties, Patagonia is a land trapped between angry torrents of sea and sky, a place that has fascinated explorers and writers for centuries. Magellan discovered the strait that bears his name during the first circumnavigation. Charles Darwin traveled Patagonia’s windy steppes and explored the fjords of Tierra del Fuego during the voyage of the Beagle. From the novel perspective of the cockpit, Antoine de Saint-Exupry immortalized the Andes in Wind, Sand, and Stars, and a half century later, Bruce Chatwin’s In Patagonia earned a permanent place among the great works of travel literature. Yet even today, the Patagonian Andes remain mysterious and remote, a place where horrible storms and ruthless landscapes discourage all but the most devoted pilgrims from paying tribute to the daunting and dangerous peaks.

 

Poincenot, Inominata, and Saint Exupery from high camp

“Gregory Crouch is one such pilgrim. In seven expeditions to this windswept edge of the Southern Hemisphere, he has braved weather, gravity, fear, and doubt to try himself in the alpine crucible of Patagonia. Crouch has had several notable successes, including the first winter ascent of the legendary Cerro Torre’s West Face, to go along with his many spectacular failures. In language both stirring and lyrical, he evokes the perils of every handhold, perils that illustrate the crucial balance between physical danger and mental agility that allows for the most important part of any climb, which is not reaching the summit, but getting down alive.

Gregory Crouch on the first ascent of the Old Smuggler's Route on the north face of Aguja Poincenot

On the first ascent of the Old Smuggler’s Route on the north face of Aguja Poincenot

“Crouch reveals the flip side of cutting-edge alpinism: the stunning variety of menial labor one must often perform to afford the next expedition. From building sewer systems during a bitter Colorado winter to washing the plastic balls in McDonalds’ playgrounds, Crouch’s dedication to the alpine craft has seen him through as many low moments as high summits. He recounts, too, the riotous celebrations of successful climbs, the numbing boredom of forced encampments, and the quiet pride that comes from knowing that one has performed well and bravely, even in failure. Included are more than two dozen color photographs that capture the many moods of this land, from the sublime beauty of the mountains at sunrise to the unrelenting fury of its storms.”

Enduring Patagonia is a breathtaking odyssey through one of the world’s last wild places, a land that requires great sacrifice but offers great rewards to those who dare to challenge it.

EP PB coverI make posts relevant to Enduring Patagonia in my Enduring Patagonia category.

The Enduring Patagonia board on Pinterest.

Buy Enduring Patagonia at Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, IndieBound.com, or through any other bookseller.

 

28 Responses to Enduring Patagonia

  1. Gary Taylor says:

    I have already purchased one of these books and I thoroughly enjoyed it. How could I go about purchasing a signed copy? It would be cool to have a signed copy of a book writing by someone I served with in the US Army.

    • Gregory says:

      Hi Gary! So glad you enjoyed it — believe me, you and the other First Platoon soldiers were a big part of the formative process! I’ve got several boxes of new hardcovers in the garage, awaiting purchase — I dedicate, sign, and send ’em for the cover price, which is $25 — but it sounds to me like you ought to send me the one you already have. I’d be happy to put some ink in it and return it to you. (2865 Emerald Drive, Walnut Creek, CA 94597). It’s amazing to me how much all that Army stuff feels on one hand like it took place in another lifetime and on the other hand like it happened only yesterday. A paradox I have yet to figure out. Enjoy your Thanksgiving! Cheers, GC

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  3. Serena Lourie says:

    I loved this book. My favorite passages were on p.8 (“twin demons of fear and desire…”), p. 52 (“I am not a paradise person…”), p.53 (mountains aren’t worth dying for …”), p. 167 (“we risked …”), p. 214 (“In that case …). I’d love your autograph on my copy too!

    • Gregory says:

      Those are some of my favorites, too! Psyched. I didn’t sign your copy? Shame on me. Bring it the next time we meet and I’ll ink it for you. And maybe it’s worthwhile having waited, because now I can do our friendship the justice it deserves.

  4. Scott Jett says:

    Greg,
    I just stumbled onto your site. I Googled your name tonight after finishing a random chapter of Enduring Patagonia. My copy of EP is dog-eared, underlined and beat up after years by my nightstand. It works its way to the bottom of the pile, then back up to the top every few months….I chip away at chapters here and there when I’m in the mood for a good tale or a bit of inspiring writing. My wife always asks me….”why are you reading that one? Haven’t you read it before….like a hundred times?” Its one of my favorites and I thought you might dig some fan mail. On my nightstand right now is your book, Starlight and Storm by Gaston Rebuffat, Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad and The Holy Bible. I thought you might get a kick out of being in that line up of heavy hitters. Anyway, I just thought I’d track you down to say the book was an early inspiration to me as a climber and as a hack writer and I’ve wondered many times since if you are still climbing and or writing or both. I’ll check out the blog…the piece on Moon Chin looks intriguing. Without sounding like a stalker, I was wondering if you ever sign copies. I’m probably out of luck getting anything in ink from Rebuffat, Conrad or God I suppose. Take care. Climb on. Scott.

    • Gregory says:

      Dear Scott, Sorry to have taken so long to reply to your comment… but thank you VERY much. I’m humbled to be in such company. And of course I’d sign your copy… send me an email and I’ll give you my mailing address.

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  6. Michael Reeve says:

    Just finished “Enduring Patagonia” and would like to say how much I enjoyed reading about your love affair with that wild and beautiful part of the world. You have a gift for expressing each situation in a dramatic and poetic manner. Iceland might appeal to you, too, for its lonely beauty – although there’s no big wall climbing there.

    • Gregory says:

      Thank you, Michael. I’m so glad you enjoyed EP. And yes, I’d dearly love to visit Iceland — I have a few friends who’ve gone ice climbing there, and they all rave about both the climbing and the place/people/culture. I’d also be really interested in doing a volcano tour. Have you been? Cheers, GC

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  8. Brianne King says:

    Hi Greg!

    I just finished up with a month of adventuring in Chilean Patagonia. I have never been to such a rugged part of the world before, and when I looked up and saw my first Patagonian peaks, like those of the Paine Massif, a small fear gripped me. It’s almost like those mountains are saying, “Come get me, I dare you.” I started reading EP on the long flight(s) back home and you described those mountains so perfectly. Although I never made it up to see Fitzroy/Cerro Torre and the satellites, I imagine those peaks in TdP as a metaphor. So here’s some fan mail! I’m also a climber, and I think that area will pull at me forever. I don’t have the gusto yet to attack those mountains, but I will return one day soon. Thank you for writing such an inspirational and awesome book! I’m in the middle of it somewhere, and loving every page.

    Take care,

    Brianne

    • Gregory says:

      What a nice comment, Brianne! Thank you so much for checking in. I’m delighted to hear how much you’re enjoying EP. I never had the opportunity to climb in TdP, but I’ve visited them several times, and they’re wonderful. Very similar to the ones in the Fitzroy/Cerro Torre massif. And trust me, I’m well aware of how Patagonia can grow to dominate your soul. :-) Where do you live, and what inspired your southern adventures? Cheers, GC

      • Brianne says:

        Thanks for your response! I am a Washington native, and have been living in Bellingham for the past few years attending school. Since I began climbing (about 5 years ago), Patagonia kept coming up. I am a recent convert from primarily a sport climber to a full blown crack addict. It’s a whole new ball game for me, but I love it! Since I made the transition, I have been looking at photos of a good friend of mine’s adventures in Patagonia and drooling at all of the beautiful rock. The chance to see this part of the world came up this winter because my boyfriend got a job offer as a kayak guide in TdP Nat. Park for four months and hey! Why not go visit and see this place for myself? I am not in any shape to begin ascending peaks in Patagonia, but I got to do some scouting in the area while paddling around/exploring Glacier Grey/trekking in the park. Seeing all of those massive walls of beautiful granite has inspired me to dedicate myself to climbing on a whole new level so that, one day soon, I can return and climb/attempt to climb them. First, I need to make some goals for peaks in the Cascades and put experience under my belt. Any suggestions for first steps into the alpine realm?

        • Gregory says:

          Brianne, those sounds like excellent motivations! Very cool that you got to do so much stuff in TdP. The easy route on Torre Norte might be a good goal to aim for. I’ve never done it, but everything I hear about it is good, and I don’t think it’s too terribly ambitious. As for making the alpine transformation, I actually have written a little about making it happen. Try this link: http://www.gorp.com/parks-guide/travel-ta-mountaineering-rock-climbing-orienteering-mount-rainier-national-park-sidwcmdev_057646.html, and then its sidebar, here: http://www.gorp.com/camping-guide/travel-ta-mountaineering-camping-wilderness-skills-sidwcmdev_052782.html. What’re you studying in Bellingham. (Lovely place, by the way. Is Basecamp still open? And I gave an EP presentation at that wonderful bookstore once upon a time. Fingers crossed that they’re still in business, too.)

          • Brianne says:

            Thanks for the article links, Greg! My good friend who just summited 5 peaks this winter in Patagonica is going to help me out this spring and teach me some ice/snow travel techniques and crevasse rescue at Mt. Baker. I’m really looking forward to that. Currently, after finishing up a BS in biochem in the spring in Bham, I am working on my MS in chemistry (also in Bham). We’re working on making an anticancer compound and I really enjoy the work. Although I do live for weekend climbing trips! As for Basecamp, they closed down before my time but we do have Backcountry Essentials as our local gear shop. The people who own it are really awesome; they have a great beer/used gear selection and are very knowledgeable :). I think you may be thinking of Village Books for the bookstore? They are still up and running! They have awesome speakers, too bad I missed out on the EP talk. Backcountry Essentials has cool talks from climbers all the time, too…hint hint!

        • Gregory says:

          I think we maxed out our back and forth in the comment section, Brianne, so I’ve got to comment lower in the order. Very interesting about the anticancer compound — fingers crossed you can find something very effective.

          Super psyched to hear that Village Books is still in the game. That was/is a great bookstore. One of the best.

          We should probably move our thread to email: gregorycrouch@sbcglobal.net should do the trick. I’d like to ask you another question or two, too. Cheers, GC

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  16. Sable Jak says:

    have been researching Patagonia for an audio drama I’m writing and purchased your book among the stack of others. I have always maintained that no one writes a better battle scene than Bernard Cornwell, Once a person starts reading s/he reads faster and faster until the battle is over. You do the very same with your writing. Your recounting of your climbs sucks the reader along with you until s/he feels the cold and the wind and the ice underfoot. I would love to hear Enduring Patagonia in audio, but only read by the very best of readers. Your writing demands that.This book made a five hour plane ride extremely enjoyable.

    • Gregory says:

      Thanks! So glad you enjoyed EP, Jak. I’d love it if somebody would make it into an audiobook, although I think that ball is in Random House’s court. Love the analogy to Bernard Cornwall–I must have read two dozen of his books through the years.

  17. Vicky says:

    Hello.
    My mother is recommending this book for my husband to read. I was wondering if it has been, or will be, translated into french?
    Thank you for the info,
    Sincerely,
    Vicky

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