Hillwalking is Ireland's most widely practised leisure activity today. Rock climbing has developed to a level of technical excellence with crags in almost every county and numerous indoor climbing walls. Irish mountaineers have completed a winter ascent of the Eiger's North Face, scaled the highest Himalayan peaks and other previously unclimbed giants, and explored hitherto unknown valleys. Paddy O'Leary recounts the history of hillwalking and mountaineering in Ireland, and shows that the early climbing scene was a reflection of, and not escape from, wider social issues: from the early activists - some were involved in gun running, others died at Gallipoli - to the turn of the millennium, when mountaineering in Ireland was no longer the preserve of the middle class. This history recounts the adventures, dangers, successes and failures which make this multifaceted activity such a fascinating one, and mirrors the spirit of all who love these places.
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