Book Review: The Bond: Survival On Denali And Mount Huntington by Simon McCartney
The Bond by Simon McCartney is one of the best mountain books you’ll ever read. Simon McCartney and his climbing partner, Jack Roberts, put up two legendary first ascents on the big walls of Alaska in 1978 and 1980. This is the story of those alpine climbs.
First the duo tackled the still unrepeated North Face of Mount Huntington. Next they climbed the Denali Diamond on the southwest face of Denali. On the flanks of Denali, McCartney narrowly escaped with his life thanks to the help of numerous other climbers on the mountain. Shortly after that climb, Simon McCartney disappeared from the climbing scene completely. No one heard from him for over 30 years.
“In 1978 we made the first ascent of the north face of Mountain Huntington, a very dangerous climb. We were on the mountain for almost ten days, which was a problem because we only took four days’ food. In 1980, we went back to Alaska and made the first ascent of the southwest face of Mount McKinley -Denali- the hardest route on the biggest mountain in North America at the time…”
After reconnecting with the climbing community, McCartney decided to tell his story. He wrote The Bond, which details his climbing feats and his fight for survival on the high peaks of Alaska. This book is a “very personal and human tale that carries one from the Bernese Oberland and the glaciated spires of Chamonix to the walls of Yosemite and the faces of Alaska, and which showcases the development and progression of two young and inspired alpinists who followed a shared dream to its ultimate and inescapable conclusion.”
The Bond is the type of book that keeps readers up late captivated by the story unfolding on the pages. McCartney does an excellent job of describing the wild mountains, the fight for survival, and the epic climbing. But he takes it one step further and explores the emotional connection and the bonds that climbing partners develop when placed in wild situations.
This is a book that will ring true with climbers, armchair adventurers, and mountain enthusiasts from around the globe. If you enjoy mountain adventures, pick up a copy of The Bond by Simon McCartney, you won’t be disappointed. We highly recommended this book we give it two big thumbs up.
“The feeling I have of being the first climber to set foot on unclimbed territory is, I suspect, addictive.”
The Bond by Simon McCartney won The Jon Whyte Award for Mountain & Wilderness Literature – Non-Fiction at the 2016 Banff Mountain Book Competition. It also won the 2016 Boardman Tasker award for Mountain Literature. Learn more here.
Here’s a short video published by Vertebrate Publishing of Simon McCartney talking about The Bond: