Freedom Climbers

Freedom Climbers

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Freedom Climbers—the most honoured book of mountaineering literature published in Canada—tells the story of a group of extraordinary Polish adventurers who emerged from under the blanket of oppression following the Second World War to become the world's leading Himalayan climbers.

Although they lived in a dreary, war-ravaged landscape, with seemingly no hope of creating a meaningful life, these curious, motivated and skilled mountaineers created their own free-market economy under the very noses of their Communist bosses and climbed their way to liberation. At a time when Polish citizens were locked behind the Iron Curtain, these intrepid explorers found a way to travel the world in search of extreme adventure—to Alaska, South America and Europe, but mostly to the highest and most inspiring mountains of the world. To this end, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and Nepal became their second homes as they evolved into the toughest group of Himalayan climbers the world has ever known.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Dimensions: 352 pages, 15.24 x 2.06 x 22.86 cm
  • Published: Oct 1, 2012
  • Publisher: Rock Mountain Books
  • Language: English
  • Item weight: 522 g

About the Author

Bernadette McDonald, A.O.E., was the founder of the Banff Centre for Mountain Culture and has authored eleven books on mountain culture and mountaineering. Her work has been published in eighteen countries and has received many awards, including the Banff Grand Prize, the Boardman Tasker Award, Kekoo Naoroji Award and the American Alpine Club Award. She has received the Alberta Order of Excellence Award and the King Albert Award for her contributions to mountain culture. She is an honorary member of the Himalayan Club and the Polish Mountaineering Association, and has been appointed a fellow of the Explorers Club. When not writing, Bernadette climbs, skis, hikes, paddles and grows grapes.

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