The Finest Climbs on the 4000m Peaks of the Alps
For this project I had a singular ambition – to produce the most beautiful and fascinating book and exhibition ever made about the Alps, about their highest summits and finest climbs, and somehow reflect at least something of the awe these produce in me.
This is the product of a six year project to climb, photograph and draw the 82 x 4000m peaks of the Alps. Many of these peaks are already popular objectives so I wanted to try a novel approach and climb each of them by the most interesting or beautiful route, rather than the easiest or most popular way top the summit. Some of the routes I climbed are nevertheless already ultra-classics, but many are esoteric and lesser known gems that will lead you far into the hidden wilds of the Alps.
Whether you are a mountain lover, an aspiring alpinist or already veteran of gnarly adventures this book should be a refeshing experience and provide a wealth of original material to inspire you to take your adventures further, to help plan your dreams, or just gaze in awe of the natural beauty of the European Alps.
The project was born from an original list of routes I selected with the advice of many other guides and covers a broad spectrum of Alpine climbing styles and difficulty (from grades PD to ED). The routes covered include rock faces, mixed north faces, ridges and ski tours. There are routes for all seasons and detailed information on how to find the best conditions. Each route is illustrated by a wealth of climbing images when we climbed it, and landscape shots taken from adjacent summits. In addition many have a hand drawn topo and where possible I have delved into the historical archives to dig up fascinating morsels of information about the first ascent of the mountain or route.
Now available for PRE-ORDER:
I am very grateful for everyone’s support in bringing this project to fruition. Pre-orders will get limited SIGNED COPIES of the first books off the press!
– Topos –
“Photography is an immediate reaction, drawing is a meditation.” Henri Cartier-Bresson
Q: Do the routes go over every 4000m peak?
A: Yes they provide access to each of the UIAA list of 82 summits. Some of the routes are long traverses that go over several peaks. However on some exceptional mountains, like Mont Blanc, there are several different routes.
Q: Who took the photos?
A: All photos, drawings and text are by Ben. My partner, Valentine Fabre, has been instrumental to the project as we climbed 25 the routes together!
Q: Did you use helicopters or drones for some of the shots?
A: Hell no! All photos are taken from terrestrial locations.Nevertheless some of the drawings and topos are from aerial locations (where I was unable to show the route from a land based location), either based on the images of friends and colleagues, and sometimes combined with satellite imagery and terrain models.
Q: Are any of the photos available as prints?
A: Yes, all of the photos can be found on my website (www.bentibbettsphotography.com) and prints are delivered worldwide.
Q: How do you do the drawings?
A: The drawings are based on photographs and are made using very fine pencils and patient work under a magnifying glass. Drawings take between 15 and 100 hours to complete!
Q: Are the drawings for sale?
A: I’m keeping hold of the originals for the moment I’m afraid, (except in exceptional circumstances) however I have prints for sale. I plan to exhibit the whole series of drawings together.
Q:Where is the books for sale?
A: For the moment preorder is just available on my website. The book will be released in April and then should be available at bookstores and climbing shops in Europe.
Q: Why preorder?
A: Be ther first to get the book, and get it cheaper! I’m offering 15% off retail price and I will send all the preorders before the book hits the shelves. Your support is very gratefully received, it helps me fund the printing which is going to be about £30,000…!
Q: Is the full list of routes available ?
A: For the moment I am not publishing it, in case I swap out one route for another on the next couple of months…! Hang in there… I’ll have it ready soon enough!
Q: How big is the book?
A: Around 300 pages. Hardcover 30x25cm (c.11.5 x 9.5 inches). Printed using very high quality paper and exceptional print quality.
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