Neuchâtel: W. Sandoz, 1904. First Edition. Hardcover. Small quarto. 364pp. Later scarlet cloth binding with gilt titling and author's name to mid-spine, and the letters "N.C. B-C" in gilt at the base of the spine: the letters are the initials of Nicholas Bishop-Culpeper, indicating the book was previously in his library. Frontispiece, 9 b&w plates, 1 fold-out photographic panorama of the Baltoro glacier, 3 maps (2 folding - 1 in colour), 1 foldout table of temperatures on the Baltoro glacier, and 269 illustrations in the text. FRENCH text.
An account of the 1902 attempted ascent of K2 in the Karakoram by the expedition doctor and photographer, Jules Jacot-Guillarmod (1868-1925). The expedition was organised by the English mountaineer Oscar Eckenstein friend and included his close friend Aleister Crowley and several others, and an army of porters. They crossed the Karakoram and then made their way to the Baltoro glacier from where they ascended to make their base-camp at 5,700 metres. Despite being hampered by bad weather and altitude sickness they stayed there for nearly 2 months, making exploratory climbs to higher reaches, before eventually having to turn back. Although unsuccessful in terms of reaching the summit, the group got higher than any previous expedition, and explored many areas unknown to Europeans. The mountain proved to be extraordinarily difficult, and despite many subsequent attempts, its summit was not finally reached until 1954. Jacot-Guillarmod's account is highly detailed and richly illustrated, it includes nearly 50 specific references to Aleister Crowley, who is also pictured in one of the plates and one of the photographs in-text.
The book was previously in the library of English bibliophile and Aleister Crowley scholar Nicholas Bishop-Culpeper, and has his penciled ownership name on front free endpaper (as well as his initials stamped into the spine). The book was originally issued in paper wrappers, and a note and receipt loosely inserted indicate that Bishop-Culpeper had it rebound in Cambridge (England) in 1970. Unfortunately the original wrappers were not bound in - presumably they were in too poor a state to be worthy of preservation. Also loosely inserted is a typeset note in which Bishop-Culpeper has recorded the page numbers on which the Crowley references appear. The volume was acquired by Clive Harper at the dispersal of Bishop-Culpeper's library, and it is from Harper's collection that it is now offered. Harper is well- known as the bibliographer of Austin Osman Spare, for updating the Aleister Crowley bibliography in the 2011 Teitan Press collection of Gerald Yorke's writings, and as someone who has lent his expertise to numerous other publications. His discrete book-label is neatly tipped in at the rear of the volume. Cloth somewhat faded at spine and extreme upper edge of front board - otherwise binding just lightly rubbed. Page edges a bit browned and foxed, frontispiece lightly mottled. A circular photograph of mountain encampment that originally graced the front wrapper has been affixed to front pastedown, while an image of a mountaineer (possibly from the rear wrapper) is pasted onto the rear pastedown. The fold outs are darkened with some light foxing and a few tiny tears at folds, light crease to upper corner of text pages. Overall a tight, clean better than VG copy of this uncommon volume which has never been translated into English. Item #65111