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Enduring Patagonia

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  266 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Patagonia is a strange and terrifying place, a vast tract of land shared by Argentina and Chile where the violent weather spawned over the southern Pacific charges through the Andes with gale-force winds, roaring clouds, and stinging snow. Squarely athwart the latitudes known to sailors as the roaring forties and furious fifties, Patagonia is a land trapped between angry t ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 8th 2002 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published 2001)
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Average rating 4.12  · 
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Jun 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: argentina, adventure
To begin with, at no time in my life was I physically healthy enough to go into mountain-climbing. During my childhood, I spent years with severe frontal headaches caused by a pituitary tumor, then I had a quarter of a century of severe osteoarthritis, and now I am old and have a titanium left hip. So, naturally, I dream of climbing mountains; and I devour books about climbing mountains.

Later this year (2011), my girlfriend and I plan to visit Patagonia. I will be hundreds of miles from Cerro Fi
Melina Watts
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Crouch writes about snow and ice and daunting mountains like the lover from whom you never recover; just luminescent prose. His ability to take you into far away places is magic. Real life escapism, the best.
Patrick Dean
Jul 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Crouch is one of the best I've read at describing the suffering involved in pursuing one's dreams in the world's hardest mountains -- and at describing the joys and exhilarations that make that suffering worthwhile.

A West Point graduate, Crouch has an interesting personal story that adds depth to his account of time spent in the mountains of Patagonia, as well as his forays into construction jobs and other grunt work to pay for his alpine obsession.

Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The most thoughtful and thought provoking book I've read on the "Why" of hard alpine climbing. Not full of the bluster and angst of an M. Twight manifesto nor the staid and dry accounting in the stuff-upper-lip style of historical British mountaineering. It pulled me in with its honesty and willingness to admit weakness and held me for its duration with Crouch's clear and simple style.
Amar Pai
May 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Interesting guy, West Point to Army Ranger School to alpinist dirtbag

Does as good a job as any book I've seen on explaining the perverse appeal of alpinism

It still doesn't appeal though. Brr

Does make me want to go back to Patagonia. I've been but I feel like I never experienced "Patagonian weather" or anything like what's in this book
I was challenged with reading a book set in Argentina, but I'd had my fill of South American novels.  Thinking outside the fiction box, I thought I'd try a work of non-fiction instead .  Many such books are "travel" memoirs, but Enduring Patagonia is more of a thrill seeker's adventure.  Gregory Crouch is an avid alpinist, and the mountain range known as Patagonia became his holy grail.

I don't know anything about mountain climbing.  I don't even hike outdoors, but that doesn't mean I cannot appr
Oct 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
More of an examination of the climber psyche than a tale of climbing. Refreshingly unencumbered by the vanity and posturing found in most climbing accounts.

Seriously inspiring, like a Dr Doom treatise without the insanity.

New favorite book/author.
Jun 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever loved a book so much that you cannot bring yourself to finish it? I read 95% of this in 2 days, then spent weeks dragging it out. The closer I got to the end the less I was willing to read. Crouch's writing is engaging and makes you feel like you're having a beer, catching up with an old friend.
May 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Gregory Crouch is more than an adventure writer; he is a nature poet, chronicling his climbs in the Patagonian Andes--the near vertical faces of Cerro Torre, Fitzroy, Aguja Poincenot--fighting rock and ice, snow and wind, fear and fatigue, while conquering the otherworldly mountains straddling Chile and Argentina. Crouch’s team of climbers was the first to complete a winter ascent of Cerro Torre’s notorious west face in winter, a mind-bending feat considering how often climbs end in failure and ...more
Scott Ransom
Aug 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book -- and I'm not saying that because I know Greg, went to West Point right after he left and his legend was still large there, or even because I've climbed with him. I really liked it because parts of it really amazingly expressed some of the simple beauty of climbing and being in the mountains.

His writing is best (and by that I mean really, really good) when he is telling the simple stories about the people that he is with on his adventures. Examples in this book includ
Jennie Floyd
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
This beautifully written book details the writer's three climbing expeditions in Patagonia, the part of the Southern Andes shared by Argentina and Chile. It's one of the harshest landscapes on earth, with some of the most difficult-to-climb peaks. Crouch writes of the climbs in fascinating detail, really making me see and feel the experience. I will never attempt to climb a mountain, for many reasons, but I love books like this one that make the experience come alive for us more timid folks. Hig ...more
Chris Leuchtenburg
Mar 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nature
A fabulous read and the perfect preparation for our (very tame) trip planned to Patagonia.

Mountain climbing seems crazy -- dangerous, uncomfortable, pointless. But Crouch led me to understand its appeal.

"Here,I do not stomach compromise. I have become, like Jim, a goddamned, unrepentant alpinist, and our lives are victories, for we do not live like slaves." p. 211

"Success is to endure, to persevere, to act in the face of real fear and opportunity. Success is to chart your own seas and steer for
Kevin Mcclelion
Dec 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Mountaineering literature classic... Right up there with David Roberts mountain of my fear. One of the few books I re-read every few years. Love it!
Tyson Titensor
Apr 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I'm a sucker for mountaineering books and this is one of the best I've read.
Chris Blakemore
Nov 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Definitely one of the best mountaineering and adventure books that I have read!
Bob J.
Aug 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful story for all serious reders. The self-fulfilling "mountain adventure" story of a man who overcame his fears, achieved success, and experienced failure. Great read!
Feb 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Good read ......
Oct 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Overwrought, but the descriptions of Patagonian weather are good.
Aug 17, 2010 rated it liked it
Crouch's memoirs are brief but engaging for those interested in the unique experience of climbing in Patagonia. The book takes no time to get going. The first chapter describes his epic ascent of Cerro Torre after waiting out 60+ days of setbacks and the infamous inclement weather. Its the next best thing to being there as he perseveres to the summit and spends a celebratory bivy up at the top. Cerro Torre is respected by climbers not for its height but for its sheer verticality and the extreme, ...more
Jun 06, 2010 rated it it was ok
This book is for hardcore climbers, plain and simple. I read this in southern Patagonia and found Crouch's experience and reflections true to the challenges of expedition life in the shadow of the mighty Fitz Roy. Crouch is also very thoughtful when distilling the reasoning behind extreme climbing - no easy task & for that alone, I would recommend this book. Unfortunately, I think a non-climber would have difficulty finding value in the disorganized collection of impressions and experiences that ...more
Dec 17, 2007 rated it liked it
why oh why can we not give half star reviews?? this is clearly a 3.5 star book.

i went with 3 instead of 4 because it's really only a three star climbing book. which, for a climbing book lover like myself, means it's close to 4 stars in terms of books in general.

discussion of the star-system aside, the prose was a little too purple, and something about the writing just didn't grab me. i never really felt what the author was going through. it just didn't come across. i thought crouch was at his be
Jul 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I can't believe I haven't added this book to my shelf earlier. Right up there with "Touching the Void," this adventure book is amazing reading. Crouch's descriptions of the wind in this place, Patagonia's most notorious natural feature, are among the most memorable descriptions of anything I've ever read anywhere! I always thought it was cheating to watch a video or movie of some place before I visited, but this is good cheating. I recommend it.
May 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
I loved this book! Such an entertaining and fun read. I love his writing style. I gave it 4 stars because the last page / ending I thought was weak. The whole book is proof he could end it better. But just kinda does a semi philosophical / rebellious bad ass angle when the whole book he's a humble, down to earth, hard working alpinist.
Mar 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Read while I was in Patagonia, Argentina. Really cool read after meeting Greg and seeing Patagonia up close.
Terri Schneider
Jun 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
The raw truth from inside Patagonia’s and a climber’s souls.
Sep 21, 2007 rated it really liked it
Not exactly Krakauer, but great adventure/rock climbing reading nonetheless.
Feb 26, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Painful! Merciless!
Sep 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: climbing, nonfiction
individual essays in here were 5 stars, but as a whole, the book got repetitive.
Mar 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
I have found myself (a non-climber) quoting this book to myself several times so obviously something struck a chord.
Eduardo Minte
Feb 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: climbing
Really really good book, its technical and takes you through the highs and lows of adventures in extreme weather. The way Peter descrives fear, cold, succes and many other things its superb
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Gregory Crouch graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York in 1988, with a military history field of study. He completed U.S. Army Airborne and Ranger Schools, and served as an infantry officer. Crouch left the Army in the post-Gulf War downsizing in order to pursue more adventurous interests, most notably in high-stakes international alpine climbing, and he developed ...more

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