No death in the mountains in the middle years of the 20th century affected the New Zealand climbing community more than the loss of John Harrison in the Mount Rolleston tragedy of June 1966.
John was one of the most admired climbers of his generation. His loss was felt keenly not only because of his achievements as a mountaineer, in New Zealand and overseas but also because his character and personality endeared him to people from all walks of life.
He was a member of a significant generation of New Zealand climbers. Growing up through the years of World War II, this generation, after the war’s end, completed the exploration of the New Zealand mountains and ascended the last of the country’s unclimbed peaks. This was also the first generation of New Zealand climbers to test their mettle, in many numbers, on mountains overseas.
This book describes not only his life and climbing career, but also set his life and career in the broader context of the history of New Zealand mountaineering. More broadly still, it makes a contribution to our understanding of New Zealand’s social history in the middle years of the 20th century.
Extract from The Climber #82: Joy of the Mountains book review
244 x 210mm paperback
colour and black/white images
Published: Nov 2012