Over 9,000 feet up on the top of Mount Roraima is a twenty-five mile square plateau, at the point where Guyana’s border meets Venezuela and Brazil. In 1973, Scottish mountaineering legend Hamish MacInnes alongside climbing notoriety Don Whillans, Mo Anthoine and Joe Brown trekked through dense rainforest and swamp, and climbed the sheer overhanging sandstone wall of the great prow in order to conquer this Conan Doyle fantasy summit.
As one of the last unexplored corners of the world, in order to reach the foot of the prow the motley yet vastly experienced expedition trudged through a saturated world of bizarre vegetation, fantastically contorted slime-coated trees and deep white mud; a world dominated by bushmaster snakes, scorpions and giant bird-eating spiders.
This wasn’t the end of it, however. The stately prow itself posed extreme technical complications: the rock was streaming with water, and the few-and-far-between ledges were teeming with scorpion-haunted bromeliads. This was not a challenge to be taken lightly. However, if anyone was going to do it, it was going to be this group of UK climbing pioneers, backed by The Observer, supported by the Guyanan Government, and accompanied by a BBC camera team, their mission was very much in the public eye.
Climb to the Lost World is a story of discovering an alien world of tortured rock formations, sunken gardens and magnificent waterfalls, combined with the trials and tribulations of day-to-day expedition life. MacInnes’ dry humour and perceptive observations of his companions, flora and fauna relay the story of this first ascent with passion and in true explorer style.