In a riveting narrative of daredevils and eccentrics, Fergus Fleming gives us the breathtaking story of some of history's greatest explorers as they conquer the soaring peaks of the Alps. Fleming recounts the incredible exploits of the men whose centuries-old fear of the mountain range turned quickly to curiosity, then to obsession, as they explored Europe's frozen wilderness. In the late eighteenth century French and Swiss scientists became interested in the Alps as a research destination, but in the 1850s the focus changed: the icy mountains now offered an all-out competition for British climbers who wanted to conquer ever higher and more impossible heights, and explorers fought each other on the peaks and in the press, entertaining a vast public smitten with their bravery, delighted by their personal animosities, and horrified by the disasters that befell them. "...excellent popular history, with its proper share of mad dogs and Englishmen....Fleming's rendition is dramatic and masterful." -- Anthony Brandt, National Geographic Adventure.