South Pacific Pinnacle: The Exploration of Balls Pyramid edited by Jim Smith and Keith Bell – (Den Fenella Press, $50 incl. postage)
The editors of this new book on Balls Pyramid, Jim Smith and Keith Bell, have done a fantastic job recording the climbing history of this giant sea stack, from the very first ascent in 1965 to the most recent in 2014. Although its principal focus is on recording the climbing history of this magnificent rock feature, it also canvasses its discovery and exploration.
The book also contains information on the natural history of the pyramid including its geology and wildlife such as the fabled phasmid making this book so much more than a climbing book.
Jim Smith is a well-known historian, researcher and author. In collaboration with Australian climbing stalwart Keith Bell, the two have produced an outstanding account of the exploration and environment of Balls Pyramid. There is well over 200 colour and black and white images, most of which have never been published.
The book is a must have for anyone interested in climbing history, nature and wild adventure that was inspired by the 50th anniversary of the first ascent, which was commemorated by a meeting of climbers in February, 2015.
Adventurer and entrepreneur Dick Smith has also produced a book on the pyramid titled Balls Pyramid – Climbing the World’s Tallest Sea Stack. Dick’s book is very well produced and has numerous wonderful images. There are 17 accounts of climbing ascents in Jim Smith’s and Bells book. Of the 217 images in South Pacific Pinnacle, only six are also shared in Dick Smith’s book.
Which book should I purchase? I believe both! Both are well researched and complemented with great images. The Jim Smith and Bell book is broad and very detailed. If you have room on your bookshelf you will own a definitive history of this wonderful and mysterious Pacific Ocean pinnacle.