The Thin White Line
Posted on: October 7, 2011
For British alpinist Ian Parnell, the white cliffs of Dover, England, were a familiar emblem of home and cultural identity. But as he began to delve into the first-ascent history of these crumbling headlands, he grew less and less sure of what those ideas meant. Faced with the contrasting legacy of a late Victorian occultist and a modern taxman—and the hazards of both their routes—he struggled for balance between the darker side of climbing and the light.