You Don’t Fool Around With Mountains

You Don’t Fool Around With Mountains is a powerful story of a black South African and mountaineering.
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Title: You Don’t Fool Around With Mountains
Author: Selebelo Selamolela
Type: Travel report
Imprint: Umuzi
Publisher: Randomhouse Struik
Cape Town, South Africa 2000
ISBN 9781415200568 / ISBN 978-1-4152-0056-8
Softcover, 15x22 cm, 188 pages, several b/w photos


A powerful story of man and mountain. In 2006, Soweto-born Selebelo Selamolela joined the team of the Everest Peace Project. The team included two Israelis, a Palestinian, a Hindu, an American woman and himself – the second black African and the seventh South African to have summited Everest. In his account of their attempt to get to the top of the world, Selamolela vividly describes conflicts within the team, tedious periods of waiting, brutal and hazardous conditions, the desperate need to keep going, and his own brush with death.

Part I covers the author’s earlier expeditions to the Kilimanjaro and Huyana Potosi in Bolivia, and gives insight into his youth, describing how a black South African came to be passionately interested in the ‘white’ sport of mountaineering. Part II tells of the preparations for the Everest climb and the ascent, as well as his no less dramatic descent. Part III reflects on the extraordinary experience of climbing Everest and the challenges of mountaineering.

Content: You Don’t Fool Around With Mountains

Obituary: Summit day
Chinese proverb
Kilimanjaro, roof of Africa
The quest: Huayna Potosí
Seduced by Everest
Johannesburg to Kathmandu
Nine days in Kathmandu
Welcome to Tibet
To Base Camp
Home away from home
Climbing the cold mountain
Conquering the North Col
Back to base
Epic rescue
Captions to the photographs