I don’t read mountaineering novels very often; I suppose I don’t really see the point of them when there’s already so many dramatic factual accounts to read.
I’m really glad I made an exception here. I thought First on the Rope is an exquisite novel. It’s a finely-written love letter to the mountains, perfectly capturing the beauty and magic of long days moving through the mountains balanced against the cost.
I’ve been surprised by how much I’ve been craving a beach trip all lockdown. After spending so long either in the house or running through the same familiar areas, I’m really missing the wildness of the waves, the beauty of sun setting behind the sea, the joy of discovering a new cove to explore.
There’s always a tension in producing any guide to places that claim to be remote and deserted; any successful guide has the potential to end up spoiling the very thing it’s praising these places for. Hopefully there are so many beaches listed here, and covering such a wide area, that even those people seeking quiet beaches should end up spread out.
Mastermind is a must-read for anyone looking to improve their headgame in climbing, regardless of what level you’re currently operating at. It’s also good for psyche levels; I read it during a very wet winter which turned out to be a great help with training motivation. Some of the techniques definitely helped me to have a couple of breakthroughs on routes I’d been stuck on, and I’m looking forward to using more of these strategies over the next few months as travelling and climbing hopefully opens back up.
Predominantly climbing/outdoors literature, mountaineering history and nature writing.