What da cover says: In the late 18th century, mountains shifted from being universally reviled to becoming the most inspiring things on earth. Simply put, the monsters became muses – and an entire artistic movement was born. This movement became a love affair, the love affair became an obsession, and gradually but surely, obsession became lifestyle as mountains became stitched into the fabric of the British cultural tapestry.
In his compelling new book, Simon Ingram explores how mountains became such a preoccupation for the modern western imagination, weaving his own adventures into a powerful narrative which provides a kind of experiential hit list for people who don’t have the time nor the will to climb a thousand mountains.
For some of these mountains, the most amazing thing about them might be the journey they’ve taken to get here. Others, the tales of science, endeavour and art that have played out on their slopes. The mythology they’re drenched in. The history they’ve seen. The genius they’ve inspired. The danger that draws people to them. The life that clusters around them, human and otherwise. The extreme weather they conjure. The adventure they fuel. The way that some raise the hairs on the back of your neck, and trigger powerful, strange emotions. And moreover, what they’re like to be amidst, under, on – just what that indefinable quality is that the British mountains wield which takes possession of you so powerfully, and never goes away.
Ingram takes us high into the rafters of Britain’s most forbidding, unflinching and unchanging wild places through all the seasons of the year – from the first blush of spring to the deepest, darkest bite of the mountain winter. From Beinn Dearg to Ben Nevis, he takes us on a journey spanning sixteen of Britain’s most evocative mountainous landscapes, and what they mean to us today.
What I says: If you have any interest in hill walking, rock climbing or mountaineering then this is an important book for you to read. Whether it helps you to prepare for your first walk or motivate you to take on a bigger challenge, this book will give you a better appreciation for a mountain and what has been done to make them available to us. The book is jam packed full of history, geology, etymology, science, fun facts and personal experience.
Simon Ingram can only be described as a nutter, anybody willing to climb Ben Nevis in winter has to be pretty mad. Simon has always walked with a partner in the past and for the start of this book he is walking on his own, his confidence is low to begin with but as he conquers more and more of the mountains you start to see the master appear. As his confidence grows the writing style changes, the tangents he goes off on become longer and longer. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I’m sure the book would be quite dull if it was just talking about hill after hill. The tangents I mentioned before cover quite a range, the history of the hills, who reached the top first and who didn’t, things that have made their way to the top were all interesting. One thing I knew nothing about was the right to walk, all those footpaths around the country we all take for granted had to be fought for which included prison sentences for some. From now on I’ll be more aware when using these paths. Also covered was the naming convention, mapping, weather, nature, sport and art.
This book has motivated me into getting off my arse and getting back into hill walking. The last big walk I did was about 5 years ago with my 8yr old daughter, I was quite surprised that the second mountain featured in this book was in-fact the mountain we climbed, The Black Mountain. A nice remote location with very few walkers and some of the maddest weather I’ve ever been in. Horizontal hailstones, thick fog and gales fast enough to keep knocking me off my feet. Picture below is of my daughter at the top managing to stand against the wind.
Loved this book, it has a real epic feel to it, could have done with some more photos though as I spent ages on google.
You can get the book from HERE> you can also catch Simon on TWITTER>