As he teetered on a narrow rock ledge a yak's bellow short of the stratosphere, with a rubber mask strapped to his face, a pair of mittens the size of a sealion's flippers, and a drop of two kilometres below him, it's fair to say Mark Horrell wasn't entirely happy with the situation he found himself in.
He was an ordinary hiker who had only read books about mountaineering, and little did he know when he signed up for an organised trek in Nepal with a group of elderly ladies that ten years later he would be attempting to climb the world's highest mountain.
But as he travelled across the Himalayas, Andes, Alps and East Africa, following in the footsteps of the pioneers, he dreamed up a seven-point plan to gain the skills and experience which could turn a wild idea into reality.
Funny, incisive and heartfelt, his journey provides a refreshingly honest portrait of the joys and torments of a modern-day Everest climber.
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About the Author
For five years I have been writing what has been described as one of the most credible Everest opinion blogs out there. I write about trekking and mountaineering from the often silent perspective of the commercial client. For over a decade I have been exploring the world’s greater mountain ranges and keeping a diary of my travels. As a writer I strive to do for mountain history what Bill Bryson did for long-distance hiking. Several of my expedition diaries are available as quick reads from the major online bookstores. My first full-length book, Seven Steps from Snowdon to Everest, about my ten-year journey from hill walker to Everest climber, will be published in December 2015 and is available now to pre-order. My favourite mountaineering book is The Ascent of Rum Doodle by W.E. Bowman.
Mark Horrell's adventure book was perfectly suited to my 'armchair adventurer' mentality. From the comfort of the couch I could share his adventures across the world as he prepared himself to attempt Mt. Everest. Unlike those who plonk their money down with an expedition without preparation, Mr. Horrell learned and trained himself so he could overcome not just the elements, but also his own fears. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the history of Everest attempts, as well as the other peaks which Horrell summited, but also as an overview of how to train and gain skills for any live-changing venture.