on 8 May 2014
A WALK IN THE CLOUDS is not a bad book --as you can see by the number of 5- and 4-Star reviews-- but I'm fairly certain it's not going to be a book for everyone, thus my review.
A WALK IN THE CLOUDS is a collection of very short recollections drawn from years of experience climbing and hiking in mountains all over the world. Though I'm a couch-potato I've found that I love reading books about K2 and Everest, about hiking the Rockies or Appalachian trail. It wasn't until this book though that I realized that an important part about what I enjoyed about Viesturs' and Curran's, Grylls' and Krakauer's books was the personal interactions and the personal determination it took to overcome the obstacles.
***SMALL SPOILERS ** ** SMALL SPOILERS**
Kev Reynolds writes about little vignettes, special moments that sparkle brilliantly in his mind after the passage of years and even decades, but they aren't the sort of moments that are satisfying for someone looking for the in-depth portrayal of human interactions and determination. There's a story about a woman who overcame her fear of the vertical ladders at the Ceilon glacier, but the story ends with her farting. There's another story of a woman who needed prompting to cross an avalanche area... but it ended with getting a shot of snaps.
***END OF SPOILERS***
These are sweet vignettes, but very personal and something I just didn't connect with.
Like I said. Not a bad book, just not what I was looking for.
on 26 March 2014
After Kev Reynolds climbed Morocco's Atlas Mountains in 1965 at age 21 he married Min, his girlfriend, quit his government desk job and began to explore the planets many mountains.
Over time he become a leading authority on the mountains of the world and wrote the definitive 1978 guidebook, "Walking and Climbing the Pyrenees" (in France and Spain) now on its 5th edition. Since then Kev has written 51 guidebooks and been published in many other books and magazines.
Kev's amazing memoir, "A Walk in the Clouds: 50 Years Among the Mountains" is a beautifully written, poetic collection of stories of his life in the mountains. He says it's not only the summits that are the highlights, it's also the experiences on and around the mountains that count.
He says there is no chronological order to follow in the book. It's a collection of short stories about "moments as big as years," profound life-changing experiences he still recalls with vivid intensity that have molded his character and made him who he is. It's also about his favorite, most memorable lessons on the mountains, the people he met, the experiences he shared, and the cultural bridges he built.
His journeys take us across the Moroccan Atlas, France and Spain's Pyrenees trails, the European Alps and the Himalayas. Also included are stories about climbing mountains in Corsica, Norway, Turkey and Peru among others.
Kev gave me the feeling not only of hiking the trails but also of watching the seasons unfold, meeting the people and forming connections throughout the world. He says, "Life is an adventure to be cherished"and literally "walks his talk." He says it's true the path less trod is almost always worth taking.