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on 14 January 2015
I cannot believe I having read his books before. SIR Ranulph is an unbelievable human being and a great Britain.
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on 31 July 2017
Fantastic book. Vintage Fiennes. I couldn't put it down.
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One of the world's greatest living adventure explorers is Ranulph Fiennes (1944 - ). He may be best known for his polar expeditions, but he has undertaken a variety of physical challenges including ascents of the Eiger North Face and Mount Everest plus river, sea and desert events. He is a prolific writer and has written over 20 books recording his exploits and commenting on associated events. `Cold', subtitled `Extreme Adventures at the Lowest Temperatures on Earth', was first published in 2013 after he was forced out of an attempted Antarctica crossing due to frostbite.

`Cold' concentrates on expeditions and record breaking ventures where cold weather was a determining factor in success or otherwise. Ranulph Fiennes commences with trips to Norway and Greenland, but always with a view to uncharted destinations. A significant portion of his book is the planning, trials and execution of a Transglobe Expedition taking in both North and South poles, but also for separate journeys and crossings of the Arctic and Antarctic involving Canada, Alaska and the Northwest Passage, and even a trip around the world's greatest land mass from Ireland all the way East to Newfoundland. Ranulph Fiennes clearly has a competitive obsession and he has used his adventures to raise millions for charities, but readers will ponder over what were his doubts and fears, and what drove him to put himself in such deep danger and to suffer horrific hardships. What is to be made of his brief mention of 7 marathons on each of the world's 7 continents in 7 days - after heart surgery! There are insights to feelings of apprehension, reactions to isolation, responsibilities etc. where humour often makes light of the mental stress and physical back-breaking demands and punishments endured.

When describing his own approaches to experiences with companions, or solo, or supported, or unsupported etc. Ranulph Fiennes introduces a range of issues. `Cold' incorporates an `Appendix' outlining the history of polar exploration, but throughout the text Ranulph Fiennes comments on the achievements and failures of others, with often gory details of injuries and effects of illnesses due to extreme cold on the human body. He also comments on political intrigue over sovereignty of polar places, competition between explorers, scientific and medical research etc. `Cold' is a compelling and gripping tale, with a couple of sections of telling photographs - but it does lack maps. There is a reasonable representation of the Northwest Passage on the rear endcover, but at the front the two charts of Antarctic and Arctic are too small. Within the narrative there is a crying need for maps or diagrams of various expeditions - both of historical journeys by others and Ranulph Fiennes' own adventures. Apart from this criticism `Cold' is a remarkable and inspirational story celebrating a fulfilled life - in the face of horrific hardships.
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on 30 May 2014
Having been evacuated from Antarctica, suffering from frostbite in his hand caused when trying to adjust the bindings on his skis, clearly left Ranulph Fiennes at a loose end. With nothing planned, what better than to turn out another book. Yes, this probably is a gratuitous opportunity to write about himself and his past expeditions. Who cares - Ran has had more feats of endurance than anyone else and even at his advancing years shows no signs of letting up. The theme is 'cold' and this aligns well with the majority of his expeditions. This book reads really well and is packed full of fascinating information. Ran clearly knows his field and this includes related history, biology and science. I thoroughly recommend this book.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 12 February 2014
This is an interesting book covering Ranulph Fiennes remarkable exploits in the Arctic, Antarctic, in climbing Everest and the North Face of the Eiger. His achievements as an explorer are amazing, especially given that he was not a young man when he reached the summit of Everest at his third attempt, and that he climbed the North Face partly in the attempt to rid himself of his vertigo.

The stories of his personal experiences of extreme cold, particularly during his polar journeys, are interspersed with accounts the triumps and tribulations of other explorers including Scott, Amundsen and Shackleton, amongst many others. All this makes for great reading - however if you have read the author's autobiography you will already know many of the tales he has to tell and this book adds little that is new to that rather more engaging and personal book
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on 30 March 2017
They don't make men like that anymore. I can't say anymore as his achievements are humbling.
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on 28 February 2014
If you have read Mad, Bad and dangerous to know DO NOT buy this. It is a complete rip off!
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on 7 January 2014
Bought recently as i was looking for an inspirational read and this is certainly ot. I would also recommend googling the places mentioned to get more of an idea of the vastness and difficulty of the terrain Ran find himself in. Great book!
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on 9 November 2016
I have long been an admirer of Feinnes and his adventures and very much enjoy reading about how such people pit their delicate bodies against the forces of nature.

I enjoyed a previous book 'Mind over Matter' which told the story of his crossing of Antarctica. In 'Cold' Feinnes recaps through all his cold journeys.

The first major expedition that he organised and led himself was the Transglobe expedition travelling around the globe via the poles and begins with the huge obstacles presented getting such a journey approved and sponsored. That is a daunting task in itself and years in the making. Very ably teamed with his late wife, Ginny, the two set about the huge task of making the expedition happen. What comes through time and again is how these solo or small team expeditions can't happen without the help and expertise of a lot of people. Feinnes emphasises this at every turn. But when the expedition finally happens it's the grit and tenacity (and a little bit of luck -or sometimes a lot) of the expeditions members that win the day.

Feinnes and the people he had worked with certainly do have grit in huge measures. His account of his attempts to summit Everest and his subsequent success in that endeavour are also a grim reminder of the many people who have failed and paid the ultimate price. Many have died in places beyond any hope of rescue and their bodies remain.

The book is also a wonderful history lesson of earlier explorers and their missions to map the world. I found myself going back and forth to remind myself of some of that history as Feinnes talked about his modern-day journeys. His stories of hardship and the sheer effort for humans to survive in the world's cold places make for illuminating reading and, of course Ranulph Feinnes has made millions for charities along the way.
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on 10 January 2015
Brrrr is Ranulph Fiennes completely barking mad or just extremely stubborn? He has certainly cured me of any desire I ever had to travel to the far north, or south! Seriously "Cold" is a remarkable account of Fiennes achievements peppered with fascinating history and anecdote. However I couldn't help feeling that he had an urgent deadline set by his publisher as the last few stories of journeys were seriously short on content though none the less epic for that. Whatever it is that drives Ranulph Fiennes to attempt such extreme challenges this book goes some way to explaining, although as he writes, if you need someone to explain why they do these things you probably still won't get it at the end of the explanation ( he puts that better than me). Fiennes has led a remarkably charmed life and must surely have had more close brushes with death than almost anyone else alive. There is a slight problem I feel for Fiennes's as a narrator in that there are only so many ways you can tell the story of a miraculous escape from a crevasse.
Fiennes anger with Huntsford's scurrilous biography of Robert Falcon Scott surfaces a couple of times though he refrains from naming names. I, however have no compunction about this. In my mind one of Fiennes great achievements is the way he has been able to use his own unimpeachable experiences as a polar adventurer to shine a light on Scott's own amazing achievements.
A great man and a great story.
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