On Thin Ice
On Thin Ice is Mick Fowler's second set of climbing memoirs, following Vertical Pleasure. Here, the celebrated mountaineer records his expeditions since 1990 where, despite work and family commitments, he maintained a regular series of 'big trips' to challenging objectives around the world with a sequence of major successes. The combination of exotic travel with major climbs provides the ultimate adrenalin-soaked holiday experience that Mick Fowler has mastered to the full. We are transported from the cliffs of Jordan to remote peaks in deepest Asia via Taweche and Changabang in the Himalaya, with jaunts to the Andes and Alaska thrown in for good measure. That Fowler has organised this routine for years, while holding down a conventional nine-to-five job with the Inland Revenue, has constantly amazed his peers. In this, his second book, he has also mastered the skills of amusing travel-writing to entertain us as a preliminary to the finale of a titanic struggle on each of his fiendishly demanding climbs. His ascent of Siguniang in 2002, with Paul Ramsden featured hard ice climbing on a fabulous face in deepest China and was so admired by the international climbing community that it won the US Golden Piton and the French Piolets d'Or, both awards given for the finest alpine achievements in the world during that year. Fowler describes his travels in the great traditions, with engaging modesty and wit, but the climbs themselves are frequently so dramatic that the anxiety and tension forces its way to the surface to be matched by a corresponding relief and triumph when success and safe descent is achieved.
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