Simon Yates, author of Against the Wall, takes us back to his early years as a climber - the escapades and excitement of a young life lived on the edge and for the moment, when experience was all-important and dramatic achievements and failures came as naturally as the hair-raising risks themselves. A mountaineering travelogue of dazzling variety, The Flame of Adventure moves from the camaraderie of deprived Russian climbers in the little-known peaks in the Tien Shan to the awesome experience of the North Face of the Eiger, from a rumbustious motorbike ride across Australia with a psychotic lorry driver. We meet a remarkable gallery of climbers, from Doug Scott to Joe Simpson, and, when not exploring high mountains, we enter the bizarre world of rope access workers: mavericks balancing high above building sites on the London skyline.
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(198mm x 129mm x 15mm)
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
In this exciting book Simon Yates shares the drama and terrifying risks of his early years as a climber. This is a mountaineering travelogue full of thrilling variety. The author's evocative descriptions create a powerful atmosphere and sense of time and place, and the physical traumas are conveyed effectively, yet without sentiment. Surprisingly it is the intensity of sunlight that proves the most tiring factor, 'Like a strong wind, its effect is psychological. It gets inside your mind, somehow numbing the senses.' Simon learns a great deal in his early climbs. His need for independence and self-reliance is challenged by his admiration for the Russian climbers who share their limited resources and capitalise on team spirit. He grows to respect them and acknowledges their mutual need to experience physical challenge, risk and danger. They too must love the 'sublime beauty' of the places they visit and relish the elemental contact with their surroundings. Here are all the reasons why climbers become addicted to this dangerous sport. They are intoxicated by the feelings of freedom and uncertainty. Within a framework of mountaineering ethics, individual climbers set their own standards, techniques and practices. Compared with the more rigid rules of other sports, mountaineering seems joyfully liberated: 'Life felt like the big adventure I imagined it should be - unpredictable, spontaneous, risky and above all, fun.' The close friendships and trust that are built between the climbers are essential for safe and successful missions and the physical challenges result in a greater self-awareness. Simon learns about the levels of joy and sadness he can reach, his limits of endurance and how he reacts to exhaustion and extreme stress. This is a compelling and enlightening read whether you have an interest in climbing or not. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Simon Yates
Simon Yates has climbed extensively in the Himalayas and the Andes, and travelled through India, Kazakhstan and Australia. His first book, Against the Wall, was runner-up for the Boardman Tasker Award for mountain literature.