Here’s a timely tip if you’re off trekking in Nepal this autumn and are looking for some books to read on the trail (well, not actually on the trail – that could be dangerous, especially if there are yaks coming the other way – but certainly in a teahouse while you’re tucking in to a bottle of Everest beer).
I’ve mentioned previously that I’m in the process of having selected titles from my Footsteps on the Mountain Travel Diaries re-edited and published as revised editions. These revised editions are the first time ever that the diaries have been published as paperbacks.
The latest diary to go through this process is Islands in the Snow, about my expedition to Mera Peak and Island Peak in the Solu-Khumbu region of Nepal in 2009.
My old climbing buddy Mark Dickson and I spent a month hiking the trails east of Lukla, completing a circuit of the Hinku, Hongu and Imja valleys. We climbed all three main summits of Mera Peak, hiked over the picturesque Amphu Labtsa pass and climbed Island Peak for good measure. Afterwards I went off on my own, solo backpacking in the Gokyo valley.
This area was first explored by Col. Jimmy Roberts in 1953 at the same time as Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary were busy climbing Everest for the very first time. Roberts, who is sometimes considered the inventor of trekking in Nepal, made a reconnaissance of the Hinku and Hongu valleys with Sen Tenzing, a famous Sherpa known affectionately as The Foreign Sportsman. The two made the first ascent of Mera Central.
In the process of re-editing the book, I’ve added quite a lot of additional background material about the climbing history of the area, including Roberts’s journey. So if you’ve read this dairy before then why not read it again. The jokes never go stale.
The paperback of Islands in the Snow is available now from a number of online bookstores, price £5.99, €6.99 or $7.99, depending on your currency of choice. You should also be able to order it through any reputable bookstore.
To buy a copy, find out more about it, or read a free sample, visit my book page.
To read more about the evolution of the Footsteps on the Mountain Travel Diaries series, and find out why I’ve not had them properly edited until now, you might be interested in this blog post I originally wrote for the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi).