Mark’s Footsteps on the Mountain blog has been described variously as a melting pot of book reviews, history and humour, and one of the most credible Everest opinion blogs out there. These collections, each curated around a certain theme, bring you the best of his shorter writing in a set of handy volumes.
A personal perspective on the tigers of Himalayan mountaineering
Ever since Europeans started exploring the world’s highest mountains and trying to reach their summits in the early 20th century, Sherpas have been an integral part of mountaineering expeditions to the Himalayas. In this anthology curated from his popular Footsteps on the Mountain blog, Mark Horrell explores the evolution of Sherpa mountaineers, from the porters of early expeditions to the superstar climbers of the present day.
Mark’s full-length travel books follow two hair-raising and often hilarious adventures across the world’s great mountain ranges. Written in the same fast-paced, self-deprecating style of favourite comic travel writers from Bill Bryson to Tim Moore, they are guaranteed to have you laughing out loud.
A unique climbing and cycling adventure to the summit of Ecuador
When Mark travels to Ecuador to go hiking and climbing, he discovers a land of dramatic volcanoes rising through the clouds and wide-open horizons rich in history. But when his partner Edita suggests a return visit, she has a very different adventure in mind: to cycle across the Andes and complete a unique sea-to-summit challenge by climbing the highest mountain starting from sea level.
A hill walker’s journey to the top of the world
Mark had been an ordinary hiker who had only read books about mountaineering. When he signed up for an organised trek in Nepal with a group of elderly ladies, little did he know that ten years later he would be attempting to climb the world’s highest mountain. Funny, incisive and heartfelt, his journey provides a refreshingly honest portrait of the joys and torments of a modern-day Everest climber.
The Footsteps on the Mountain Diaries are Mark’s expedition journals. They are edited versions of what he scribbles in his tent each evening after a day in the mountains, with a bit of history thrown in. Light-hearted and engaging, they provide a perfect introduction to life on the trail.
In the footsteps of Hillary across East Nepal
Sherpa legend told of an enchanted valley that was said to be a place of great beauty. The valley became the nemesis of legendary mountaineer Edmund Hillary, who travelled there in 1954. Fifty years later, Mark Horrell embarked on a trek to follow in Hillary’s footsteps, but when he arrived, he learned of a terrible accident that had shaken the climbing community and would threaten his plans.
A journey to explore Nepal’s trekking peaks
Two days east of Lukla was a pleasant yak pasture surrounded by high peaks. When Col. Jim Roberts set out to look for it in 1953, he made the first ascent of Mera Peak and sowed the seeds of Himalayan tourism. Fifty years later, Mark Horrell embarked on a trek to follow in his footsteps, climb the two trekking peaks at either end of the valley, and resolve a long-standing mystery about Mera Peak’s height.
Three hapless friends try to climb a big mountain
Mark Horrell and his two friends Mark and Ian shared a dream to climb an 8,000m peak, but it seemed the gods were against them. They had made no fewer than eight attempts without success. With towering ice walls, monsoon rainstorms, arm-twisting crevasses and – most dangerous of all – welcoming teahouses ready to entrap them, would it be different this time?
On the 8,000m peak circus in Pakistan
This is the tale of Mark Horrell’s not-so-nearly ascent of Gasherbrum in Pakistan; of how one man’s boredom and frustration is conquered by a gutsy combination of exhaustion, cowardice, and sheer mountaineering incompetence. But that’s enough about his attempt; there were talented climbers on the mountain as well, and this story is also about them.
Sorrow and strife on the world’s highest mountain
In April 2014 Mark Horrell travelled to Nepal to climb Lhotse, which shares a base camp and climbing route with Mount Everest. A devastating avalanche swept across the mountain, and suddenly he found himself witnessing the greatest natural disaster Everest had ever seen. When a group of Sherpas came out in protest, what happened next left his team shocked, bewildered and fearing for their safety.
Climbing Mount Everest with a commercial expedition
In April 2012 Mark Horrell travelled to Tibet hoping to become, if not the first person to climb Mount Everest, at least the first Karl Pilkington lookalike to do so. The Chomolungma Diaries is a true story of ordinary people climbing Mount Everest with a commercial expedition, and preparing for the biggest day of their lives.