The subtitle says it all: On the Roof of the World: The Guardian Book of Mountains is in practice a collection of articles and leaders published in The Guardian on the topic of climbing…. and to start with, I found the early material covering the emergence of rock climbing in the UK – particularly in the hills around Manchester – heavy going; partly because of the inevitable male focus, but also because of the mismatch between expectations raised by the book’s main title and the reality of reading about events like the Mass Trespass on Kinder Scout and Scrambling on the Roaches. To be fair, there were articles on Alpine ascents and the allure of Everest, but the English material just wasn’t that engrossing for me.
So, a slow read – begun in Huaraz and continued under canvas on the Cordillera Blanca trek, I only managed at most few pages a night in Peru, with the rest of the book polished off in the week since I’ve been back.
Guardian Bookshop link: On the Roof of the World: The Guardian Book of Mountains – Edited by Richard Nelsson