Seven Steps from Snowdon to Everest
by Mark Horrell
I’d like to briefly talk about a great new book by Mark Horrell, recently released on Kindle. The book is called Seven Steps from Snowdon to Everest and I think many of my readers will enjoy it.
Disclaimer: This is not one of my customary objective reviews. I edited this book, so it would not be ethical for me to review it as well! This ‘spotlight’ is simply my way of drawing your attention to this great book, along with a few of my personal opinions.
Many of my readers will be familiar with the work of Mark Horrell. He is a high-altitude mountaineer known for his Footsteps on the Mountain series: highly entertaining and candid travel diaries focusing on mountaineering expeditions. In 2013, I reviewed his book The Chomolungma Diaries, concluding:
All in all this is a great travel book that (in my opinion) should be required reading for everyone with an interest in Everest. For a mountain surrounded with a great deal of hyperbole, legend, and half-truth, it provides a refreshing dose of honesty and perspective.
The Chomolungma Diaries has a relatively narrow focus and is concerned exclusively with Everest. In Seven Steps, the writer broadens his focus and writes the story of how he changed from an ordinary hill walker to an Everest summiteer. As the title suggests, he went through seven stages on this journey, and the book is all about how he did it. It’s an incredible adventure and can be read either as a mountaineering biography or as a sort of informal guide for planning your own transition along similar lines.
One thing I really enjoy about Mark Horrell’s work is its straightforward honesty. So much of mountain literature is shrouded in elitism and warped by nostalgia for a selectively remembered past, but this writer aims to portray how mountaineering truly is in the 21st century, viewed from the perspective of an ordinary person. That isn’t to say that this writer has no appreciation for mountaineering heritage; on the contrary, there’s a wealth of historical background here, and anyone who reads Mark Horrell’s blog will be aware that he is deeply interested in the history of the sport. But there is no star-struck worship of the past here, and I think that’s very refreshing.
If you’ve read some of Mark Horrell’s other books, you’ll be aware of his writing style. This book is a step up from his previous work – more ambitious in scope and even better written. I’d urge you to download it right away while it’s still at its low launch price!