What we’ve been reading..

From the definitive guide to Ireland’s mountains to a highly entertaining account of the crazy sport of Fell-Running, here’s what we’ve been reading recently:

The Mountains of Ireland (Paddy Dillon)
This book has quite simply become the definitive guide to Ireland’s mountains. In it, Dillon identifies the 212 distinct mountains in Ireland over 2,000 feet based on his on-site appraisals. 12 of these mountains are over 3,000 feet. The book breaks these mountains down into 70 excellent walking routes with alternative routes also outlined. The book has been reprinted a number of times and has led to a number of people attempting to ‘summit’ each mountain in the book. If you are interested in the moutains of Ireland, this is the book to buy!

Feet In The Clouds: A Tale of Fell-Running and Obsession – (Richard Askwith)
For anyone with an interest in running or indeed hill-walking, Feet In The Clouds has to be listed as an essential read.  Askwith is a superb writer with an entertaining and thrilling style. In the book, Askwith moves with ease from the history of Fell Running through to the state of this unlikely sport as is stands today. On the way we meet some exceptional characters,  stars of the fell-running scene through the years but relatively anonymous outside of it. The author also effortlessly weaves in details of his own love affair with the sport outlining the exceptional lengths he went to when training for the infamous Bob Graham Round with takes in 42 Lakeland peaks in under 24 hours. An inspirational read – the only problem is it may well leave you with a deep desire to don a pair of trail runners and run up the nearest hill!

Into Thin Air- (Jon Krakauer)
A riveting and harrowing account of a commercial expedition up Mount Everest that ultimately ended in catastrophe. This gripping account entwines the history of attempted ascents of the mountain with a chronological account of the events leading up to loss of eight lives in one day alone. The book takes us into the ‘danger-zone’ of high-altitude mountaineering and in doing so, gives us a fascinating insight into the extraordinarily clinical and focused mindset of those that dare attempt to scale Everest as well as the remarkable conditions they must contend with to reach their goal. Most striking of all is how this sheer focus can lead to obsession and how this, combined with bad judgment can ultimately lead to tragedy.