“Climbing is not a democracy. It never has been. That’s one of the things we love about it. Climbing is … More
Ever wonder what leadership skills could be learned from being one of only 38 people in the world to summit the tallest peaks on every continent and ski to both the North and South Poles in the Adventure Grand Slam? Or what good could come from the school of hard knocks after slipping and sliding down from a summit in the dark, without a working headlamp and half out of your mind from dehydration and hunger? Alison Levine has been there and come back to shape these experiences with other fragments of her life into an unconventional tale of what it takes to be an effective leader in her debut book, On the Edge: The Art of High-Impact Leadership.
A few years back I watched a film called “180° South”, which partially retraced and celebrated a legendary 16,000-mile, six-month road trip that five climbers made to Patagonia in 1968. After surfing and skiing their way down the continent, these five “funhogs” – Yvon Chouinard, Doug Tompkins, Dick Dorworth, Chris Jones and Lito Tejada-Flores – finalized the trip by making the third ascent of the giant granite spire called Fitz Roy, a neighbouring brother of the well-known Cerre Torre. Like this movie, the book, Climbing Fitz Roy, 1968, revisits this unique and well-celebrated trip, so I already had some exposure to the story.
The cover of I Promise Not to Suffer gave me a lot to think about before I began reading. A pair of bare legs, cropped at the hip, peek out between a blue pleated skirt and a pair of worn hiking boots. All I could envision was a girly-girl too prim and proper to get dirty, afraid of ants or eating out of a pot. It’s a cute image, but turns out to be a bit misleading. And I’m thankful for that because I wasn’t interested in reading the story I was imagining. Instead I was treated to a superb read worthy of all the accolades and awards it has received to date.
Jennifer Ward Barber’s review of Wild gives us a breath of fresh air amongst the Oprah-influenced, “this is the best thing since Eat, Pray, Love” reactions to this book. It’s not that this book won’t be just that for some readers, but I have been admittedly skeptical about the hype over this memoir. Read the review on The Hippie Triathlete.
When I got a copy of The Ultimate Survival Manual (Canadian Edition), I was expecting it to be entertainingly macho and a bit silly. I was surprised, however; while I took issue with some of the author’s suggestions, I found there was also some good information in the manual. For the most part, the manual contains useful tidbits, especially in the chapters on Wilderness Survival and Natural Disasters, but I am worried that some of the tips may make a bad situation worse for those who don’t know what they are doing already.