Review – The Calling: A Life Rocked by Mountains, by Barry Blanchard

Few climbers’ memoirs have been as highly anticipated as The Calling: A Life Rocked by Mountains, by Barry Blanchard. This fact is a testament to Blanchard’s reputation, his impressive climbing resume, and his well-known talent for storytelling.

The Calling is a memoir that reads like a conversation over beers around the campfire, deep into the night. It offers the reader intimacy, captivating stories, and a unique chance to get the know the man described as Canada’s best alpinist. Blanchard is a solid writer, and while he is already known for his poetic, descriptive prose, it shines in his first, full-length book.

Read the rest of the review and enter to win a copy and tickets to see Blanchard live in Banff!

Review – The Vast Unknown: America’s First Ascent of Everest, by Broughton Coburn

I’ll admit that when I first picked up this book, I wondered, “why should I care about another Everest expedition?” It sounds harsh, but amidst all the Everest hoopla in the past few years – news of speed ascents, controversies, line-ups on the mountain – I’ve become a bit numb around the edges to additional stories from the world’s highest peak, even if they are from the past.

But in The Vast Unknown: America’s First Ascent of Everest, author Broughton Coburn breathes new life into the history of this famous mountain.

Chasing Shackleton

Review: Chasing Shackleton by Tim Jarvis

When Chasing Shackleton arrived in the mail, I was surprised by the luxurious edition: hard cover, with a colour picture on almost all of its pages. The content was intriguing, to say the least. Why someone would want to repeat what is considered to be the world’s greatest journey of survival? Using the same type of (unsafe) vessel, similar clothes and food? I was curious to find out.

Review and Giveaway: Climbing Fitz Roy, 1968

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.