Robert Macfarlane ‘outdoors’ books

Robert Macfarlane is a British writer, PhD at Emmanuel College, Cambridge,  and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

He’s also much smarter than you and I.

Macfarlane’s first book, Mountains of the Mind, was published in 2003 and won the Guardian First Book Award, the Somerset Maugham Award, and the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award. …

The Wild Places was published in September 2007. …

The Old Ways: A Journey On Foot, the third in the ‘loose trilogy of books about landscape and the human heart’ …, was published in June 2012

Landmarks, a book that celebrates and defends the language of landscape, was published in the UK in March 2015. …

I started Old Ways … Found it brilliant, eloquent, academic intimidating, dense. Too much for me, in fact. I didn’t finish.

It’s as much poetry as prose. 

Some day I’ll download all Macfarlane’s books to Kindle. Read them in the tent on a long, long, long hike.

I’m expecting an honorary PhD in the outdoors for that study. 🙂

 

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2006 murder in the Himalayas

Winner of the 2011 Banff Mountain Festival Book Award: Best Book, Mountain and Wilderness Literature.

… in 2006, an impulsive, naïve young Tibetan nun and her best friend, both yearning for religious freedom from Chinese rule, joined a group of fellow Tibetans desperate to escape to India, where the Dalai Lama has lived since the 1950 annexation of Tibet by China.

Kelsang Namtso and Dolma Palkyi embarked on the brutal journey over the Himalayas. Smuggled by illegal guides past Chinese border police, the group braved freezing temperatures and snow, the high altitude, and perilous crevasses.

Green alternates the refugees’ trek with that of Luis Benitez, an American celebrity mountain guide leading a rich group of international clients to the Himalayan peak Cho Oyu. The two groups met on the peak as Chinese guards, alerted to the refugees’ presence, chased after the escapees with machine guns ablaze, and Kelsang was killed in full view of the Westerners. …

Murder in the High Himalaya: Loyalty, Tragedy, and Escape from Tibet by Jonathan Green (2010)

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

The author is a good writer. But there are numerous factual errors. He needed a better editor and more expert proof readers.

Green doesn’t sound like a climbing insider to me. I suspected he’d never visited Cho Oyu nor Tibet in writing the book.

hiking the Lofoten Islands, Norway

travel2walk posted a very detailed trip report on how to hike Lofoten north of the Arctic Circle.

The Lofoten Islands are characterised by their mountains and peaks, sheltered inlets, stretches of seashore and large virgin areas. …

May and June are the driest months, while October has three times as much precipitation. …

The easiest way to get there is to fly Oslo to Bodø.

Read the trip report.

If interested in organizing something for yourself, check this Lofoten hiking guidebook and website.

Pennsylvania’s Loyalsock Trail

Though it occasionally appears on lists of “short long trails” in the US, Pennsylvania’s Loyalsock Trail is still fairly unknown. That’s unfortunate …

Total Distance: 59.2 miles

Location: North-Central PA, between the towns of Williamsport and Dushore.

Western trailhead: PA-87, Williamsport, PA Eastern trailhead: Mead Rd., Dushore, PA

Time to Finish: 4-6 days, depending on fitness, desired pace, and arrival time

BRIAN CIPPERLY hiked it — Pennsylvania’s Loyalsock Trail: a Thru-Hiking Guide

Here’s the guidebook.

The Great Outdoors Challenge, Scotland

Since 1980 thousands of people have taken up the opportunity to backpack from Scotland’s west coast to the east as part of this annual event – each of them following their own carefully crafted route.

Many of those Challengers come back time and time again, drawn by the potential for both wilderness and camaraderie. The 2018 event takes place 11th – 26th May. Read more here

Live The Outdoors posted an excellent account of their 2017 TGO.

related – Andy Howell – Planning Your First TGO Challenge