A Walk in the Clouds
75 short stories of adventures among the mountains of the world
By Kev Reynolds
This book is a moving collection of 75 autobiographical short stories from prolific outdoors writer Kev Reynolds, an insight into a lifetime of mountain travel and adventure. These tales are spread across the Moroccan Atlas, Pyrenees, European Alps, Himalaya amongst other destinations, and will leave you by turns amused, reflective and inspired.
CentresIn the Pyrenees: Gavarnie, Benasque, Espot. In the Alps: Zinal, Zermatt, Lötschental, Ellmau, La Berarde. Trekking to Everest, Annapurna, Kangchenjunga, Manaslu, Langtang, Dolpo. Trekking in Sikkim and Bhutan; in Peru and Morocco
Must Seemountain adventures and experiences around the world in ranges as diverse as the High Atlas of Morocco, the Pyrenees, Alps, Himalaya, Peruvian Andes, Norway, Turkey and Corsica
In his own words, Kev Reynolds is ‘the man with the world’s best job’. For the past 50 years he has walked and trekked through the world's greatest mountain ranges. Age 21, he set off to the Atlas Mountains of Morocco and never looked back. Now, Kev is well known as a leading authority on many mountain ranges, including the Pyrenees, many regions of the Alps, the Nepalese Himalaya and his home of the 'Kentish Alps'.
Kev has written over 50 guidebooks, and inspired thousands of those who love wild places and mountain adventures to follow in his footsteps. But with A Walk in the Clouds, he moves away from guides and offers instead this unique collection of 'moments as big as years'. Striking moments that can be recalled with all their vivid intensity even decades after they happened.
An assortment of anecdotes, observations and short stories, written with flowing descriptions and evocative beauty bring to life the best recollections of Kev's time in the mountains. Starting with his early explorations in the Atlas, Kev takes readers on a fascinating tour through the Pyrenees, the Alps, the Himalaya and beyond. The stories are in turn poingnant, humerous, tragic, exciting and insightful. He brings into vivid relief the mountains and valleys, great friends, memorable strangers and ongoing love for the rugged and wild reaches of the world. Kev's guides have taken walkers all over the world, but now readers will feel as if they're trekking right there with him.
- 75 stories grouped in sections - Atlas Mountains, Pyrenees, Alps, Himalaya and Other Wild Places
- 16 pages of evocative black and white photos of early expeditions
- each tale brimming over with joy in the mountains by a master of his craft
A word before we begin
Atlas Mountains: exotic mountain playground
1: Travels in an ancient land
2: Mules, frogs and bivvy bags
3: Mint tea with a muleteer
Pyrenees: a spiritual home
4: Out of the shadows, into the light
5: Up and over
6: The last green valley
7: It was the nightingale
8: Tragedy on Jean-Pierre
9: The longest day
10: C’est le paradis
11: A Pyrenean maestro
12: Something of a doo-day
13: No friend in high places
14: Death of an izard
15: Among the Enchanted Mountains
16: Hole in one
17: The lost patrol
18: The way to Andorra
19: Rendezvous in Gavarnie
Alps: always something new to discover
20: A big moon rising
21: Living in the clouds
22: Chasing sunrise
23: Out with a pro
24: Battle of the ibex
25: Reflections in the alpenglow
26: The wind of relief
27: Mello magic
28: The pink château
29: A roar of disapproval
30: Unease on ice
31: The joy of doing nothing
32: Just hanging around
33: Walking on ice
34: One sunset too many
35: Henry V goes walkabout
36: Heart of the storm
37: Rätikon paradise
38: Breakfast on a tray
39: Under leaden skies
40: For the thank you
41: Recording historic landscapes
42: The Emperor’s Mountains
43: The giant green tortoise
44: Collecting summits
45: On the hill with Hörst
46: Moments of being
Himalaya: where dreams come true
47: Abode of the gods
48: Ten thousand prayers in the wind
49: Culture shock
50: Guru with an empty doko
51: The puja room
52: Clever little sod
53: The wonder of a blue front door
54: The ultimate chapatti
55: A taste of beauty
56: Head-to-head in the Himalaya
57: The Khumbu carpenter
58: Old man very tired
59: Song of the hidden land
61: Mountaineers of the future
62: To the ends of the Earth
63: A shadow to Cheri Gompa
65: Saving Tsewan
66: With the aid of a hearse
67: Pasa Chaur
Other wild places: a kaleidoscope of experience
68: Corsica: sun and snow on the scented isle
69: Norway: the blessings of bad weather days
70: Spain: the fragrance of the hills
71: Madeira: lunching with lizards
72: Tenerife: island of the dragon tree
73: Turkey: yogurt with the matriarch
74: Peru: the garden of tears
75: Peru: Alpamayo dreaming
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A lovely online review from Andy Howell
Kev encourages the reader not to start at the beginning but to open the book at any page and see what you get. And doing that is lovely. I stumbled upon a hairy day in the Pyrenees, that begun with guessing when it was an hour before dawn as neither Kev nor his climbing partner had a watch (he reckons they got up before midnight), and ended with an interesting crevasse rescue. Then there's a 'clever little sod' with an ingenious tourist-trapping scheme in Kathmandu. And trying to avoid being recognised in a mountain hut on the Tour du Mont Blanc.
A peaceful, delightful book that will make you feel like you are in the mountains even when you are not.
Adventure Travel magazine, Nov/Dec 2013
There are many words of praise on the Internet for Kev Reynold's new book so I don't propose to review it in the usual way. Instead, I sent A Walk in the Clouds to Coventry. Kev Reynolds had a new role...in Coventry Hospital with my anxious husband who was an inpatient for the night. A rather different assignment to accompany our treks in the Alps where his excellent Cicerone guidebooks have survived being soaked, sat on, torn apart and generally mistreated.
The aforementioned husband looked dolefully ay my choice of his reading matter. He thought he had something better in his overnight bag. Kev Reynolds won. What a great book that evokes so many memories of expeditions into the mountains. The short chapters and delightful prose both inspired and cheered the hopefully restored partner and he couldn't stop talking about it when he arrived home. He especially liked the chapter about squalid mountain huts.
Eventually, I had to prize the book from his clutches to read it myself. That is praise indeed from a book addict. A Walk in the Clouds is a dip into the author's experiences over fifty years in the Alps, Pyrenees, Dolomites, Atlas Mountains and Himalayas as well as a smattering of other wild places. There are not many nail biting incidents but it is an appreciation of the amazing world out there.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, Mr Reynolds, for sharing your thoughts and memories as a guidebook writer.
Strider, December 2013 (Journal of the Long Distance Walkers Association)
After Kev Reynolds climbed Morocco's Atlas Mountains in 1965 at age 21 he married Min, his girlfriend, quit his government desk job and began to explore the planet's many mountains........ Kev gave me the feeling not only of hiking the trails but also of watching the seasons unfold, meeting the people and forming connections throughout the world. He says, "Life is an adventure to be cherished"and literally "walks his talk."
Famed British climber and author of dozens of climbing and trekking guidebooks Reynolds reminiscences about a life spent roaming the world’s great mountain ranges in this compilation of excursion stories. Unlike a guide or an expedition journal that chronicles a particular ascent, this volume encapsulates the feel and the mood of adventure. Gleaned from various journals and articles spanning his entire career, Reynolds' vignettes provide unique and intimate snapshots of sunrises from mountaintops, scrambles up scree-covered slopes and through mountain mist, crossing dangerous mountain glaciers, riding out mountaintop storms, and sharing tea with shepherds in remote valleys. The sort of volume that can be picked up and enjoyed randomly here and there in a spare moment, each of Reynolds' memories vividly transports the reader to the world’s high places. These charming anecdotes shared from a driven life will inspire trekkers and climbers while satisfying armchair explorers as well. (Apr.)
Cevin Bryerman, Vice President / Publisher, Publishers Weekly USA March 2014
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A lifelong passion for the countryside in general, and mountains in particular, drives Kev's desire to share his sense of wonder and delight in the natural world through his writing, photography and lecturing.
Claiming to be The Man with the World's Best Job, he has enjoyed a fruitful partnership with Cicerone since the 1970s, producing over 50 books, including guides to five major trekking regions of Nepal, and to numerous routes in the European Alps and Pyrenees, as well as walking guides for Kent, Sussex and the Cotswolds.