Sunday, July 24, 2011

Looking at the World from above

There are many things that I would never do ....  One that comes readily to mind is this one - I would never attempt to do a free climb!

It's fun to go up on an indoor climbing wall, secured with rope and harness and with an able instructor at hand, but doing a free climb ? Please .... it would be tooooo taxing not to mention dangerous.

That said I do see the attraction of being able to control your body and mind in the way necessary to climb an almost vertical face of a boulder or cliff, and I do think that free climbing, mountaineering and the likes makes a great backdrop for a storyline.

So why not venture out with Rain for some free climbing ? Maybe you want to prepare yourself a little before you attempt your first free climb? You could join Theran Ryan for her free climbing courses with the master climber Kiera Aigner. If you are a novice Theran will lead the way as she is well prepared to take on the challenge of free climbing, but she might gain more than just a few new skills on the walls when she joins Kiera's courses. 

As for you - well you can enjoy a couple of crafty women and an introduction to free climbing, and even if the storyline is simplistic and the romance too shallow and much too fast moving for my taste - I did enjoyed the free climbing!

If you want to mix mystery and rock climbing you could try Manda Scott's "Stronger than Death" it's her third book in print of mysteries with the lesbian therapist Kellen Steward who lives in Glasgow, Scotland.

Once you have mastered the free climb you might want to put your feet a bit closer to the ground. You can still go up high, very high ... you might even attempt to reach the summit on Mount Everest, but if you choose to do so, you will need all the help you can get to succeed, and remember - as with the free climbing - you are putting your life in danger. 

If you have the wish to do the extraordinary then join Veronique "Ricky" Bouchard as she attemps to guide a group of wealthy climbers to The Top of the World and to get them securely back to base camp - something that might well cost Ricky her life. 

Bel-Wah's (aka Belle Reilly's) "High Intensity" is mostly the story of the Everest climbing team, the conflicts within the team and the disastrous climb, but you will find romance too - I just didn't find it real convincing. So if you choose to join Ricky for a chance to summit on Top of the World, do it for the right reason - to see the sight, to test your body and mind ... not to find romance. Remember - on a dangerous trek likes this one - love might make it hard for you to make the right choices and put you and those in your care at risk!

I found Bel-Wah's account of this disastrous climb to be close to Jon Krakauer's account of his summit in the spring of 1996 in his non-fiction account "Into thin air" - which is a real compelling read. Should you like to explore the topic further the author Rosie Thomas has a more general fictional approach to some of the same events on the expeditions described by Jon Krakauer in her novel "White".

Now for the easy stuff! Trekking on Mt. Kilimanjaro ..... you probably know where I'm going to lead you this time - on "The Road From Kilimanjaro" by KG MacGregor .... so I'm just going to say that this is where the less than perfectly fit women might want to go mountaineering. Even if it's not a walk in the park it seems to be doable and the romance ..... well lets just say that Mary Kate and Kristin do break the ice in the slow and believable fashion needed for a mushy romance.  


  1. I just finished "High Intensity", and it left me breathless. No, it's not the sort of mushy romance UK likes so well :-), but it nevertheless made it into my personal hall of fame without a second thought.

    Thanks for bringing the story to my attention!

  2. Glad you like it ! When I read stories like that I keep thinking "How on do they stand the cold?"