‘The mountains are crystal under the blue sky, as we climb up our untouched peak. This is why we climb.’
In this fast-paced, refreshingly honest account, Stephen Venables invites you on an adventure like no other. Delving deeply into the unknown, the unclimbed and the undiscovered, Painted Mountains details the stories of two very different expeditions: the first ascent of 6,000-metre Kishtwar-Shivling in the Indian Himalaya alongside Dick Renshaw, before embarking on an Indo-British Expedition led by Harish Kapadia to Rimo: the Painted Mountain.
‘Most of us are content to settle for some sort of compromise between the desire to survive and the desire to retain an element of uncertainty.’
Venables – the first Briton to climb Everest without oxygen – does not shy away from the obvious challenges that come hand-in-hand with tackling expeditions such as these; this account details the highs and the lows, the dropped equipment, the toll of extreme conditions and the shining successes of reaching a summit – all while retaining a sense of humour and an unwavering enthusiasm for the thrill of the climb. Venables’ get-up-and-go attitude makes this a delightful read; he is never one to shy away from an opportunity, be it arisen from a year-long dream or a spontaneous invite.
Painted Mountains is an invaluable education for anyone who is interested in the greater mountain ranges explored in this book, as well as an inspirational tale of the commitment to a dream, the birth of new friendships and the innumerable rewards of time spent in the mountains.