The “disarmingly engaging” account of a young American’s solo hike from Lake Geneva to Nice, France: “Panoramic . . . breathtaking” (The New York Times Book Review).
In the summer of 2015, Jonathan Arlan was nearing thirty. Bored and dreaming of adventure, he comes across an image on the Internet: a map of the southeast corner of France with a single red line snaking south from Lake Geneva, through the jagged brown and white peaks of the Alps to the Mediterranean sea—a route more than four hundred miles long. He decides then and there to walk the whole trail solo.
Lacking any outdoor experience, completely ignorant of mountains, sorely out of shape, and fighting last-minute nerves and bad weather, things get off to a rocky start. But Arlan eventually finds his mountain legs—along with a staggering variety of aches and pains—as he tramps a narrow thread between ice-capped peaks in the High Alps, through ancient hamlets built into hillsides, across sheep-dotted mountain pastures, and over countless cols on his way to the sea. In time, this simple act of walking for hours each day in the remote beauty of the mountains becomes as exhilarating as it is exhausting.
“As much an interior as a geographical journey,” Mountain Lines “is enjoyable, companionable travel writing” and a meditation on the natural world in the tradition of trekking classics like A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush, The Snow Leopard, and Tracks (Booklist).