Published: 01/05/2007
ISBN: 9780955498008
Format: Paperback

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About the Author

I was only five years old when I started writing stories. Fortunately for my readers I was "cured" for several years, mainly because I got hooked on mountaineering instead. I have climbed for 25 years... read more

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Happy Climbing Tells No Tales
And Other Mountain Stories, Tall and Short
by Judith Brown

Climbing, in all its aspects, is one of the fastest growing participation sports in the UK. It is indulged in by thousands of ordinary people on a regular basis. Theirs is not the world of "Into Thin Air" or "Touching the Void". They don't go out and die on Everest. They bumble about, having fun.

On the other hand, there is much more to their stones than can be conveyed within the space and style of the average outdoor magazine. The "comics" display the glamour of bronzed, well-muscled bodies on impossibly steep, sun-drenched rock. Where here are the tales of only marginally competent climbers swimming their way heroically up crags dripping with wet moss?

Even in its tamest incarnation, climbing offers the complete dramatic range from high tragedy to low comedy. Its theatre is international, but its plays are often worked out within the climbing equivalent of the local amateur dramatic society. The scope for love, death and pratt falls is endless, the stuff of stones around the campfire.

Judith Brown has been a climbing "bumbly" all her adult life. Most of the stones in this collection are inspired by real incidents. However, in the time-honoured tradition of story-tellers everywhere, the reality grows with the telling. They draw upon a long and prestigious heritage of mountain writing and mountaineering humour, often of the gallows variety.

With both humour and pathos, these stories explore why climbers do it, the camaraderie, the rivalry, the relationships, the drama, the powerful call of wild places and untameable landscapes, and, most important of all, the pint in the pub afterwards.

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My collection of short stories "Happy Climbing Tells No Tales" has been shortlisted for the 2007 Boardman Tasker Award for mountain literature and I will be giving a reading at the Meet the Shortlist event at the Kendal Mountain Book Festival on 16th November 2007. Before that I will be speaking at the Cumbria Life Women's Festival at Rheged near Penrith on 14th October on the subject of Amazing Journeys.

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