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The Year Ahead

Monday, 24 March 2014

Ten years ago we published our first book, Dark Peak Mountain Biking. It was a selfish, not particularly commercial, decision for our then little graphic design company perched on the edge of the Peak District. Basically we needed a decent trail riding guidebook to our local area, and we had a bunch of designers who we could enlist to help produce it. Ten years on, and not much has changed, we are still producing books, guides, ebooks, and the odd calendar, all because one after another, for some reason or another, we need them. This year coming we need a lot of books.

Published on 10 March was our first in print novel, the teen/young adult book The Everest Files. It is a timely book, an adventure story, seen from the eyes of a young Sherpa somewhat reluctantly finding himself working on the world’s highest mountain. This is what Brian Blessed had to say about the book. While the Everest Files was our first in print novel it actually comes hot on the heels of The Mantis, published exclusively in ebook, a truly gripping climbing novel.

Late March brings with it a flurry of great books. We are celebrating ten years as the world’s biggest and bestest mountain bike guidebook publisher by bringing you a few thousand kilometres of Great Britain’s most inspiring trails. Tom Fenton, author of several books, has finally produced the book we have all been wanting, Great Britain Mountain Biking, co-written with Scottish cycling guru Andy McCandlish. This book will set the bar very high for production, content and sheer inspiration in cycling books. Also out in March, and just in time for the spring Alpine season, is the new Mont Blanc Range mountaineering guidebook, and a sister volume to the Écrins. North ridge of the Aiguille Dibona anyone?

Slowing the pace down momentarily, Walking the Literary Landscape is first and foremost a guidebook to 20 lovely walks in the north of England. But its real charm lies in its geographic exploration of the environs that some of our great British authors lived and wrote about. The Brontë sisters, Wordsworth, Jane Austen, Bram Stoker are all represented here. The book mixes art with landscape with activity, similar to Heather Dawe’s second book with Vertebrate, A Bicycle Ride in Yorkshire. This slim volume looks at the route of Le Tour Yorkshire, but not at the head down, gear churning, lung busting pace from the peloton, but at a more reflective appreciative cadence. Heather talks about the route, snippets of prose interspersed with a series of her own paintings illustrating the route, places it visits, things it sees. A Bicycle Ride in Yorkshire – published on 1 March in limited edition hardback at only £9.99 – is set to be one of the best Yorkshire books of the year. If after all that art, literature and sightseeing you need to burn off some calories, then The Good Run Guide is out in May, and to help you face up to let’s face it the toughest of activities there’s a handsome pre-order discount.

2014 and The Big Three. In reverse order, Statement, Ed Douglas’s authorised biography of Ben Moon, is a revealing, personal and fascinating glimpse into the private world of one of the world’s greatest ever climbers – published this coming autumn. It is the result of two years’ close work between Ed and Ben. Coming a little sooner will be Hanging On, Martin Boysen’s long-awaited autobiography. I don’t really need to tell you about Martin, just read the book, you won’t be disappointed.

However, the book I am most excited about, and I don’t say this lightly, the book that is possibly the best mountaineering book I have ever read, will be published towards the end of the summer. In writing his biography of Alex MacIntyre, One Day as a Tiger, John Porter has produced an utter masterpiece. It will, at the very least, be a massive contribution to mountain literature. It is personal, gripping, humorous and desperately sad. It talks about Alex, but expands and reveals an awful lot about that generation of climbers that nearly climbed themselves into extinction. And I’ll end now. Because you don’t want to hear more from me, I’ve got a job to do, I need to get John Porter’s book published.

JB.

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