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No Easy Way

The challenging life of the climbing taxman

Paperback (256pp)
  • Paperback £14.95
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Banff Mountain Book Festival antlerssigned copies available 

'Mick Fowler writes and climbs in a truly inspirational manner. It's a great read.'

'Mick continues to be one of the world’s major exponents of super alpinism, pioneering uncompromising ways up very steep Himalayan peaks in impeccable style. There is modesty and self-deprecating humour evident in his entertaining public lectures that now shines out in the inspirational writing of his latest “character building” climbs.’

‘If we were guaranteed success in everything we tried then life would be pretty boring.’

Mainstream news reports about climbing are dominated by action from the world’s highest mountains, more often than not focusing on tragedy and controversy. Far removed from this high-altitude circus, a group of visionary and specialist mountaineers are seeking out eye-catching objectives in the most remote corners of the greater ranges and attempting first ascents in lightweight style.

Mick Fowler is the master of the small and remote Himalayan expedition. He has been at the forefront of this pioneering approach to alpinism for over thirty years, balancing his family life, a full-time job at the tax office and his annual trips to the greater ranges in order to attempt mountains that may never have been seen before by Westerners, let alone climbed by them.

In No Easy Way, his third volume of climbing memoirs following Vertical Pleasure and On Thin Ice, Fowler recounts a series of expeditions to stunning mountains in China, India, Nepal and Tibet. Alongside partners including Paul Ramsden, Dave Turnbull, Andy Cave and Victor Saunders, he attempts striking, technically challenging unclimbed lines on Shiva, Gave Ding and Mugu Chuli – with a number of ascents winning prestigious Piolets d’Or, the Oscars of the mountaineering world.

Written with his customary dry wit and understatement, he manages challenges away – the art of securing a permit for Tibet – and at home – his duties as Alpine Club president – all the while pursuing his passion for exploratory mountaineering.


Mick Fowler was introduced to climbing in the French and Swiss Alps when he was thirteen by his father and soon developed an unstoppable enthusiasm for the sport. Every weekend through the winter climbing season he would make the long drive from London to tackle new winter routes in the Scottish Highlands, always managing to be back behind his desk in the tax office on Monday morning. His dedication paid off. Fowler became one the UK’s foremost mountaineers, putting up new routes in most fields of climbing, with first ascents of gritstone E5s, remote sea stacks and the frozen drainpipes of London St Pancras to his name. Along the way, he helped to develop a whole new style of climbing on the chalk cliffs of Dover. But it is for mountaineering that Fowler is best known. A former president of the Alpine Club, he has made challenging climbs across the globe, earning him three prestigious Piolets d’Or – the Oscars of the mountaineering world – and the title of ‘Mountaineer’s Mountaineer’ in a poll in The Observer. Remarkably, his climbing has taken place alongside a full-time job at the tax office, squeezing major mountaineering objectives into his holidays and earning him another title – ‘Britain’s hardest-climbing tax collector’. He retired from life as a taxman in 2017 but his enthusiasm for exploratory climbing remains undimmed.

  • Title: No Easy Way
  • Subtitle: The challenging life of the climbing taxman
  • Author: Mick Fowler
  • Imprint: Vertebrate Publishing
  • ISBN: 978-1-911342-75-5 (Paperback)
  • Rights: World
  • Publication date: 6 December 2018
  • Edition: First
  • Size: 234mm x 156mm
  • Extent: 256 pages (with 2x 8pp colour plates)
  • Cover: Paperback
  • Weight: 500g
  • Retail price: £14.95 (Paperback)

Also available as an ebook:

  • Imprint: Vertebrate Digital
  • ISBN: 978-1-911342-91-5
  • Publication Date: 4 October 2018
  • Price: £14.95

[Mick Fowler] is revered among his peers for his purist approach to mountaineering, all done while juggling a full-time job at HM Revenue & Customs.
– Nicholas Hellen. The Sunday Times 

'Is the book any good I hear you ask. Well yes, but because it is written by Mick it might be hard to understand how committing some of these routes are. Hyperbole is not Micks best suit. Sly humour, understatement, and the odd Fowlerism might have to do, there are no topos!'
– Stevie Haston

'No Easy Way by Mick Fowler is an incredibly well written climbing memoir. Fowler’s dry wit and mountaineering mindset will keep every mountain enthusiast entertained. And the fact that Fowler has achieved so much in the mountains while holding down a full time job will inspire everyone to get outside and have an adventure in the mountains.'
– Derek Lennon, A Mountain Journey

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