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Painted Mountains

First ascents in the Indian Himalaya

Paperback (192pp)
  • Paperback £12.50
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‘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.

Also available as an ebook:

  • Imprint: Vertebrate Digital
  • ISBN: 9781911342946
  • Publication Date: 22 November 2018
  • Price: £3.99

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Stephen Venables is a mountaineer, writer, broadcaster and public speaker, and was the first Briton to climb Everest without supplementary oxygen. Everest was a thrilling highlight in a career that has taken Stephen right through the Himalaya, from Afghanistan to Tibet, making first ascents of many previously unknown mountains. His adventures have also taken him to the Rockies, the Andes, the Antarctic island South Georgia, East Africa, South Africa and of course the European Alps, where he has climbed and skied for over forty years. The stories of these travels have enthralled Stephen’s lecture audiences all over the world. He has appeared in television documentaries for the BBC, ITV and National Geographic, presented for Radio 4 and appeared in the IMAX movie Shackleton’s Antarctic Adventure. Stephen has also authored several best-selling books on climbing in the high mountains.

  • Title: Painted Mountains
  • Subtitle: First ascents in the Indian Himalaya
  • Imprint: Vertebrate Publishing
  • ISBN: 9781911342939
  • Rights: Worldwide
  • Publication: 22 November 2018
  • Edition: New
  • Author: Stephen Venables
  • Classification: Climbing and mountaineering (WSZG); Autobiography - Sport (BGSA);  Himalaya (1FKAH)
  • Size: 234mm x 156mm
  • Extent: 192 pages, black and white text with black and white images
  • Cover: Paperpack 
  • Retail price: £12.50


'One of the best first books on the Himalaya for a very long time.'  High Magazine 1986

'Venables offers excellent and detailed historical background, whilst weaving a compelling narrative.  Climbing magazine 2002 

'Venables has a good documentary style: candid without being confessional; understated, but not self-consciously so. A reasonable, intelligent, wholesome character to be with in the mountains. That's how he comes across.' – American Alpine Journal 1987

'It is a delightful book: observant, humourous without being malicious, and with a skillful use of dialogue, not common in mountaineering accounts.' – Alpine Journal 1987



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