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Quest into the Unknown

My life as a climbing nomad

Paperback (440pp)
  • Paperback £14.95
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Signed paperback available now

We are all climbing where we are and with the gear we use in no small part due to Tony Howard’s quest for adventure.

Tony Howard rose to fame in 1965 as a member of a group of young climbers from northern England who made the first British ascent of Norway’s Troll Wall; a climb described by Joe Brown as, ‘One of the greatest ever achievements by British rock climbers’. Tony went on to design the modern sit harness, now used universally by every climber in the world. He founded the company Troll Climbing Equipment but never stopped exploring. Quest into the Unknown is his story.

Tony has dedicated his life to travelling the world in search of unclimbed rock faces and remote trekking adventures. The scale of his travels is vast: he has visited all of the North African countries, much of the Arab land of the Middle East, the mountainous regions of Scandinavia, Canada and the rocky spine of the Americas, the Himalaya, remote Indian provinces, South East Asia, Madagascar, South Georgia and Antarctica. This book, the last word in adventure travel, takes the reader from Tony’s youth spent developing the crags of the English Peak District, via whaling ships in the Southern Ocean, thousand-mile canoe trips in the Canadian Arctic, living amongst the Bedouin in the rocky mountains of Jordan, to the isolated opium tribes of Thailand.

Tony Howard’s Quest into the Unknown is the jaw-dropping account of a life of adventure that is the very definition of true exploration.

*We will publish 200 signed and numbered special edition hardback copies of Quest into the Unknown in April 2019. These will be bound in real cloth and feature head and tail bands and a dust jacket. They will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis for £24 inc. UK P&P and this special offer will go live on our website on Tuesday 22 January (SOLD OUT). The general release/trade edition of Quest into the Unknown will be paperback with an RRP of £14.95. This will also be published in April. 



Tony Howard grew up in the Chew Valley, at the northern tip of the Peak District. After starting climbing in 1953, Tony became well known in climbing circles for his new routes and his contribution to local guidebooks. He worked as an instructor in the early 1960s and qualified as a BMC Guide in 1965, the year he and his friends famously made the first ascent of Norway’s 1,000-metre Troll Wall. Tony was a founding partner of Troll Climbing Equipment, producing many innovative designs such as the world’s first commercial range of nuts, the first climbing ‘sit’ harnesses and the first sewn slings. He has climbed all over the world, discovering new areas and making many first ascents. Tony is a regular contributor to outdoor magazines, and has written or contributed to guidebooks for the English Peak District, Norway, Oman, Morocco, Jordan and Palestine.

  • Title: Quest into the Unknown
  • Subtitle: My life as a climbing nomad
  • Author: Tony Howard
  • Imprint: Vertebrate Publishing
  • ISBN: 978-1-911342-83-0 (paperback); no ISBN on hardback
  • Rights: World
  • Publication date: 4 April 2019
  • Edition: First
  • Size: 234mm x 156mm
  • Extent: 440 pages (with 3x 16pp colour plates)
  • Cover: Hardback (special edition); paperback (trade edition)
  • Weight: 900g (hardback); 700g (paperback)
  • Retail price: £24 (hardback); £14.95 (paperback)

Also available as an ebook:

  • Imprint: Vertebrate Publishing
  • ISBN: 978-1-911342-84-7
  • Publication Date: 4 April 2019
  • Price: £14.95

And an audiobook:

  • Imprint: Vertebrate Publishing
  • ISBN: 978-1-912560-05-9
  • Publication Date: 4 April 2019
  • Price: £14.95

'This is totally compelling as he manages to inject appropriate levels of detail and he does so with a high degree of humour.'
– Amazon reviewer

'You cannot help but share Tony's excitement and awe and wonder as he ventures round each new corner to find experiences almost beyond his imagination.'
– Amazon reviewer

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