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A climber's voyage

Paperback (256pp)
  • Paperback £14.95
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Banff Awards CrestBoardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature Symbol

Winner: Mountain Literature Award, Banff Mountain Book Festival 2018

Shortlisted for the 2018 Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature


Signed paperback edition available now

Nick Bullock is a climber who lives in a small green van, flitting between Llanberis, Wales, and Chamonix in the French Alps. Tides, Nick’s second book, is the much-anticipated follow-up to his critically acclaimed debut Echoes.

Now retired from the strain of work as a prison officer, Nick is free to climb. A lot. Tides is a treasury of his antics and adventures with some of the world’s leading climbers, including Steve House, Kenton Cool, Nico Favresse, Andy Houseman and James McHaffie. Follow Nick and his partners as they push the limits on some of the world’s most serious routes: The Bells! The Bells! on Gogarth’s North Stack Wall; the Slovak Direct on Denali; Guerdon Grooves on Buachaille Etive Mor; and the north faces of Chang Himal and Mount Alberta, among countless others.

Nick’s life can be equated to the rhythm of the sea. At high tide, he climbs, he loves it, he is good at it; he laughs and jokes, scares himself, falls, gets back up and climbs some more. Then the tide goes out and he finds himself alone, exposed, all questions and no answers. Self-doubt, grieving for friends or family, fearful, sometimes opinionated, occasionally angry – his writing more honest and exposed than in any account of a climb. Only when the tide turns is he able to forget once more.

Tides is a gripping memoir that captures the very essence of what it means to dedicate one’s life to climbing.

Also available as an ebook:

Kindle UK

Kindle USA






Nick Bullock was born on Christmas Day in 1965. After leaving school aged sixteen he worked variously as a gamekeeper, a self-employed labourer and at Alton Towers (less exciting than it sounds) before joining Her Majesty’s Prison Service in 1987 where he was posted to the high-security Gartree Prison as a wing officer, then a punishment block officer. In 1992 he was introduced to climbing at Plas y Brenin while training as a physical education instructor: Nick left the prison service in 2003 and has been a full-time climber and part-time writer ever since. Nick is one of the UK’s leading climbers, making bold repeats of many of the country’s most renowned traditional summer rock climbs. In Scottish winter he has climbed hundreds of routes and many new ones including Nevermore on Lochnagar – with a grade of X/10 it is one of the hardest routes ever climbed ground up. In the European Alps he has climbed approximately forty routes, both established classics and new lines, and he is a veteran of over twenty-three expeditions to the greater ranges. It is possibly in the big hills where Nick has truly demonstrated his imagination and abilities, making significant ascents and failing on some audacious attempts around the world with partners such as Jules Cartwright, Al Powell, Kenton Cool, Andy Houseman, Matt Helliker and Paul Ramsden. In October 2016, alongside Ramsden, he climbed the first ascent of the North Buttress on Nyainqentangla South East in Tibet, for which they were awarded a prestigious Piolet d’Or. An accomplished writer, his work has been published frequently in Alpinist, Climb, Rock and Ice, Climber, Vertical,, Desnivel, Climbing, the Alpine Journal, the American Alpine Journal, and in 2017 he won the award for Best Mountaineering Article of the Year at the Banff Mountain Book Festival. When not on expedition or extended climbing trips, Nick lives in Llanberis, North Wales. Tides is his second book, following the critically acclaimed Echoes.

  • Title: Tides
  • Subtitle: A climber's voyage
  • Author: Nick Bullock
  • Imprint: Vertebrate Publishing
  • ISBN: 9781911342540 (Paperback)
  • Rights: World
  • Publication date: 15 November 2018
  • Edition: First
  • Size: 234mm x 156mm
  • Extent: 256 pages (with 2x 8pp colour plates)
  • Cover: Hardback
  • Weight: 500g
  • Retail price: £14.95 (Paperback)

Also available as an ebook:

  • Imprint: Vertebrate Digital
  • ISBN: 9781911342892
  • Publication Date: 17 May 2018
  • Price: £14.95
‘So this is an inspirational book. It is a must read for anyone thinking of becoming a professional climber, for though climbers such as Bullock have a few sponsors which help them stay alive and active, he is not cruising around in a Chauffer driven Bentley. With Olympic recognition the pullers on plastic might end up being comfortably numb, but the mountaineers will probably always be ploughing their own lonely furrows. And Nick Bullock is a prime example of that, and his honesty in this respect is humbling and makes ‘tides’ an outstanding book.’ 
Dennis Grey, Footless Crow 
‘Whether you’re thinking of dropping it all to become a full time climber or you just love the world of climbing, this is the book that you need to read.’
Derek Lennon, A Mountain Journey
'You don't need to be a full-time climber or repeating top-level alpine routes to see a little bit of yourself and you own life in Bullock's book, which ultimately makes it easy to relate to, and easy to enjoy.'
Dave Parry, The Project Magazine
'I first came across Nick Bullock at the 2004 Llanberis Film Festival, where his presentation left my young impressionable self wide-eyed with wonder: who is this maniac?!? He came across as raw, loud, brash, and unstoppable, with a style that drummed up a frantic sense of fervency amongst not just the audience, but also in himself.'
Rob Greenwood, UK Climbing 
'This is a powerful book both in content and style, describing not only the intricacies and dangers of the climb but also the innermost struggles of the climber. It may well take a brave man to retackle Omega on the Petites Jorasses, but it is an even braver man who confronts his own inner demons.'
Macc and the Art

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