Facing Up

Facing Up by Bear Grylls

‘We never conquered any mountain.  Everest allowed us to reach her summit….and let us go with our lives where others died.  We certainly never conquered her……Everest never has been nor ever will be conquered.  It is what makes the mountain so special.’

A book review

Generally speaking, I am not a fan of autobiography or of non-fiction.  Unless a must-do read, I like to lose myself in fiction; as a reader, I want to walk the path of creativity.

But last week I found myself bookless and being abroad, I had no choice but to accept the offer of the book my partner had, Facing Up by Bear Grylls.

Not a spoiler, for it is well known (and included in the back cover’s blurb),  Grylls tells the story of  fulfilling a boyhood dream of reaching the summit of Everest; and whilst doing so, became one of the few men under the age of 25 to have achieved this feat.   Originally published in 2000, and reprinted in 2011, the story of Grylls’ courage, patience and humility had me gripped from start to finish.  I inhaled the thin air and shivered in the cold.  I nursed each altitude headache and felt my body heave with each hacking cough.

Grylls reveals his hopes, dreams and fears with humour and great sensitivity as he takes you up the laborious climb to and from the five camps in the shadows of Everest.  His dogged determination and faith helps keep him going through hardship and pain, though he passes the corpses of those who had tried before.  He understands what he is risking whilst he is up there.

I would highly recommend this book!  If you haven’t caught up with this book over the last few years, I would seriously try to find a copy!  Utterly gripping!


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