David Mytton

Book Review (4/5) – Mountains of the Mind (Robert Macfarlane)

Published (updated: ) in Book Reviews.

Originally published on Goodreads.

A well written historical and philosophical exploration of the draw of the unknown, mixed with personal stories and a re-telling of past expeditions. I found much to relate to from my own hiking trips which I have been doing more of in recent years. I certainly understand the desire to visit the unexplored and be the first person to experience something, but the level of risk and danger is extreme. The final chapter about Mallory leaving behind his wife on 3 separate occasions, ultimately resulting in his death was particularly moving. 

Despite advances in technology the risks are still similar today, but the stories of many months of travel hardship from past centuries are just something else entirely. There are few areas of the planet that remain unexplored so what is there left? Everest certainly remains a huge challenge but I feel like we have already started to embark on what will be the next chapter of human exploration: space, other planets and our solar system.