Think back to your last climbing trip. The last journey you took that put the rest of your life in perspective. How do you remember it? What were the highlights? The images and scenes imprinted forever on your mind as a defining moment of who you want to be.
Now think back to returning home from that trip and fumbling to explain it’s awesomeness to a crowd of disinterested coworkers or a play-by-play of the time your truck broke down on and your pants split in two. In your mind you can relive your experience of the freedom and fear the landscapes and emotions, it’s what drives us back to the mountains. But I’ve never found the perfect medium for sharing the impact of these trips.
Drawn: The Art of Ascent by Jeremy Collins is an absolutely wonderful book, that I cannot recommend highly enough. It is the story a series of trips that he took in all four directions that became a method of connecting, honouring, and coping with the loss of a climbing partner and friend. Drawn in a tactile and appealing manner, it is immersive and engaging.
But the story is not told with his words alone. Jeremy Collins is a stellar artist who spends the inevitable downtime on trips capturing moments in their entirety. The way a photo cannot. The way a phrase cannot. He details the night that he found out his friend died in an impactful scene. Even going so far as to detailing all of own internal battles with growth and perceived boundaries.
Each chapter takes us on a different trip around the world to meet new faces and join him for the high-highs and the low-lows. I found myself drawn (wink) into the world he creates from his relationship with his son and all that he wants to teach him to making new friends in strange places. We’ve all had that gut wrenching feeling right before a fall, “Where is my last piece??” but how best to capture the feeling in that moment?
When I saw this my heart sank as it does when I know a whip is coming (though he was alpine climbing and soloing at the time so readers with heart conditions beware).
I’d like to strike a balance between sharing his awesome ability to capture the epic moments in a way a camera never could and not giving away so much that it will ruin the story for you. So from the triumphant moments that we have all felt on the most epic of days when things are rocking…
To the moments when things go so wrong that you know you’re pooched…
Drawn is a rollercoaster that I am proud to keep on my book shelf to go on adventure around the world at the drop of coffee pot.
I give it 5 tree beards out of 5 tree beards.
Go BUY Drawn: The Art of Ascent and have an adventure without leaving your couch.
UPDATE: Drawn won the Banff Mountain Book Award for Adventure travel Congrats!