A rock-climber’s eye view of the natural world, tracing a geological and personal journey across the British Isles over ten years
In Time on Rock Anna Fleming charts two parallel journeys: learning the craft of traditional rock climbing, and the new developing appreciation of the natural world it brings her. Through the story of her progress from terrified beginner to confident lead climber, she shows us how placing hand and foot on rock becomes a profound new way into the landscape.
Anna takes us from the gritstone rocks of the Peak District and Yorkshire to the gabbro pinnacles of the Cuillin, the slate of North Wales and the high plateau of the Cairngorms. Each landscape, and each type of rock, brings its own challenges and unique pleasures. She also shows us how climbing invites us into the history of a place: geologically, of course, but also culturally.
This book is Anna’s journey of self-discovery, but it is also a guide to losing oneself in the greater majesty of the natural world. With great lyricism she explores how it feels to climb as a woman, the pleasures of the physical demands of climbing, fear and challenge, but more than anything, it is about a joyful connection to the mountains.
“Refreshing … she writes beautifully about landscape, and her passion for these ancient formations is physical and poetic”
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“So detailed that it’s almost cinematic”
“Fleming has written a wonderfully intimate account of climbing, filled with the rough texture of rocks and the hard-won elation of reaching for the skies”
“A climber’s joy of insight and adventure”
“Echoing and honouring some of the classics of climbing literature, the book is a fine introduction to the genre”
Anna Fleming is a regular contributor to Caught by the River and has also published her work in various journals, magazines and anthologies. As well as writing for the Guardian, she keeps a regular blog, The Granite Sea, in which she writes about her experiences of the natural world. Anna is a qualified Mountain Leader who has also worked for the Cairngorms National Park Authority and completed a PhD with the University of Leeds. She lives in Edinburgh.
@annamfleming | thegranitesea.wordpress.com