What is a mountain? An obstacle; a transcendence; above all, an effect (salman rushdie)
I'm soaring high on mountains and life here in mad, endearing, tastebud-searing India. Just back from the first all-women's expedition to Pinnacle Peak (6955m) in the Indian Himalaya, an adventure that two dear, intrepid pals - Alison Criscitiello and Rebecca Haspel - and I dreamed up in order to follow in the hob-nailed footsteps of Fanny Bullock Workman, an early explorer in these parts.
More substantial update on that epic later, because now it's back to the trail! This time in the Spiti valley, on a trek with Harish Kapadia, Bernadette McDonald, and other literary mountain pilgrims. After the trek we're all heading to the Mussoorie Writers' Festival, October 5-8, which has a "Mountain Literature" theme this year. At the festival, "Distinguished authors and climbers from India, Nepal, U.S.A., U.K., Canada, Australia and other countries will discuss and read from their books, exploring how they transpose high altitude adventures and experiences into words, using language to convey the extreme beauty and challenge of mountains. Over a period of four days, more than twenty-five authors will converge on Mussoorie for readings, panel discussions, workshops and social events. Invitees include noted poets, novelists, filmmakers, travel authors and memoirists, as well as editors and agents."
So if you're in India, come check it out, meet me there! I'll be presenting some new writing about wilderness and mountains that I'm super excited to share. If you can't make it to Mussoorie, I'll also be giving a public lecture at the Himalayan Club in Mumbai on October 10th, part of an entire day of talks by mountain writers. Details here.
For the simplicity that lies this side of complexity I wouldn’t give a fig; for the simplicity that lies the other side of complexity, I’d give my life.
-Oliver Wendell Holmes