Thin White Line is the sequel to Learning to Breathe, Andy Cave's bestselling debut book which was joint winner of the Boardman Tasker Prize and winner of the Adventure Travel Award at the Banff International Festival.
In 1997, Andy Cave returned from the Himalayas, having climbed the stupendous north face of Changabang but losing his friend and climbing partner in the process. Traumatized by the savage ordeal, he must examine his relationship with the mountains that have defined his life so far. Will he have the courage to undertake such a challenge again? Does he want to? Thin White Line charts his struggle towards finding an answer. It is as much a journey into the mind of an extreme mountaineer as it is into the wild landscapes through which he travels.
In a nail biting narrative set in Patagonia, Norway and Alaska, Cave tackles the severest challenges modern Alpinism can pose. Juxtaposed with the stark beauty of the environment are the colourful characters populating his stories, from the adventurers around him, past and present, to the pioneer aviators who get him and his kind to those impossibly remote places. He vividly recreates the joy and despair of climbing, building the book to a desperate finale that lays bare the fragility of our carefully constructed convictions.
“An intriguing mix of travelogue, mountaineering history, geography and an affectionate portrait of the climbing fraternity”
“A skilful blend of dialogue and descriptive prose threading a narrative that captures the highs and lows of a mountaineer's existence and the environments he travels through... Plenty of action... Gripping”
“In Thin White Line, Andy Cave picks up the story after his epic on the north face of Changabang in which his partner was lost in an avalanche. He could have been forgiven for giving up climbing after the harrowing experience but he returns with a vengeance, climbing hard routes from Alaska to Patagonia”
“Andy Cave's compelling autobiography is, like Joe Simpson's Touching the Void, a gripping book on mountaineering that will appeal even to those who didn't know they were interested in climbing”