An account of the British adventurer's global travels: hot-air ballooning across the Atlantic, walking across the poles and climbing the highest peaks.
In his first book, Hempleman-Adams, the third British climber to complete the Seven Summits (the highest peak on each continent), proves a winning narrator of all of his feats, the numerous successes as well as the failures. Through both, he has experienced errors in orienteering and equipment mishaps, and he has been inches from death numerous times. His tale of one experience tumbles into the next, swiftly but not hurriedly. Most gripping is his account of walking solo and unsupported (without additional fuel or food) to the South Pole from the edge of Antarctica. He calls the South Pole "the most lonely place on earth" and writes of maneuvering the unpredictable, "constantly changing terrain" at the poles: shifting ice floes, avalanches and crevasses. He also chronicles how, after walking all day in snow and temperatures hovering around minus 40 degrees Celcius, his GPS indicated that he covered fewer than two miles. Hempleman-Adams shares straightforward tales of persevering through the harshest natural elements a person can face. Though some readers might expect it, the author does not deliver a treatise on transferable lessons of leadership or making the most of life. A good way to approach the book would be three different readings—one each for the "Rock," "Ice" and "Air" sections. The author believes that ballooning is technical and cerebral, but he is cheekier about his mountain-climbing and polar treks. “I'd never tell any of the fraternity to their faces,” he writes, “but perhaps you don't have to be terribly clever to climb, or attempt polar challenges."
Solidly entertaining. Always looking for new challenges (perhaps sailing next?), he assures readers that he will “keep [them] posted” about his adventures to come.