In this powerful debut story collection, veteran travel writer and adventurer Dan Arnold brings to life the men and women whose lives are defined by the call of the mountain. From varied backgrounds with diverse perspectives, the characters that populate Snowblind don’t feel quite whole until they’ve summited some of the world’s most dangerous peaks—an obsession that most of us just can’t fathom.
A young climber walks a hotel hallway passing rooms filled with things but no people—rucksacks, jackets, sleeping bags, crampons, and ice screws strewn across the beds and floors. Later he will explain to his fellow climbers what it’s like to disconnect his harness and leave his fallen partner to die alone in a blizzard. A woman climber, isolated and alone in the mountains, calculates the risks of walking back to civilization after her pilot doesn’t arrive for their scheduled pickup. It’s the seemingly quiet moments like these in Arnold’s stories that create such satisfying tension.
Snowblind is a dose of old world adventure writing made modern for a new generation fascinated by the mystique of climbing. For both serious climbers and those who may never use a pair of crampons, the thrill of these stories, complete with triumphs and tragedies, makes for an incredible vicarious experience.