Book Review: To a Mountain in Tibet

Why I picked it: Mountains, Tibet.. the title says it all right?

Synopsis: In the wake of his mother's death, Thubron sets off to Mount Kailas in Tibet, a peak sacred to one-fifth of the world's population and the source of four of India's great rivers. Kailas has never been climbed: the slopes are important to Tibetan Buddhists.

It is the poignant evocations of his mother and sister (who died at 21), interwoven with his profound respect for the Tibetan culture and landscape that make Thubron's memoir an utterly moving read.

Quick Take: I listened to Thubron's journey while walking my dogs last month.  This book is not for everyone... but I loved it, mostly for the cultural bits.

The author shares a few stories with us, from family legacy, loss and how this impacts the author; the physical journey in the mountains; and a cultural / spiritual aspect. Did you know the folklore suggests Tibetan Mountains fly and that Buddha nailed them down. There's a reason we turn clockwise, Hindus say shooting stars are sky gods descent to bathe in water, and Tibet has a holy month?

I have been working on the idea of a visit to Nepal/Tibet/India - I would love to hike Annapurna and/or base camp of Everest.  This book only adds to my passion for getting there!

If a book on Tibet is too much for you, here's an article about the book published on The Guardian that you might enjoy.

Rating: 4 stars
Source: Personal Copy

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