Following the release of his latest book Thin White Line, we caught up with Andy Cave for a quick chat to try and find out more about his approach to the book and the man behind the pen.
Thin White Line is the sequel to Learning to Breath, Andy Cave’s bestselling debut book which was joint winner of the Boardman Tasker Prize in 2005 and winner of the Adventure Travel Award at the Banff International Festival. You can read our review of Thin White Line in full in the reviews section of this site.
AC: I was approached by a publisher in 1997, but I was busy with my PhD then, hence things didn’t get going until that was finished.
AC: I took about a year out and then started formulating ideas.
AC: I knew the beginning of the book and the end. I wanted to select climbs that gave the narrative momentum and showed the emotional ups and downs.
AC: I made a conscious effort, I saw this as a new challenge, integrating research in to my own narrative. It was also an excuse to learn more about the places I had climbed in and to draw parallels between visiting climbers and local inhabitants.
AC: The ultimate test is the test of yourself and team mates. Such objectives are just the natural progression. There is something special about pioneering new routes away from crowds.
AC: Some one with integrity, open, honest and with a sense of humour. You have to feel absolute trust. Someone who didn’t talk about climbing all the time.
AC: Not yet.
AC: The academic work has taken a backseat. The writing and speaking are big and I guide and climb for myself with any spare time I have.
AC: I also work with Asolo and Thorlo now. I promote the brands, test new designs, give feedback as well as helping maintain links within the trade. We try and run fun retailer events in the mountains.
AC: Buchaille Etive Mhor, Glencoe.
AC: Up early, to see sunrise, hard exhilarating climbing, easy descent, wonderful meal on the terrace with friends, followed by a long sleep.
AC: I’ve just got back from Morocco – brilliant walls up to 500metres hich. And We climbed Fitzroy in January which was superb. I have a few things up my sleeve!
AC: Yes, but I’d have to kill you if I told you what it was about…
Andy Cave was born into a mining family and is now a cutting-edge alpinist with several formidable first ascents to his credit. He has a PhD in socio-linguistics and is an IFMGA international mountain and ski guide. You can find out more about Andy at his website http://www.andycave.net.
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