Steve Berry’s book, ‘Straight up’ - add it to your reading list!
Full of tales of high mountain adventures, encounters with bears, escapes from avalanches, summit successes and failures, near death accidents and blossoming romances.
Born in the foothills close to the Himalaya Steve Berry had from an early age an urge to become a traveller, an adventurer, an explorer, and until the age of 38 years he tried hard to satisfy two opposing forces. Half of him wanted to find a satisfactory career path while the other half wanted to be free and specifically explore the Himalaya. In the end he found a compromise to satisfy both needs. In 1987 with his climbing friend Steve Bell he founded Himalayan Kingdoms, a travel company specialising in trekking and expedition holidays.
This book is a collection of stories from his early expeditions to the Himalaya prior to 1987. There are tales of encounters with bears, escapes from avalanches, summit successes and failures, love stories, mystical connections, Himalayan storms, near death accidents, raw travel across the Indian sub continent, and grapples with bureaucracy. It is told warts and all. It starts with tales ofyouthful naivety in the mountains of Himachal Pradesh, progresses to what Steve describes as his best ever adventure, the first British ascent of Nun, 7,135m/23,410ft, in Kashmir, and finishes with the truth of what happened on the failed attempt to climb Bhutan’s highest peak, Gangkar Punsum, 7550m/24,770ft.
Of Straight Up Steve says, “I just really wanted people to enjoy reading of our adventures the way they were”.
Steve Berry has always had a peculiar fascination for the Himalaya. He grew up with his father’s stories of India, and was beguiled by black and white photos from his dad’s expedition to the Nun Kun massif in Kashmir. From an early age the ambition to explore in the greatest mountain range on earth grew and grew. He has taken part in nine mountaineering adventures to the Himalaya and has now completed some 60 treks in Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, and various other parts of the Himalaya. He is author of one previous book ‘The Thunder Dragon Kingdom’ published by Crowood Press (ISBN: 1852231467). He is a life member of the Himalayan Club, and has memberships of the Alpine Club and the Climbers Club. He is married with two daughters. His wife puts up with him by degrees for which he is immensely grateful.
Add Steve Berry's book, about his early expeditions to the Himalaya, to your reading list - 'Straight up' is now on sale from our office for £12.99
A Message from MD Steve Berry
Mountain Kingdoms has been running holidays across the world for the last 33 years, and now, as ever, the safety and well-being of our clients is our top priority. Since the start of the Corona Virus (Covid-19) outbreak we have been carefully monitoring developments in all the destinations we travel to, keeping in close contact with our partners on the ground and following the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice.
The situation is ever-changing and unpredictable but we have weathered many storms in the three decades that I have been at the helm of Mountain Kingdoms, from natural disasters to wars, assassinations and civil unrest. Mountain Kingdoms is a fully bonded company offering complete financial security - land only through ABTOT and air inclusive holidays through ATOL (2973). We are members of AITO and are fully accredited IATA agents. We have a highly experienced team here in the office and superb local partners across our destinations, all working hard to keep you safe and well, and to minimise any potential disruption.
I appreciate many of you may be concerned about what impact Covid-19 could have on your holiday arrangements. Whilst most situations will be covered by our usual booking conditions*, I am trying to be as flexible as possible in response to this unprecedented situation. Hopefully the guidelines below will make our policy clear but do get in touch with us on 01453 844400 if you have any questions at all.
Tourism is critical to many of the countries we travel to, so I do hope that you will continue with your holiday plans, and we will certainly do all we can to ensure that your holiday is a safe and enjoyable one.
At Mountain Kingdoms we are committed to Responsible Tourism and ensuring that all our holidays are undertaken in a way which is socially, environmentally and culturally sound. As part of this commitment we have now joined the Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency initiative.
Michael Rutland has over 16 years’ experience leading cultural tours in Bhutan for Mountain Kingdoms. Having retired in 2018, he’s happily decided that he’s not yet ready to give up sharing the magic of Bhutan – his adopted home country - and will once again be leading a departure of our Definitive Cultural Tour of Bhutan this November.