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In 1945, Gwen Moffat deserted from her post as dispatch rider in the Army and went to live rough in Wales and Cornwall, climbing and living on practically nothing. She hitch-hiked her way around, travelling from Skye to Chamonix and many places in between, with all her possessions on her back. When the money ran out, she worked as a forester, went winkle-picking on the Isle of Skye and did a stint as an artist's model. And always there were the mountains, drawing her away from a "proper" job. Throughout this unique story, there are acutely observed accounts of mountaineering exploits as Moffat tackles the toughest climbs and goes on to become the first woman to qualify as a mountain guide.
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- Mrs M
A really great listen
I absolutely loved this book. It's beautifully read and Gwen Moffat is a total legend. It would make a fantastic T. V series. She's so adventurous and yet it's all so normal to her. It really captures a time and place. I listened to it during lockdown 3 and it helped me to feel a bit free. I shall listen to this again and again. As with Nan Shepherd's The Living Mountain.
A tribute to mountaincraft, youth and feminism.
This is a must-read for women in the outdoor community. Gwen's story is a superb tribute to mountaincraft, youth and feminism. Although originally written in 1961 and based throughout the 1940s and 50s, this book transcends time and is still magnificently relevant to contemporary climbing culture. Gwen's memoir takes you from the rocky crags of Snowdonia, all the way to the cullins of Skye, beauty of Cornwall and over to the Alpine snow-caps. This book is an absolute masterpiece and Gwen's pioneering legacy provides the foundations for mountaineering today.