Travel reading: The Ascent of Rum Doodle


Books are the only friend on the road while travelling. Books can give you hope, a smile and why not the next destination. Today’s book I am talking about is “The Ascent of Rum Doodle ” by B & B Windermere.

I discovered this book by a recommendation. Not on the internet, but on an interesting, talking night in Rwanda. Two friends I have just met were talking about a bar in Katmandu and I just interfered in the discussion with my next destination: climbing of Kilimanjaro. And then, the welsh friend remembered about this book. It took him a few minutes to remember the name. And I did not forget it and bought it from when I returned home.

The plot is a simple one: 6  mountaineer attempt to conquer the world’s highest mountain, the 40000-and-a-half-foot Rum Doodle. I am not going to tell you the whole story and to spoil the book for you. Just to underline some quotes I found extremely interesting in the book and somehow are related to the real world.

Jungle – the route planer – missed the first meeting due to the fact that he took the wrong bus. But he was on the way because he “caught sight of North Face“. He was to join the team many days after.. but not before being arrested as a spy because of the maps in his possession.

I think Jungle is the most hilarious character  I have ever met in a book. One of the most funniest part is when is kidnaped and after a series of payments, the group goes bankrupt and sends the following message: “Sorry. Bankrupt. Contact Embassy

Talking about the fact he never had a fiancee:..”he had found quite a number, he was always finding them. … unfortunately he lost them as quickly as he found them. About one girl he lost: ä girl who moved about in a mist against orders was hardly worth inquiring about

Another part I enjoyed reading was the crevasse fall: after falling into a crevasse, one by one goes down to rescue each other. In the end 5 of them end up there and ask for champagne and more champagne, this being there medicine!

Wish – the science man  – wanted to take a “there ton pneumonic geologist hammer.”

He became convinced that fiancees were no more real than Father Christmas” talking about his desire: to have a fiancee. He even wrote a book: Fiancees : The Pathetic Myth.

Prone – the doctor – got sick in the first climbing days due to seasickness!

 “she was not very good-looking, but as Burley said. One can’t have everything” – talking about his wife.

The final is an epic one, but I am not going to spoil it for you. I advise you to read the book. One thing is true in the book. The fact that without the porters you cannot survive on a climbing on a high mountain!

Enjoy traveling and happy reading!

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by Sorin

Sorin is a freelance travel writer. He is an experienced travel writer and traveller. Since 2012 he explored more than 60 countries on 4 continents: Asia, Europe, Africa and North America. Currently is based in Romania after spending the last 7 years in Myanmar.