Ascents and Descents is the autobiography of Peter Allison: civil engineer, rock climber, ski-mountaineer and mountain guide. In a sixty-five-year climbing career, he climbed hard lines on the high mountains, including the North Face of the Eiger and the Hörnli Ridge on the Matterhorn. Peter tells his story with honesty, humour and frank detail.
I personally have always been quite comfortable either halfway up or halfway down a steep, snowy mountainside.Ascents and Descents is the autobiography of Peter Allison: civil engineer, rock climber, ski-mountaineer and mountain guide. Starting out on the crags of north-east England as a young boy, Peter soon became immersed in the emerging climbing scene of the 1950s, when harnesses were a thing of the future, and hemp ropes and plimsolls were the staple climbing gear. He soon began to explore ice climbing and mixed climbing, progressing to crags in the Lake District and then the Alps, and claiming several first British ascents. Over the course of an impressive sixty-five-year climbing career, he climbed hard lines on the high mountains, including the North Face of the Eiger and the Hörnli Ridge on the Matterhorn. Having initially juggled climbing with a thriving and extremely busy quarrying business, Peter decided it was time to dedicate more time to his love of the hills, and qualified as a mountain guide, subsequently specialising in routes on the Chamonix Aiguilles, the Aiguille du Chardonnet and the Aiguille d’Argentière. He built an excellent reputation, balancing fun and risk with safety and prudence, and always putting his clients first. Ascents and Descents tells of the highs and lows of climbing, from standing on a summit in perfect conditions to the frustration of years of rehabilitation from a broken pelvis. Peter Allison recounts his colourful story with honesty, humour and frank detail, leaving you in no doubt about his true passion for the mountains.
Peter Allison studied civil engineering at Nottingham University in the early 1960s and worked for a company of consulting engineers before leaving to develop the family quarrying business with his two brothers. Even though Peter enjoyed inventing practical solutions to engineering problems, his real passion was rock climbing. He started out on Crag Lough in Northumberland as a fifteen-year-old climbing in plimsolls. He moved on to the crags of the Lake District and North Wales, ascending the hardest climbs in those areas at the time. For many years, he continued rock and alpine climbing – including such routes as the Walker Spur and the North Face of the Eiger – in parallel with his business career. However, he increasingly found that there was not enough time to realise his mountaineering ambitions, so in the mid-1980s he left the family business and trained to become a mountain guide. From that point, Peter was in his element fulfilling his own aspirations and those of his clients.
Discounts & P&P
From Friday 1 April 2022, we offer 25% off to all newsletter subscribers. Simply sign up to our newsletter here to receive your discount code. If you're already a subscriber, we'll remind you of the code every time we send out a newsletter.
In addition, we offerFREE UK P&P for orders of £15 or more, along with options to upgrade the delivery service at checkout.
Postage costs are dependent on order weight (book/s weight plus packing materials) and are calculated automatically upon checkout, before payment is taken. Full details of our delivery and returns information, valid from 1 April 2022 can be found here.
UK orders are sent Royal Mail Second Class as standard and should arrive within two to three working days. Shipping is free for orders of £15 or more and £1.95 for orders under £15. The option to upgrade UK shipping to Royal Mail 24 Next Day Delivery is available at checkout.
International orders are sent by Royal Mail International Tracked. Deliveries can take between a few days and a couple of weeks to arrive, depending on the delivery location. Please contact us if your country is not listed.
Online orders received through the Vertebrate Publishing Adventure Books website are dispatched from our office in Sheffield, UK. Orders received before 1 p.m. are dispatched the same day, orders received after 1 p.m. are usually dispatched the following business day. We will send you a notification email when your order has been dispatched. If we are temporarily out of stock of a title we will advise by email.
Payment is made safely and securely using Shopify, which incorporates the world's leading payment gateways, including Stripe, Apple Pay and Google Pay. You can also check out with PayPal. All payments are handled directly by these payment gateways and Vertebrate Publishing Adventure Books does not process or store any cardholder details on the Adventure Books website.
We will happily refund or exchange any item that is returned to us in an unused, as new condition. If you want to make a return, contact us with your details. Once we've received the item(s), we will credit your account. If the item is faulty or damaged or we have sent the incorrect item we will refund postage.
If you're returning something because it's not suitable, you'll need to pay the postage costs to return it to us. We process most returns the day they arrive with us, and certainly within seven working days. Goods must be returned to us within 21 days.