A new collection of Bob Shepton’s adventures to high latitudes and some of the remotest places on earth is 'an immediate pleasure' to read, says literary contributor, Julia Jones

Addicted to More Adventure

Bob Shepton

Amazon £15

“Octogenarian available for adventure. High latitude/high altitude specialist. Relishes reasonable risk.” 

Bob Shepton, however, will never need to advertise.

This new collection of his adventures has forewords from Jimmy Cornell and Lin Pardey and an afterword by Ellen Massey Leonard who spells out the essential connection between risk and joy.

‘Bob has found joy throughout his life in climbing unclimbed cliffs […] and in reaching some of the world’s most remote wildernesses under sail.’ 

Addicted to Adventure, his first volume includes his achievement as a school chaplain taking the first group of students round the world.

This book continues their adventure as they sail the Westerly Dodo’s Delight from Antarctica to Easter Island.

At the other end of the globe Shepton balances an east-west transit via the NorthWest passage in the first volume with a description here of a west-east voyage from Nome, Alaska to Aasiaat, Greenland.

In this, as in other voyages, he takes seriously his obligations to contribute to Royal Cruising Club Pilotage Foundation volumes.

The collection also includes accounts of delivery trips from the Baltic to Peru and from the Mediterranean to Milford Haven, acting as a sailing master from Scotland to Iceland and crewing for Judy Lomax in north Norway.

He makes significant voyages to convey younger mountaineers to remote rocks and peaks.

Shepton is now 80 and whilst most of these trips were undertaken some years ago there are moments when the reader can sense Shepton feeling his age as he tries to conceal his puzzlement when he spots yet another unclimbed cliff but his passengers don’t want to do it.

His joy in other people’s skill and achievement is generously expressed, for instance as he transports climbers Dave McLeod and companions to tackle unclimbed rock faces on St Kilda.

The thrill of first ascents will clearly never leave him, even when they are undertaken by someone else.

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