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Climbing » Narratives

Echoes - Nick Bullock

One Climber's Hard Road to Freedom


"As I sat cradling the man's head, with his blood and brains sticking to my hands, I heard a voice - my own voice. It was asking me something. Asking how I had ended up like this, desperate and lost among people who thought nothing of caving in a man's head and then standing back to watch him die."

Nick Bullock was a prison officer working in a maximum-security jail with some of Britain's most notorious criminals. Trapped in a world of aggression and fear, he felt frustrated and alone. Then he discovered the mountains.

Making up for lost time, Bullock soon became one of Britain's best climbers, learning his trade in the mountains of Scotland and Wales, and travelling from Pakistan to Peru in his search for new routes and a new way of seeing the world - and ultimately an escape route from his life inside.

Told that no one ever leaves the service - the security, the stability, the 'job for life' - Bullock focused his existence on a single goal: to walk free, with no shackles, into a mountain life.

Echoes is a powerful and compelling exploration of freedom - and what it means to live life on your own terms.

Nick Bullock was born on Christmas Day in 1965. After leaving school aged 16 he worked variously as a gamekeeper, a self-employed labourer and at Alton Towers (less exciting than it sounds) before joining Her Majesty's Prison Service in 1987 where he was posted to the high security Gartree Prison as a Wing Officer, then a Punishment Block Officer. In 1992 he was introduced to climbing at Plas-y-Brenin while training as a Physical Education Instructor: his life was about to change dramatically.

Devoting all of his free time to climbing, Nick quickly established himself as one of the UK's leading climbers, making bold repeats in fine style of many of the UK's most renowned traditional climbs. A veteran of over 20 expeditions to the greater ranges and approximately 50 Alpine routes, it is in the mountains where Nick has truly demonstrated his imagination and abilities, making significant ascents and failing on some audacious attempts around the world with partners such as Jules Cartwright, Al Powell, Kenton Cool and, more recently, Andy Houseman. In 2003 he quit the prison service and has since devoted his life to climbing, writing and being frugal.

An accomplished writer, his work has been published in Alpinist, Climb Magazine, Vertical,, The Alpine Club Journal, The American Alpine Journal and more.

When not on expedition, Nick lives in Chamonix through the winter and in his van in North Wales through the summer. Echoes is his first book.

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Cordee Code: CNE071
No of Pages: 256
Page Size: 156 x 234 mm
ISBN 10: 1906148538
ISBN 13: 9781906148539
Publisher: Vertebrate Publishing
Published Date: August 2012
Edition: 1 ed , Sep-2012
Binding: Hardback
Illustrations: colour plates
Weight: 580g

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