Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
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tim (35)

So the shootin' was pretty good in the Alps. Here’s a flier at a photo greatest hits collection. It's a bit subjective, and I'm sure I made a few wrong calls, but I think it still makes a decent little high-speed review....   (read more)

So. We had one last mountain to climb on this day, and on this walk: Le Brevent, at 2525m. And, along the way, we would make two big decisions that would change our memories of this walk forever....   (read more)

The sun is behind the escarpment, and so off of our little lofty bowl of lake and refuge. But it is still emphatically lighting up the massif, including the grand old white beast, Mt. Blanc herself, out to our west. The sight is completely majestic and magnificent. “This is it,” Tim says. And I know he's nailed it. This is everything we came to see, in one sprawling, stunning, glowing, larger-than-life tableau. This is it....   (read more)

Morning in Hotel du Glacier, Champex-Lac. Though there wasn't a cloud in the sky, the forecast for the day wasn't good - and we met a man who had just been turned back from the Fenetre d'Arpette. Basically, it was too early in the season for such a dicy, glorious, adventuresome variante. I bowed to the inevitable. The Alp Bovine route it was....   (read more)

Today we would be walking through more undramatic forest and hillsides and river paths. But it made a change. And it would end at Champex-Lac, a village on a lake - way higher up in the mountains than you'd expect to find any kind of lake....   (read more)

Today's walk was to include: * a leisurely ramble through a flower-and-butterfly-filled valley; * a climb up to an entirely decent col overlooking a big ole glacier, with a herd of ibex down on some cliffs below, and which took us over the border into Switzerland; and * a couple of hours of actual rain, and a slog therethrough - the only real rain event we experienced on a TEN-DAY WALK....   (read more)

Day Five of the TMB was a day of superlatives, including: * The longest, hardest climb I (for one) have ever done; * The biggest single hunk of towering massif we'd ever see in one place (the Grandes Jorasses) - at the foot of which sat: * By far the most amazing refuge (or, perhaps, lodging of any kind) most of us had ever enjoyed....   (read more)

The photo above depicts me in, or just before, the moments when I felt, more than at any other time before or since, that it was possible I might lose my life. Obviously I didn't die, and reasonable people seem to disagree about how much danger I was actually in. But there can be no question that I've never been so scared. In my mind, at the very least, this was a no-bullshit, breath-stealing, pulse-supercharging, this-could-really-be-it (the end of my whole story, right here and now) tango with death....   (read more)

Morning douches, a killer snow descent, shin betrayal, a murderous slog in the sun, the ascent of death, raging runoff, the most stunning col yet, my best photography ever, God's front room, badass Aussies, shower follies, and Tim's sledding fail....   (read more)

Planning catastrophes, sniffy French, closed-out mountain passes, crushing climbs, severely beautiful mountain vistas, dicing with death on snow diagonals, braving ridicule in snow gaiters, assault by the sun, the best refuge spot ever (so far) - and of course the titular miracle....   (read more)

TMB Day 1, Les Houches to Les Contamines: to include the first punishing climb; the first stunning mountain col - and (not unrelatedly) the first snowfield across the path; the first knee-murdering, endless descent; plus the amazing Refuge di Miage, Lynchian cows, and also much witty banter....   (read more)

Gobsmackingly beautiful mountain vistas... ass-smashing, neverending, unprecedented, merciless climbs... traverses over treacherous icy escarpments and steep snow diagonals... at least one genuine, no-bullshit, breath-stealing, this-could-really-be-it dice with death... climbs over cols and around glaciers of soul-tweaking beauty and grandeur... close encounters with Alpine wildlife (such as ibex, chamois, and marmots)... and nights in remote refuges perched in absolutely unbelievably stunning mountaintop settings (that could only be reached by Alpine trekkers, and resupplied by helicopter)....   (read more)

Okay, this is pretty damned cringe-making, but here are a huge number of photos of me....   (read more)

Well, my notes from the last day of the walk are pretty damned scanty. Suffice it to say we got up at a leisurely hour, showered - at the beginning of the day! - packed our bags one final time, and moseyed on down that last stretch of road....   (read more)

So when we last left our heroes, I was banged up with a bum leg, nursing pints in the Glen Nevis Inn, counting curios; Tim had hiked off alone to Ft. William, just by way of something to do; and we were both locked in a death struggle with boredom and unaccustomed idleness - and wondering if the jewel in the crown of our hundred-mile Highland hike, Ben Nevis, was going to be forever out of reach....   (read more)

Given that my foot/leg hurt like hell overnight, just lying in bed, I figured mountain climbing today might be out. And when Tim threw the curtains back at 7am, outside was: soup....   (read more)

Well, it was the last walking day, and all we had to do was climb out of this strangely industrial Shangri-La. That of course meant Up....   (read more)

We enjoyed a lovely breakfast in the well-appointed, if slim, West Highland Way Sleeper dining room. The morning train went by outside....   (read more)

Well, the Large Hadron Collider had gone online. And we were still there. That was a nice start to the day - not having been sucked into a small black hole, nor woken up to find that stranglets had devoured the entire planet, leaving only an inert hyperdense sphere 100 meters across....   (read more)

We bid farewell to the Crap YHA, and its lovely lochside backyard, on what was already starting to look like a nice day... I realised something today that was already probably obvious to anyone with a head: photography is all about light....   (read more)

At 3295 feet, glowering over the eastern shore of Loch Lomond, Ben Lomond is Scotland's southern-most Munro. Today was the day we would pause our northerly march to climb it. ...   (read more)

During our breakfast at the big table in the big kitchen of the bunkhouse-y B&B, we were joined by a man leading a tour... So then it pretty much a matter of getting ourselves down off of Conic Hill, and onto the shores of Loch Lomond - the bonny banks of which we'd be walking along for the next two days....   (read more)

Morning, breakfast in an amazing upstairs room with, reassuringly (to, you know, me) several guns on the wall. Rather less reassuringly, there was this countour map of the West Highlands, which our hosts thought they were being helpful in pointing out to us....   (read more)

Morning, breakfast in an amazing upstairs room with, reassuringly (to, you know, me) several guns on the wall. Rather less reassuringly, there was this countour map of the West Highlands, which our hosts thought they were being helpful in pointing out to us....   (read more)

Morning, breakfast in an amazing upstairs room with, reassuringly (to, you know, me) several guns on the wall. Rather less reassuringly, there was this countour map of the West Highlands, which our hosts thought they were being helpful in pointing out to us....   (read more)

Morning, tea in our room, and Tim happily moblogging from his bed. Me: This feels like redemption. I can't tell you how much time on how many trips I've kept people hanging about while I typed, or edited images, or battled net-cafes....   (read more)

So once again I wasn't doing all that much and also good old Master Tim Corrigan was once again both free and keen - so off we went for a third long-distance walk along one of Britain's National Trails....   (read more)

Awoke ten minutes before my alarm was to go off (I know - but we were meeting for breakfast, and generally wanted to get an early start) to an absolutely glorious morning. While languorously performing my toilette in the sparklingly lit mirrors of the immaculate bathroom, the radio reports: "Twenty-two degrees today, clear skies, cool breezes - and plenty of sunshine!"...   (read more)

And so C&M met us in the morning back at the pub, after Tim and I had broken camp. Here they are looking all cutesy-skippy- happy, and all bad, respectively. I think I can explain the skippy-happiness....   (read more)

Another absolutely enormous breakfast - a pleasingly recurring theme - and then we walked out into a cool, slightly overcast, and windy day. Lovely walking weather....   (read more)

Morning breaks on the overpriced Perranporth hotel grey and misty with a moving sky. Tim and I score breakfast in the dining room (unlimited muesli! muahahaha!), then spend a few minutes chatting with "sweet old Doreen". She'd seen a lot of coast walkers come through....   (read more)

So, previously on our show, we cut the day's dispatch short, leaving our heroes palsiedly perambulating into the port town of Mawgan Porth - one hobbling and whimpering, and the other cackling and rubbing his hands together: "Yessss... yesss... we will walk futher, we will walk more... we will walk up, and down... there will never be an end to the walking... Mua-HaHaHaHaHa!!!"...   (read more)

Right, okay, so what was that bit about, ah, let me go back and quote myself, that stuff about 'relaxed attitude', and 'short days' and 'lie on beaches' and 'stroll on clifftops'? Bwahahaha!...   (read more)

And so I had this other idea. (Yeah, I know.) But the Coast to Coast walk had been, everyone involved had to admit, except maybe you, pretty completely spectacular. And the UK has got something like a dozen national trails. And the first one hadn't killed anyone. Quite....   (read more)

Oh, and by the bye - would you have any interest in taking a crack at Ben Nevis, perhaps in August?...   (read more)

about
close photo of Michael Stephen Fuchs

Fuchs is the author of the novels The Manuscript and Pandora's Sisters, both published worldwide by Macmillan in hardback, paperback and all e-book formats (and in translation); the D-Boys series of high-tech, high-concept, spec-ops military adventure novels – D-Boys, Counter-Assault, and Close Quarters Battle (2014); and is co-author, with Glynn James, of the bestselling Arisen series of spec-ops zombie apocalypse dark action thrillers. The second nicest thing anyone has ever said about his work was: "Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt put in a firefight'." (Kirkus Reviews, more here.)

Fuchs was born in New York; schooled in Virginia (UVa); and later emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived through the dot-com boom. Subsequently he decamped for an extended period of tramping before finally rocking up in London, where he now makes his home. He does a lot of travel blogging, most recently of some very  long  walks around the British Isles. He's been writing and developing for the web since 1994 and shows no particularly hopeful signs of stopping.

You can reach him on .

THE MANUSCRIPT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
PANDORA'S SISTERS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
DON'T SHOOT ME IN THE ASS, AND OTHER STORIES by Michael Stephen Fuchs
D-BOYS by Michael Stephen Fuchs
COUNTER-ASSAULT by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book One - Fortress Britain, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN, Book Two - Mogadishu of the Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN : Genesis, by Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Three - Three Parts Dead, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Four - Maximum Violence, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Five - EXODUS, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
ARISEN Book Six - The Horizon, by Glynn James & Michael Stephen Fuchs
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