The world of mountaineering and climbing during the 1930s was chronicled by the writer, broadcaster, and journalist Alastair Borthwick who lived from 1913 to 2003. During this time, the sport was quickly gaining popularity among the working class of Europe who was looking for ways to stay entertained during a time in which unemployment was very high. The sport had been popular for many years, but it was considered something that was reserved for those who were part of the upper class.
These people wrote stories about the interesting and exotic locations that they visited while talking about the technical aspects of the sport itself. The approach that Alastair Borthwick had taken with the subject was something the world had not read before. While the elite featured the locations as the draw to read their books, he featured the experiences that he had and the many interesting people that he was able to meet during his extensive journeys across the landscape of Europe, Scotland in particular.
Some of the people that Alastair Borthwick came across during his journeys included tramps, hawkers, and tinkers who had grown accustomed to the skills long before people had started exploring them just for sport. There was a big social change that was taking place and he was able to document it in an honest and touching way that gave people a real idea of the people behind the stories. The writing style of Alastair Borthwick is known to be humorous and touching which is part of why it has become a classic today.
Over the years, Alastair Borthwick has written two books, Always a Little Further and Sans Peur. While Always a Little Further told the world about the beloved sport of mountaineering, Sans Peur covered the more serious subject of his experience serving in World War 2. He fought on the front lines of battles with his men as a junior officer who led a battalion behind the enemy lines to surprise Germany by digging up behind them overnight. His works have gone down in history as classics.