Extreme Lakeland – Nadir Khan & Tom McNally

Extreme Lakeland Cover

Review of Extreme Lakeland – ‘A Photographic Journey Through Lake District Adventure Sports’

Authors and Contributors

I notice these days that most ‘average’ social media photos look a LOT better than similar people’s efforts years ago. Filters and all that… However, in Extreme Lakeland, Nadir Khan and Tom McNally absolutely transcend the help that phones, filters etc give the rest of us.
It might be worth mentioning that Leo Houlding has written the foreword to Extreme Lakeland, so on that alone it has to be worth a look..!
Other contributors are Anna Sharpe, Gilly McArthur, Jon Sparks and climbers Anna Taylor and Peter Goulding. The above is a mixture of websites and social media; it’s just what I could locate.

Vertebrate Publishing

You can see a review of one of Vertebrate’s MTB guidebooks here. That’s their more usual kind of book, which I love. Extreme Lakeland, however is very different, and probably not for taking outside! I’ve bought a good number of their guidebooks in the past, and hadn’t expected to see more of a ‘coffee table’ book. That phrase can be used to suggest that the owner mostly wants you to see that they own it. This is a book that anyone who loves the outdoors will make a grab for.
I mentioned the quote below in the guidebook review. It’s worth repeating as it genuinely seems to be a statement of fact rather than just committee generated marketing:
“It’s our rule that the only books we publish are those we’d want to read ourselves…”
Photo of classic Lake District descent


The book starts in the winter with photos ranging from skiing to ice climbing to winter swimming; no wetsuits, snow everywhere. Proof that the subjects are British..?
The cover photo of Striding Edge appears in the winter section and looks even better in the book than on the cover.
Spring has a fair few mountain biking pics, and absolutely all of them make me want to stop writing, pack the van and head West… They’re not the typical big air photos. They’re the soul of UK mountain biking; awesome scenery, awesome descents. And yes, I’m well aware of how overused ‘awesome’ is! Even the solitary trail centre pic is atmospheric and inspiring.
I haven’t climbed in a good while but the climbing in Extreme Lakeland makes me want to start again tomorrow. Some of the routes are great to look at other people climbing, but anything in the ‘E’ category is a bit beyond me these days! However there’s plenty in the Lakes that’s within my skill level and it’s a different but equally breathtaking way to see wild places as MTB. This really comes through in the book.
Photo of another classic Lake District descentI’m more drawn to the Summer and Autumn photos, but not because they’re better (all the photography is to a massively high standard). It’s more that in the longer days I have more energy and motivation, so the Summer & Autumn pictures seem to call me in.

Who’s this book for?

I reckon anyone will enjoy this book that likes one or more of:
Outdoor photography, The Lake District, mountain biking, climbing, fell running or just people making the most of life and finding out what their bodes are capable of.
I’d give it 5 stars (if I ever did star ratings in this blog..!)

Where to Buy

You can buy a copy direct from the publisher which helps them produce the quality they are known for.


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