Barry Blanchard

Barry_Blanchard The Calling_Cover_HiRes

October 2014
6X9 Trade Cloth
432 pages with photos & playlist
ISBN: 978-1938340314
US $27.95 / CAN $30.99



Barry Blanchard (Alberta, Canada)

World-renowned alpinist

Author of The Calling: A Life Rocked by Mountains


Stephanie Ridge | | 512-481-7681 | Twitter: @stephanieridge



  • One of the world’s most accomplished alpine climbers
  • 40 years of mountain climbing experience, 35 expeditions abroad
  • Since 1981, has logged nearly 3000 days as a guide and instructor – and yes, he still loves his job.
  • Noted for pushing the standards of highly technical, high-risk alpine climbing in the Canadian Rockies   and the Himalayas
  • Explore magazine calls him “a mountaineer so revered that aspiring alpinists pin his photo in their high-school lockers.”
  • Internationally certified UIAGM mountain guide
  • Helped in the making of Hollywood climbing movies K2, Cliffhanger, and Vertical Limit
  • Featured in the IMAX Extreme film
  • Professional member of the Canadian Avalanche Association
  • Exploits include the first ascent of Infinite Patience on the Emperor Face of Mt. Robson, the first ascent of the North Pillar of North Twin, a first ascent on the north face of Les Droites
  • Associate Director of Yamnuska Mountain Adventures, premier provider of mountaineering, ice & rock climbing, backcountry skiing and trekking experiences in the Canadian Rockies
  • Sponsored athlete by Patagonia and Black Diamond

With heart-pounding descriptions of avalanches and treacherous ascents, world-renowned alpinist Barry Blanchard chronicles his transformation from poor kid from the wrong side of the tracks to one of the most respected climbers in the world. Gripped Magazine called his memoir, The Calling: A Life Rocked by Mountains (Patagonia, October 2014), “the most anticipated book of 2014.”

At 13, Blanchard learned to rappel when he joined the Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps. Soon kicked out for insubordination, he was already hooked on climbing and saw alpinism as a way to make his single mother proud and end his family’s cycle of poverty.

He describes early climbs attempted with nothing to guide him but written trail descriptions and the cojones of youth. He slowly acquires the skills, equipment, and partners necessary to tackle more and more difficult climbs, farther and farther afield: throughout the Canadian Rockies, into Alaska and the French Alps and on to Everest, Peru, and the challenging mountains in Pakistan. From each he learns lessons that only nature and extreme endeavor can teach.

The Calling is the story of the culture of climbing in the days of punk rock, spurred on by the rhythm of adrenaline and the arrogance of youth. It is also a portrait of the power of the mountains to lift us – physically, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually – and the depths of relationships based on total trust in the person at the other end of a rope.

Includes climbs with top climbers such as Kevin Doyle, Mark Twight, David Cheesmond and Ward Robinson, photos and a song playlist.


  • How one of the world’s top alpinists found his calling in the scouts
  • Spared from a life of delinquency: The early influences that changed the course of Blanchard’s life
  • Climbing in Pakistan during the Shia/Sunni conflict
  • Barry’s Botched Bivvy: That time he anchored his head to the wall
  • Buried in the Himalayas: What it’s like to survive an avalanche on one of the world’s highest peaks
  • Barry’s Bromances: A look at the amazing connection and trust shared between training buddies

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