Among the Summer Snows

Among the Summer Snows describes a series of walks Nicholson undertook in the late summer of 2016 in the Scottish Highlands. It was published by September Publishing in hardback in 2017, with a paperback edition published a year later.

The opening paragraph:

IF THERE IS still a god, I sometimes think, he is not the great, crotchety being who was supposed to keep watch over us all. That ancient deity has fallen asleep or forgotten us, or he has become distracted by other concerns, or has lost patience with our pettiness, and instead we now have small gods, local gods, each with his or her specialist affiliation, a bit like a vicar with a parish. The river gods drip with mud and slime, the tree gods are long-limbed, spotted by mould, hairy with lichen, the desert gods are thin, shadowy creatures that move in the rippling hazes. The sea gods may be glimpsed like seals in bright water, their sleek, dark, bewhiskered heads appearing and disappearing in the troughs between waves some distance offshore. As for the gods of summer snow, I imagine them as short and muscular, trudging each late spring over the mountains to take up temporary residences in their allotted snowbeds. Deep in the ice, their features set in a disgruntled expression, they squat in silent, blue trances.


'Strange, beautiful, eerie and unique, this is the best mountain book I've read in years.' Simon Ingram, Trail magazine, May 2018

'... a startlingly beautiful book....Mortality, aesthetic beauty, deep time and loss are themes never far from the surface in this exquisitely written book.... Among the Summer Snows is at once haunting, moving, silent, and profoundly beautiful.' Alex Roddie, The Great Outdoors

'Nicholson made me laugh and cry within just a few pages.... left me humbled as he revealed a range of other interconnected wonders I never knew about.... a wrong-footing marvel of a book...' David Robinson, Books from Scotland

'An enigma and an enchantment, beautifully observed and exquisitely written. I was entranced.' Keggie Carew, author of Dadland

'A beautiful book about love and loss, fragility and chance, the wide world and the near world...full of intense light and colour, extraordinary glimpses, moving insights and subtle humour.' Richard Kerridge, author of Cold Blood

'the kind of beautiful writing that transcends form - in this case nature writing - to arrive somewhere improbable and compelling...' Paul Evans, The Guardian

'Beautifully written, it is both elegiac and optimistic, a meditation on life and death. The descriptions of the snow patches are wonderfully detailed, the determination involved in reaching them familiar to anyone who walks in the hills. Among the Summer Snows is, I think, destined to become a classic of mountain literature. Superb.' Chris Townsend, mountain writer.