A mountaineering team and a camera crew on Everest. Tensions between father and son. The lack of trust between them does not augur well. Mike has technical skills to share with his son, Liam, who is on time out from school to travel to Tibet. He becomes friendly with the Sherpas, and one young Rai in particular who works in the Base Camp. Exhilaration and terror, tragedy and rescue, are all experienced here on the slopes of Everest, turning things on their head.
Communication on many levels is explored here by Dermot Somers, an experienced mountaineer and an established broadcaster and author in both Irish and English. Rince ar na Ballaí (Cois Life 2002) won a major Oireachtas award. He has published four titles in English, the most recent Endurance (2005). Buaic is his first work of fiction in Irish. The author acknowledges the support of the Arts Council and Bord na Leabhar Gaeilge in writing this book.
Ar Muir is ar Sliabh
Winner, Duais Oireachtais 2009
Brian and Lise are the presenters of a new television adventure series in the making. Twenty-somethings, athletic, good-looking, they have all the combined talents to engage in the rigorous challenges of the outdoors and present them to a television audience.
Brian is at home in the air and on land, while Lise is a water-woman. The series presents challenges to both in their boundaried adventures. Marcas, the director is the manipulator, seemingly calling the shots.
Both up-close and panoramic, Ar muir is ar sliabh is both a dialogue with the landscape and seascape of Ireland, and the growth of trust, perhaps even of intimacy, between two characters. But they are also pursued, even stalked, by the indoor ghosts of their past.
In an underwater cave off the coast of Clare, they have to come to terms, urgently, with their own fault-lines for survival.
Endurance: Heroic Journeys Through Ireland
Kidnap, jailbreak, power, faith, murder, betrayal, scholarship, survival and above all, sheer endurance – all are themes in Dermot Somers’ stories of heroic and historic travels from the mythic legends of prehistory to the dawn of modern Ireland.
With the aid of maps and photographs, Dermot Somers – mountaineer, Gaelic scholar, TV presenter, and writer – follows in the footsteps of these epic journeys, revealing the people, the cultures, the times, the places and the echoes surviving in our landscape – from Art O’Neill’s icy grave in the Wicklow mountains to the ringfort-hiding place of the brown bull in the secret valley of the Cooley Mountains.
Praise for Endurance
“The television travel series on TG4 provides an image of Dermot Somers scaling mountains and smartly trekking across the globe at an unlaboured, easy pace. He is even more at ease with the landscape of Ireland and here in this book of famous journeys across the country, the narrative is equally as assured and never laboured. .. [the writing is] as rhythmic as the beat of Somers’s footsteps.”
– The Sunday Tribune
“Passion, sharp detail, interesting asides and intelligent conjecture make the book an enjoyable read and Somers is adept at bringing the reader closer to the territory he is describing”
– Village magazine
“Somers has produced a work based on that which is modern, historical, cultural and respectful. What’s more, he’s done it with just the right level of humor.”
– Daily Ireland
“Reveals the extraordinary stories, and the adventure, hidden in the landscape.”
‘Somers’ text is poetic, humorous and well-laced.’
– Irish Mountain Log
‘Easy to read book, with maps and photographs bringing each journey to light.’
– Irish Farmers Monthly
Rince ar na Ballaí
Dermot Somers is a prominent broadcaster, and his superb series for TG4 and RTÉ, Cuairt na Cruinne, An Bealach Ó Dheas, and Turas Feasa as well as his other journeys with cameraman and producer John Murray, have been deservedly acclaimed.
Rince ar na Ballaí, is an account of Somers’ mountaineering expeditions from the Alps to the Himalayas, and of his journeying with a camel train in the Sahara, which follows an ancient traditional route to sell salt. Dermot Somers is already a published author in English but Rince ar na Ballaí is his first book in Irish. Rince ar na Ballaí is a thoughtful, searching memoir, written with rigour and wry humour, in a crafted and textured style. It mirrors his physical terrains. It is as much a discovery of new landscapes as of language pushed beyond familiar boundaries. Self-effacing, Somers has an eagle’s eye for detail, making the strange familiar and recognisable. He is a natural storyteller and raconteur, and describes the highly technical craft of mountaineering and climbing with great ease in Irish. He brings his characters and companions to life. We breathe their air.
At the Rising of the Moon
A collection of short stories by the Irish mountaineer/writer who draws his inspiration from the climbing and trekking world, but explores broader issues rather than becoming imprisoned within a climb-focused genre.
Winner of the 1994 Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature and the Culture and Environment Award at the 1994 Banff Mountain Book Festival.
Mountains and Other Ghosts
A collection of short stories, many with a mountaineering theme, which also focus on political, romantic or thrilling events. The stories are set mostly in Ireland, the Alps and the Himalayas.