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Beneath Blossom Rain: Discovering Bhutan on the Toughest Trek in the World

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3.52  ·  Rating Details ·  86 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
In a remote kingdom hidden in the Himalayas, there is a trail said to be the toughest trek in the world—twenty-four days, 216 miles, eleven mountain passes, and enough ghost stories to scare an exorcist. In 2007 Kevin Grange decided to acquaint himself with the country of Bhutan by taking on this infamous trail, the Snowman Trek. He was thirty-three, at a turning point in ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published April 1st 2011 by Bison Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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(showing 1-30)
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LeeAnn Heringer
I've seen some harsh reviews for this book, including one that called the author "a whiner". But having been born and raised in California, I can say that the main character of the book is an archetype of a type of lost boy, mid-thirty year old who doesn't know what they want to be when they grow up, looking for a spiritual center, that is free range here in California. (They never seem to be born here, but that's the beauty of California -- stay for 2 weeks and you're a local.) The companions h ...more
Tim
Mar 22, 2011 Tim rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, travel, bhutan
My idea of the ideal vacation? Oceanfront on the Pacific or Caribbean, sun and plenty of cold drinks and reading material. A hammock is always an exquisite addition. What did Kevin Grange do in 2007? He embarked on what is billed as the toughest trek in the world, a 24-day horseshoe-shaped journey of 216 miles on foot through the Himalayan Mountains in Bhutan.

Granted, Grange and his fellow trekkers were accompanied by a seven-person support team, a kitchen tent and toilet tents and were served h
...more
Dennis Boccippio
Dec 24, 2012 Dennis Boccippio rated it liked it
Shelves: travel, memoir
This book was mostly enjoyable; if you're interested in the trek, by all means read it end to end; if you're interested in Bhutan, perhaps start elsewhere and find your way here. I read it along with several ahead of a trip there this fall.

One of the challenges with travel books such as these is there are only so many themes to pull from ... having done a couple of eco-trips and homestays (none so fierce as the Snowman Trek!) I can't claim to be an expert but have a fair sense of what there is t
...more
David
Jan 03, 2012 David rated it liked it
Shelves: read-travel
A pleasant travel read, which caused me to neglect several more edifying books that I had brought with me on vacation. 

Bhutan is a place where they are trying to avoid being run over by the juggernaut of modernity without becoming a totalitarian hermit kingdom. It’s interesting to check in every once in a while to see how they are doing. So far, so good: let’s hope that Bhutan can continue to generate benevolent philosopher-kings to lead the country.
Larry
Jan 03, 2012 Larry rated it really liked it
Full disclosure: The author is a long-time friend of the family, so I had a particular reason to read and enjoy this. But for anyone interested in travel to remote places, this fills the bill. A simply told and convincingly authentic account of trekking through Bhutan.
Ned Frederick
Jun 04, 2011 Ned Frederick rated it liked it
As a travelogue and peak under the tent of cultural Bhutan it was fascinating. As a journal of personal transformation it was so so.
Robert Isenberg
Jun 07, 2014 Robert Isenberg rated it it was ok
Okay, look: Kevin Grange seems like a really cool guy. I would love to hang out with Kevin. He seems friendly, genuine, upbeat, and go-getting. I would grab a drink or surf with Kevin. Actually, I would join Kevin for a long hike, I'm that certain that we'd get along well. He's the kind of fellow New Englander I really appreciate. I'm even glad he got to publish his book, because he clearly put a lot of heart into it. A part of me is glad I got to read his book, because I learned some tidbits ab ...more
Phillip
Dec 29, 2013 Phillip rated it did not like it
It took me a half liter of beer and 0.3 liters of wine for me to be able to finish this book. The only reason I actually finished it was to give an honest and complete book review. I found myself cursing at the author while dissecting the horrendous writing style and structure. The author overuses commas, and in many cases, uses them, definitively, where they are not necessary, similar to this sentence, in its exactness. If this last sentence annoyed you, then do not even pick up the book. This ...more
Heather Beach
Kevin Grange's "Beneath Blossom Rain" is an extremely well written book and a wonderful introduction to the country of Bhutan, the Bhutanese people, their culture and the challenges of the 24 day, 216 mile Snowman Trek! Through his wonderful descriptions, I truly felt a part of the trek, "seeing" the varied and beautiful terrain, "meeting" the villagers along the way, "experiencing" the daunting task of hiking some of the very high mountain passes and "getting to know" his trekking companions as ...more
Michael Ritchie
Aug 31, 2015 Michael Ritchie rated it it was ok
The author goes on a grueling 3-week hike in Bhutan and tells us about the places, the people, and the insights he has, all of which are somewhat interesting, but he uses such basic, freshmen-college writing technique that it's like reading a dumbed-down adaptation of a better, longer work. It feels very Lifetime-movie in the telling, especially in his use of dialogue, little of which sounds real, and when he relates his epiphanies. This feels like a young adult version, but I'd love to read the ...more
Leslie
Nov 24, 2013 Leslie rated it liked it
I enjoyed that the book was informative and provided valuable information in preparing me for my adventure on the Snowman Trek. However, I found Kevin to be somewhat irritating. I found myself rolling my eyes at his somewhat pretentious perspectives and also his cheesy 'revelations'. He did a nice job of humanizing a travel log, so I give him great credit for that and, as I mentioned first, lots of interesting information and facts about Bhutan.
Yvonne Mcquilkin
Jun 14, 2016 Yvonne Mcquilkin rated it really liked it
I loved this book. It's descriptions of Bhutan's most remote high mountain area, and the growth of a group of nine intrepid trekkers. They accomplished the "Snowman Trek", which is different, yet equally as hard as climbing Everest. We are going to Bhutan in October, so I may have liked it better than the average reader.
Bill Leach
Oct 12, 2015 Bill Leach rated it did not like it
An uninspiring book. The author does a major trek, but it is not clear he did it to enjoy Bhutan. He talks mostly of his own concerns. Much of the content is banal. Definitely in the trekking as an accomplishment category.
Tira
Jul 18, 2012 Tira rated it it was ok
It was just ok. The dialogue is a bit corny in places and the writing a little labored, too nit picky in detail in my opinion. But, hey, this guy went on the "toughest trek in the world" while I sat in my living room and merely read about it. So who am I to say?
Lydia
Jan 18, 2016 Lydia rated it it was amazing
A wonderful blow-by-blow description of a month-long, 216 mile hike at roughly 14,000 feet in the land of happiness. Grange has a wonderful, humorous ability to describe the people, yaks, food and sky with equal tenderness. A great introduction to a mysterious country.
Melody
Sep 06, 2014 Melody rated it liked it
An interesting, introspective book on one man's journey through the Bhutanese Himalayas. A little bit melodramatic and dull at points, but overall an interesting foray into the nation of Bhutan, a little known little Kingdom.
Keith Bennett
Mar 29, 2013 Keith Bennett rated it did not like it
Blurb is heavy on 'toughest trek in the world', but turns out Grange was just walking within an organised group on a paid holiday. Jolly enough given that, but original adventure it is not.
Sherry
Jul 01, 2013 Sherry rated it it was ok
The title says it all.

Nice read, not terribly exciting.

The toughest trek in the world is the Snowman Trek, 20 + days over many passes.
Tory
Jan 09, 2012 Tory rated it it was ok
Terribly written!
Aimee Lucas
Aimee Lucas rated it it was amazing
Apr 12, 2012
Vita
Vita rated it really liked it
Sep 09, 2012
Bholdsworth7
Bholdsworth7 rated it liked it
May 20, 2012
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Kimberly Johnston
Kimberly Johnston rated it really liked it
Feb 02, 2016
Andrew Douglas
Andrew Douglas rated it it was ok
Feb 11, 2016
Tom
Tom rated it liked it
Feb 06, 2014
Patricia Beaty
Patricia Beaty rated it liked it
Oct 26, 2016
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Mainá rated it liked it
Mar 06, 2014
Marsi Pedelty
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Dec 29, 2016
Jesslyn
Jesslyn rated it it was amazing
Nov 09, 2016
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Kevin Grange is an award-winning freelance writer with an emphasis on the medical field, adventure and travel.

In June 2015, Berkley Books, a division of Penguin Random House, will publish Kevin’s new memoir "Lights and Sirens: The Education of a Paramedic." "Lights and Sirens" is a true account of going through UCLA’s famed Daniel Freeman Paramedic Program—and practicing emergency medicine on the
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