Film-maker Terry Abraham has taken to print. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Film-maker Terry Abraham has taken to print. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

An acclaimed mountain film-maker has turned to print to document his journey from redundancy to cinematographer.

Terry Abraham’s Life on the Mountains is part autobiography, part coffee-table book, and is published next month.

The book contains 100 of Abraham’s photographs, taken during the 10 years since he began making his series of documentary films centred on the Lakeland fells.

The publisher said the book is packed with humour – including his two proposals to his wife, Sue – and drama, in particular a cycling accident from which he took six months to recover.

Life on the Mountains charts how a working-class lad from the East Midlands overcame bereavement, redundancy and health scares to become Britain’s foremost mountain filmmaker. His work includes the trilogy of Life of a Mountain films, detailing Scafell Pike, Blencathra and Helvellyn, the last of which was due to be premiered next month until the coronavirus crisis put everything on hold.

Detail from the book

Detail from the book

Inspired by Lakeland, the company behind the book’s 9 May launch, said: “Terry Abraham details his childhood, the impact that the death of his grandparents had during his formative years, and how, in the aftermath of redundancy, he turned his life around to achieve his ambition to become a film producer.

“The book is packed with anecdotes and insights into how he made the three films that secured him an international reputation.

“Terry reveals the hardships endured over the two years it took to make his debut film, Life of a Mountain: Scafell Pike. He spent many nights camped alone high on the mountains in the area, working to overcome technical challenges and loneliness while enduring wild storms and narrowly avoiding a near-death fall.

“He tells how he was persuaded to take up his camera again to make Life of a Mountain: Blencathra, and how he believes the epic finale, Helvellyn, may serve as his legacy – his contribution to Lakeland mountain culture.”

Terry Abraham said: “The Lake District national park is adored by millions of people across the globe.

“I take both solace and pride in how its wonderful landscapes have helped me over the decades and continue to do so. In the book I share many of the ups and downs, obstacles and difficulties I’ve had to overcome in both my personal life and in producing a series of documentaries about three iconic Lake District mountains.”

One of the photographs from the book, Winter Dawn from Bowfell. Photo: Terry Abraham

One of the photographs from the book, Winter Dawn from Bowfell. Photo: Terry Abraham

Publisher David Felton said: “2020 will be a difficult year for Cumbrian business, not least those involved in publishing and selling books. By proceeding with our plans and shipping books nationwide we hope to play our small part in keeping the publishing embers burning until such time as the county and the national park are able to welcome visitors again.

“When lockdown was announced we faced a tough call over whether to publish Terry’s book on 9 May or postpone it. We chose to go ahead, believing that those who love Lakeland – and particularly those not able to visit presently – would welcome the diversion from the gloomy news. It will also serve as a reminder of the high places that so many people regard as their spiritual home.”

Life on the Mountains is available for pre-order via the Inspired by Lakeland website. Pre-ordered copies are signed by Terry Abraham.

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