When Steve Sillett was 19 years old, he free-climbed – with no safety equipment and no training – one of the tallest trees on earth, in the redwood forests of Prairie Creek, California. 30 storeys above the ground he glimpsed an undiscovered ecosystem, and his passion for that astonishing world would transform the rest of his life. Over the next twenty years, Sillett and a close group of friends charted this system, discovering mosses and lichen never seen before, and travelling among branches so densely interwoven they form incredible sky-high walkways.
There are only twenty people on earth who have climbed the world’s tallest trees and who know their location. In writing The Wild Trees, Richard Preston not only managed to gain access to this group, but began to climb these hidden giants himself, putting his life in danger in order to understand the powerful connection between the massive trees and the world’s last great explorers.
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A fascinating adventure story ( The Sunday Times )
Combines the thrill of exploration with the quirkiness of those who chose it as their lives' work ( The New York Times )
Impressive … these amateurs were taking their lives into their hands every time ( London Review of Books )
Invokes the spirit of Darwin, Audubon and Jacques Cousteau ( Washington Post )
In writing and researching The Wild Trees Richard Preston mastered the complex techniques of climbing wild trees himself, techniques that are known by only 20 people in the world. In September 2006 he made the first ascent and measurement of the newly-discovered world’s tallest tree, Hyperion, in a rain-forest valley in Northern California. He has also climbed in the tallest forest canopy in Australia, the so-called “Skeleton Forest” on the Hume Plateau, Victoria, and in Scotland. He also climbs with his children, wife and parents in the trees near their home. His goal is to reveal people and realms that nobody has ever imagined.
Richard Preston, as well as climbing trees, is the bestselling author of The Hot Zone, The Demon in the Freezer and the novel The Cobra Event. A writer for the New Yorker since 1985, Preston is the only non-doctor to have received the Centers for Disease Control's Champion of Prevention Award. He also holds an award from the American Institute of Physics and there is an asteroid the size of lower Manhattan named in his honour.
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Book Description Penguin Books, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110141031905