Gillian Orrell studied modern history at Oxford University before working for nine years as a chartered accountant and management consultant in London. The events described in her first book, New Boots in New Zealand, go some way to explaining why she doesn’t do that any more.

Gillian is now a writer, adventurer, environmentalist and outdoors enthusiast. She also works part-time in a job with computers, because none of the aforementioned activities put food on the table or pay for boots to be resoled. She currently lives in Hexham, in England’s least densely populated county (Northumberland), where there are enough good tracks and friendly people for her to be able to pretend, most of the time, that she is still in New Zealand.

Slippery When Wet: atop Avalanche Peak in the Southern Alps, New Zealand. This is not posing. This is standing up straight without a backpack for the first time in nearly five hours.