Terry Abraham - Life on the Mountains


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In the early days of 2012, reeling from a health scare and redundancy, a 35-year-old Midlands backpacker with a love of cinema, wild places and Lakeland pitched his tent on Scafell Pike and set up a budget camcorder.

It was the start of a journey that has seen Terry Abraham battle blizzards, near-death falls, bitter cold and intense loneliness to make a trilogy of films that have been seen by millions and become the benchmark of Lake District cinematography.


In Life on the Mountains Terry presents more than 100 exclusive photos from a decade on the fells, and speaks candidly about his troubled early life, a disowned father, depression and his love of real ale before revealing the tricks and techniques of his craft and detailing the landscapes he’s grown to love.

From wild nights on Harter Fell to meeting Cumbrian legends; from stalking deer in Martindale to documenting Storm Desmond’s fallout; from dawn shoots of golden-hour panoramas to becoming a campaigning voice for Lakeland, Life on the Mountains is the story of one man’s mission to capture the Lake District as never before – and of finding peace in the fells.​

  • Details

    • 144 pages
    • Full colour
    • Hardback + foil + linen binding
  • Press

    Outdoor writer Chris Townsend

    "Terry Abraham's films on Scafell Pike and Blencathra are much loved and highly successful and the third in his Lakeland trilogy, Helvellyn, is eagerly anticipated. Before that film appears this book about Terry and his life will be published. It's a magnificent coffee table book, packed with Terry's dramatic and beautiful photography. Life on the Mountains is due to come out on May 9. Signed copies can be ordered in advance here.

    I first met Terry Abraham over seven years ago when he approached me about making The Cairngorms In Winter DVD (which makes a cameo appearance in the book). We've been good friends ever since and I knew many of the stories in this book. Quite a few were new to me however and further increased my admiration for him and the struggles he's had to achieve his goals.

    The book is an autobiography, told by Terry to John Manning, who wrote the text. I don't know how much editing was done but John did it well, Terry's voice coming through loud and clear. Reading it I felt I was in a pub listening to Terry talking. This really is his story, and it's a powerful story too, emotionally wrenching and devastatingly honest.

    Despite setbacks including illness and injury Terry never loses sight of his dream. Once he has found his desire, to make the films, he doesn't let up. Reaching this point is difficult too, with career changes, tragedies and redundancy along the way. In the mountains Terry overcomes appalling conditions - there are some exciting and dramatic adventures - as he puts together his vision for the films. Many nights are spent camping high in the hills in all weathers to get the shots he wants. He tells how his approach developed from film to film as his experience grew, and how he selected the people, including myself, who appear in the films. He gives sympathetic portraits of many of them, with a little gentle fun poked at some of us.

    Terry's story is fascinating and inspiring. This lovely book with its superb photographs does it justice. I'm biased of course but this really is an excellent book that should appeal to everyone who loves Terry's films and everyone who loves the Lake District."