In 1973 Peter Matthiessen joined the zoologist George Schaller on a 250 mile trek through the Himalayas to the Dolpo region, who was planning to study the Blue Sheep. For Matthiessen, the lure was the chance to see the very elusive, very rare snow leopard--at the time, only two westerners have ever seen the creature in the wild, and Schaller was one of them.

Matthiessen's journey is a pilgrimage: as a student of Zen this region contains special resonance for him, and the search for the animal, and the chance encounters with others edges towards the allegorical. But it's a rare book: so carefully balanced and delicate, but bursting with energy and wonder.

This is an astonishing piece of travel writing, and of nature writing.

First published in 1978. Winner of the US National Book Award