Avay Shukla belongs to the Indian Administrative Service and has served in Himachal Pradesh for 30 years. He is president of the Himachal Pradesh Trekking Association and a founder member of the Ecotourism Society of India. He is an unapologetic conservationist and has quite often found this clashing with his role as a government servant, a trait portrayed honestly in this book. His passion for nature has seen him tramping up and down the remotest areas of this mountain state for the last 20 years. His detailed account of some of the major and more difficult treks is unique in that he brings to bear on these journeys his administrative insights and experience, which adds depth and perspective to his observations and narrative. The author is now retired and settled in a small village (pop. 225; 224 when his wife dumps him for Delhi, which is quite often) 20 km above Shimla. He is a relentless blogger and spends his remaining time tending to his apple plants and looking for golf balls that he unerringly drives into the forests every time.

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