Charles Allen was born in India, where six generations of his family served under the British Raj. After being educated in England, he returned to the Indian sub-continent in 1966 to work with Voluntary Service Overseas in Nepal. He ended his service with a long walk through the Himalayas that won him the Sunday Telegraph Traveller of the year trophy in 1967. Since then he has trekked and climbed extensively in the Himalayas and in other corners of the world. He is the author of many highly acclaimed books.