The Climb

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Title: The Climb
Publisher: "First Edition Books" (a publishing service)
Author(s): Trinette Kern
Cover Artist(s): not credited, but it is Signe Landon
Illustrator(s): not credited, but it is Trinette Kern
Date(s): 1976
Medium: print
Genre: gen
Fandom: Star Trek:TOS
Language: English
External Links:
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The Climb is a gen 137-page novel by Trinette Kern

From Boldly Writing: "The author and publisher of The Climb, became popular among the non-sexual K&S relationship fans, whom she mainly wrote for."

It has a publication date of 1976 and was published by "First Edition Books" out of Pittsburgh. [1] This edition contains 137 pages, a cover by Signe Landon (uncredited), and interior art by Kern.

flyer from Off the Beaten Trek #3, click to read
In October 1976, the author wrote:
It is being professionally published, and my publisher tells me that it won't be released for another 4 to 6 weeks...apparently in time for the Christmas sales. Publishers take time, so while we re going crazy with impatience, please believe that I'm probably excited and anxious than you are about it. It will be a paperback book, and the cover's by Signe Landon. [2]
Summary from a blurb by Kern in Off the Beaten Trek #2:
My first full-length ST novel about the circumstances surrounding the beginnings of the Kirk/Spock friendship. A youthful Captain Kirk joins his first officer on a mountain climb that becomes more than a test of survival and courage. They must lear to trust one another, or die, and in striving together for a goal, find in one another a friend worth one's like. Professional published in paperback. Available by Christmas '76.


Interior Sample

Reactions and Reviews


The Climb focuses on the Kirk-Spock relationship and its beginnings. The reviewers gave the art a poor to mediocre rating and the fiction a mediocre to fair. Mispellings are distracting, and so are some of the typing mistakes. Trinette needs to learn about correction fluid. One reviewer was disappointed, 'Story had great possibilities, but it failed. Unnerving that the planet is so like Earth, Including wolves, weasels, sharks, scandinavian-like natives. Outrageous price for type of reproduction.'... One year after Jim Kirk has taken command of the Enterprise, and long before the warm and loving relationships we are so accustomed to among the top command have coalesced. Interested? The story opens with a six week's R & R for the entire crew, while the Big E undergoes extensive repairs at nearby Starbase 6, being flown there by a repair crew after beam down of the normal complement to the vacation and resort planet called "Winter" (after its explorer; all seasons are available for vacation activities as chosen). Dialog feels a little stiff fhe first few pages, but after Kirk learns Spock is about to undertake a solitary climb to the top of the glaciated mountain, Sibu, and decides to invite himself, (deceiving Spock about the amount of his previous experience), it is all a pure delight. A lot of the interest is generated in the journals of the two men, logged each day and recording their very individual points of view, beginning with their purely formal relationship, melding them first out of grim necessity with fascinating (you should pardon the expression) of the Captain, through incredible feats of inhuman strength and endurance on the part of Spock, as they go from more or less competing with each other to a very satisfying situation of male bonding in its purest form, by the end ... The exquisite detail of climbers' problems serves to underpin and emphasize the deepening friendship and understanding as it develops between Kirk and Spock, and the author uses a minimum of unbelievable situations 23rd century Starfleet officers could be expected to get themselves into where their technology cannot rescue them from the age-old battle with nature ... Regardless, while I must say I enjoyed the story, I must also agree with the reviewer who complained about the price—$5.00 or thereabouts is an outrageous price to pay. The story just isn't that good. [3]
Basically, this is the story of a mountain climb made by Spock (who, for the sake of this story, is an expert mountain climber) and Kirk (who is a novice at the sport). The climb is hazardous and winter blizzards are fast approaching. When they have almost reached the summit, they are informed that another mountain climbing party has lost its guide and that they [Kirk and Spock] are the chance of getting those other people off the mountain alive. From that point on, Spock and Kirk are engaged in a race against, time, the weather, and quickly exhausted food supplies to get the survivors off the mountain before they get snowed in or die of starvation. All in all, this zine's quality of writing is well above the average of Trekfic. But, I have one purely personal prejudice against the story: the attitude of about the first thirty or so pages, Spock is so great it hurts my eyes to look at him due to to the sunlight glinting off his halo. And most of what Kirk does seems designed to make Spock look good. But, most fans won't even notice that, because the story is that good. The emphasis of the story is on developing friendship between Kirk and Spock during the long ordeal, to this will especially interest fans whose interest is the 'Kirk/Spock [the reviewer does not mean slash] relationship. [4]


The Climb by Trinette Kern, is a short novel printed and bound as a book - not as a paperback, yet not as a hardcover edition. After having who-keeps-count number of zines fall apart because of poor stapling, The Climb is a joy to read just be cause of the quality binding.

The story takes place one solar year after Kirk has taken command of the Enterprise. An ion storm has caused irreparable damage to the ship. Kirk contacts Starfleet Command for a relief crew to take the ship onto Star Base 6. The entire crew of the Enterprise will then have approximately six weeks of R & R, and they just happen to be near a Federation planet well known for its reputation as a rest port.

That's the beginning of the story. From this basic premise, the story could go in any one of many directions. Trinette has, instead, decided to center the story around Spock and Kirk. Spock, for reasons unknown to Kirk, has decided to climb the highest peak in a certain mountain range. The captain talks his way into going with Spock and the two start out.

At this point in time the two men are nothing more than Captain and First Officer. While they have worked together for one year, no thing more has developed between them. The close friendship that was so evident between them has not yet begun to grow. The Climb is the story of this blossoming. The hardships and trials that are endured during the climb and how they individually react to each situation and to each other is the plot.

By the time the story ends the difference between the two officers is very noticeable. The beginnings of their long and lasting friendship are firmly planted. They will no longer worry about how they look to each other. "Friends" will take on a new meaning and the two men together will become the best Captain and First Officer team in the Fleet.

Trinette has done a very good job in her characterizations. What start ed out as just a hard climb lasting two weeks, quite suddenly takes on some major setbacks. Vulcan Spock reacts one way, while the very Human Kirk reacts still another way. They counteract, complement each other. Alone neither one would have done what together they did and had to do.

Read and ponder over The Climb. It is definitely one of the better fan novels out and hence, well worth the money. [5]


  1. from a flyer at the back of that edition of "the Climb": "CAN WE PUBLISH AND SELL YOUR BOOK? If you are tired of being rejected by large, trade publishing houses, and are insulted by vanity publishing houses, we invite you to submit your manuscript to: FIRST EDITION BOOKS/PUBLISHERS... We are an author/publisher cooperative. • We market and distribute our own books. • We pay our authors royalties every three months. • We consider all non-fiction and fiction manuscripts. • We provide special editing services."
  2. from the editorial of Off the Beaten Trek #2
  3. The Climb was one of the fanzines reviewed in the first The Fanzine Review Zine.
  4. From The Halkan Council #20/21.
  5. from Fleet #12 (May 1977)