All That Glitters

A Climber's Journey Through Addiction and Depression

By (author): Margo Talbot
ISBN 9781771604338
Softcover | Publication Date: September 29, 2020
Book Dimensions: 5.5 in. x 8.5 in.
204 Pages

About the Book

World-renowned ice climber Margo Talbot shares her compelling story of healing and self-discovery amid the frozen landscapes of the planet.

Born and raised in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Margo Talbot grew up with a distant mother who “ruled the household with her eyes”; a father who opted to spend much of his time away from home; and four siblings struggling to deal with their particular domestic situation. As a result of her family’s dysfunction and her own growing mental illness, young Margo rarely smiled, had difficulty connecting with others, and was plagued with a black wave of anger and sadness that overshadowed much of the world around her. In time, drugs, alcohol, sex, and violence became her primary ways to connect with herself and others.

From the depths of suicidal depression and a conversation with Death, Talbot eventually found solace and redemption in both the healing power of nature and the glory of climbing frozen landscapes in some of the world’s most pristine and challenging environments. Heartbreaking, honest, energizing, and inspiring All That Glitters is a remarkable memoir that shines a fresh light of hope on mental illness.

About the Author(s)

Margo Talbot is a climber and speaker who works with youth-at-risk and addictions programs, as well as individuals and organizations looking to enhance their mental fitness through a focus on vitality and resilience. A professional athlete, she teaches ice-climbing clinics all over North America. Her work has taken her from the Arctic to Antarctica, guiding clients on expeditions to the South Pole and Antarctica’s tallest peak, Mount Vinson. She is the creator of “The Vitality Spectrum,” an essential tool for both recovery and optimal mental health as outlined in her 2013 TEDx talk “Climbing Out of Addiction and Depression.” Learn more about Margo at She lives in Canmore, Alberta.


“It’s a testament to Margo’s fierce independence that she didn’t reveal her crippling illness to more than just a couple of close friends. By finally sharing her story in All That Glitters, she at once provides the uninitiated with a well-documented glimpse at this little-understood mood disorder, and hope for those who suffer from it. Give it a read and spread the word. It could change your life or the life of a loved one.” —Pat Morrow, author of Searching for Tao Canyon

“This inspiring real-life story shows us that our lives’ biggest challenges can also be our greatest opportunities for personal growth, transformation, and enlightenment. Margo is magnificent!” —Bill Phillips, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Body-for-LIFE

“This is as much or more a story of climbing from the darkness to the light as it is of climbing mountains. Climbing is hard, but this remarkable story proves that the most difficult place to find is not a distant summit but peace with the savage terrain between our ears.” —Will Gadd, top climber, speaker, author, and risk manager

“Margo’s story inspires us all to never stop believing. To question that which doesn’t make sense. To know in our hearts that there can be a happy ending if we’re prepared to look for it…” —Warren Macdonald, author of A Test of Will

“This disarmingly frank self-portrait of a life almost off the rails is a roadmap to redemption.” —Greg Child, author of Over the Edge

“The glittering eye of the addict, the glittering gold of the drug-runner, the glittering ice of the frozen waterfall – any of these can kill. How did Margo Talbot survive such fatal attractions? It’s one hell of a story.” —Ben Gadd, author of Handbook of the Canadian Rockies

“All That Glitters is a tough read, but a powerful one.” –

“In her direct, heartbreakingly honest memoir All That Glitters, Talbot details the darkness that nearly killed her – but that also ultimately made her the fierce vertical warrior she remains to this day.” — Matt Samet, former editor-in-chief of Climbing magazine and author of Death Grip: A Climber’s Escape from Benzo Madness (2013)