Mountaineering

20 Best Mountaineering Books ever written

20 Best Mountaineering Books ever written
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Best mountaineering books of all time, Yes, In this books list we talk about. You may know Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer are often turned into Hollywood mountaineering films like Everest

Best mountaineering books even if you’ve never been the mountains before, there’s something totally encapsulating an epic tale of adventure – heroism, and survival in some of the harshest climates on earth.

1. TOUCHING THE VOID BY JOE SIMPSON

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Touching the Void is a book written by mountaineer Joe Simpson that tells the true story of Simpson’s expedition along with Simon Yates.

In 1985, Joe Simpson and Simon Yates climbed the 6,344m peak Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes – and nearly died on the descent. It’s an epic tale of courage and survival that will have you gripped until the very end.

Yates and Simpson were the first to ascend and reach the summit of the Siula Grande, in the Peruvian Andes, following the almost vertical route of the west face. The descent was disastrous, a cluster of misfortunes: First of all, Simpson slipped on a plate of ice and when he fell he broke the tibia near the knee. In the second, they were already seriously delayed because of the bad weather during the ascent; that’s why they ran out of fuel for the heater they used to melt the ice or snow to get drinking water. So before the accident, they had proposed to descend quickly to the base camp, a thousand meters below.

After the mishap of Simpson, his partner devised a system to rescue him (even though the rational thing was to abandon him so that the two did not perish on the mountain): he tied the two fifty meter ropes, each mountaineer staying at each end. Yates was standing in a hole in the snow and winding Simpson by section by mountain using the rope of one hundred meters. However, because the two ropes were tied together, the knot that bound them could not go through the carabiner on Yates’s waist, so Simpson had to stand on his healthy leg to give Yates enough space to do it. pass the knot by the carabiner, and then thread the rope back into the harness device, with the knot on the other side.

Well, the system seemed to work. Until a second disaster took place. Yates could not see where Simpson was going down as it was a hundred meters ahead and the weather conditions did not let see beyond two meters. There came a time of the rescue in which Yates felt all the weight of his partner on the other side of the rope; This would not be a major problem if, when the rope reached the central knot, Simpson could stand to give space to Yates to loosen the rope and pass the knot through the waist carabiner. But this did not happen. The knot arrived and the rope never loosened.

Simpson was suspended on a precipice of more than thirty meters, at the mercy of the blizzard. Yates had been stationed fifty meters up, counterbalancing his entire body against the snow to withstand the tension of the rope. But his position was very unstable. The snow began to give way and, when this process was over, Yates would be dragged by his companion into the abyss. Despite all this Yates endured an hour the dead weight of his partner, until the hours of light practically ended. He made the decision that makes the most dramatic moment of the film: cut the string. Simpson rushed down the cliff.

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SAS Survival Handbook, Third Edition: The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Anywhere
Mountains: Epic Cycling Climbs
Day Hiking Los Angeles: City Parks / Santa Monica Mountains / San Gabriel Mountains
The Best Front Range Hikes (Colorado Mountain Club Guidebooks) (The Colorado Mountain Club GuideBook)
The Best of Outside: The First 20 Years
Best Climbs Rocky Mountain National Park: Over 100 Of The Best Routes On Crags And Peaks (Best Climbs Series)
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SAS Survival Handbook, Third Edition: The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Anywhere
Mountains: Epic Cycling Climbs
Day Hiking Los Angeles: City Parks / Santa Monica Mountains / San Gabriel Mountains
The Best Front Range Hikes (Colorado Mountain Club Guidebooks) (The Colorado Mountain Club GuideBook)
The Best of Outside: The First 20 Years
Best Climbs Rocky Mountain National Park: Over 100 Of The Best Routes On Crags And Peaks (Best Climbs Series)
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SAS Survival Handbook, Third Edition: The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Anywhere
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SAS Survival Handbook, Third Edition: The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Anywhere
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Mountains: Epic Cycling Climbs
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Mountains: Epic Cycling Climbs
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Day Hiking Los Angeles: City Parks / Santa Monica Mountains / San Gabriel Mountains
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Day Hiking Los Angeles: City Parks / Santa Monica Mountains / San Gabriel Mountains
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The Best Front Range Hikes (Colorado Mountain Club Guidebooks) (The Colorado Mountain Club GuideBook)
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The Best of Outside: The First 20 Years
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The Best of Outside: The First 20 Years
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Best Climbs Rocky Mountain National Park: Over 100 Of The Best Routes On Crags And Peaks (Best Climbs Series)
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The next morning while Yates went down alone from the mountain he discovered the crack his friend had fallen through. He knew instantly that such a fall was mortal, so he continued his descent. However, in a surprising way, Simpson had survived, despite falling from thirty meters and broken leg. This fall had been cushioned by an ice bridge located in the middle of the crack through which it fell.

When he retrieved the rope, he discovered that the end was cut off. Even so, in the sorry state he was in, he climbed an ice wall of the grotto to finally exit through a side opening that faced the glacier at the foot of the mountain. From there, it took him three days, without food and with only brief sips of water obtained by melting ice, to reach the base camp by crawling or dropping down the slope. Totally disoriented, he reached the base camp a few hours before Yates left for civilization. The epic of Simpson is considered by the Mountaineers among the legends and most outstanding stories of promotions. It was also made into a hugely popular best mountaineering books documentary in 2003, but we would definitely recommend reading the book first.

Touching the Void of Joe Simpson narrates the epic of the first ascent and dramatic descent of the Siula Grande (6,344 meters) by the west wall in the Peruvian Andes, made by the author of the book with Simon Yates, Touching the Void is a story of survival to the limit narrated in the first person.

Joe Simpson and Simon Yates decided in 1985 to face an adventure into the unknown, climb one of the great new walls of the Peruvian Andes and almost cost them their lives; Touching the void will make us feel the suffering, the pain, of someone who had to save his life, pushing his forces to the limit after suffering an accident in a place where life should have cost him; only his persistence and suffering together with the help of his companion who decided not to abandon him on the mountain, saved him.

We cannot say that Touching the Void has seemed like a great novel neither for the story of the ascension, nor for its narration and even for the descriptive facet of the writer, but it seems to me an example and an incredible story, but true, of as far as the spirit of survival of the human being can go; a great misfortune with some unexpected surprise and, of course, a story of friendship and love for the mountain, where sometimes the silences have more meaning than can be said in words.

Touching the Void of Joe Simpson is a great novel, but it is also a true story that should be known, in 2003 a film – documentary with the same title directed by Kevin MacDonald was filmed.

2. INTO THIN AIR BY JON KRAKAUER

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TOUCHING THE VOID BY JOE SIMPSON

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One of the most famous mountaineering disasters happened on Mount Everest in 1996 when eight climbers were killed when a storm closed in during an expedition. Writer Jon Krakauer was on the trip at the time – and wrote his account of the tragedy.

What can be more moving than a story of survival, especially one with which you identify and wake up so many dreams in a generalized way? It could have been different from how it was given, as well as not. However, each of the people who participated in the expedition to Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world, which Krakauer tells in his book, carried out in 1996, end up being beings whose departure you cry, even if figuratively and from the recondite spaces of your mind.

The book gained criticism at the time from fellow mountaineers on the trip about his account of the Russian climber Anatoli Boukreev. Boukreev wrote his own response to Into Thin Air in his book, The Climb.

 

3. NANGA PARBAT PILGRIMAGE BY HERMANN BUHL 

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NANGA PARBAT PILGRIMAGE BY HERMANN BUHL

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Nanga Parbat is the autobiography of Hermann Buhl who climbed Nanga Parbat, the ninth highest mountain in the world. It was published just after his climb in 1953 and inspired a whole generation of mountaineers. Some even describe this to be a greater achievement than Hillary and Tenzing’s Everest climb.

 

4. STARLIGHT AND STORM: THE ASCENT OF THE SIX GREAT NORTH FACES OF THE ALPS BY GASTON RÉBUFFAT

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STARLIGHT AND STORM

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Gaston Rébuffat was the famous Alpine guide who climbed six of the most treacherous north faces in Europe in the 1950s – the Grand Jorasses, the Piz Badile, the Drus, the Matterhorn, the Cima Grande di Laveredo and the Eiger.

But this great classic of alpine literature offers us much more than a set of stories of ascents, prestigious by themselves. It transmits the story of the voracious mountain vocation of a young Marseillaise, who has become one of the most famous contemporary mountaineers. It is also, despite the sometimes dramatic episodes, an account of a profoundly human adventure, since according to Rébuffat, the high mountain is first and foremost a matter of friendship, both among the men who climb it and between them and the peaks that they want to conquer. More than any other, the author has the gift of transmitting this mysterious passion called mountaineering, and of getting the reader to breathe the subtle air of altitude. Published for the first time in 1954, and translated into numerous languages, STARLIGHT AND STORM is the masterpiece of Gaston Rébuffat .

He was also known for pushing the limits of what was humanly possible at that time. It was the first time a mountain guide had written about his exploits in such a readable, poetic way.

 

5. THE WHITE SPIDER BY HEINRICH HARRER

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THE WHITE SPIDER BY HEINRICH HARRER

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Mountaineer, writer and Olympic sportsman, Heinrich Harrer was a member of the legendary team that completed in 1938 the coveted first ascent to the North Wall of the Eiger – known as the “Murderous Wall”. The white spider is a classic tale of that feat told with paralyzing realism and narrative verve worthy of the author of Seven Years in Tibet.

But Harrer, in addition to the climber who offers the public the story of his own climb, also assumes the role of historian, introducing us with great technical precision and fast-paced, in the history of the dramatic previous attempts to climb the fearsome wall. These were developed in an environment of fierce sports competition and led to a long list of victims. Among them, perhaps the most tragic case was that of the young Toni Kurz, who agonizes for long hours hanging on a rope a few meters from a rescue team, who can not do anything to save his life.

It also includes a chronicle of the most important activities on the north wall of the Eiger until now, with winter repeats, openings of new routes and solo activities.

Harrer writes about two missions to climb the north face of the Eiger – the one in 1935 that ended in tragedy and the successful climb in 1958. It’s a harrowing account that captures the history and ordeals of scaling the famous north face of best mountaineering books of all time.

The white spider of Heinrich Harrer tells the dramatic story of the ascent to the Eiger wall, from the first attempts to the successive ascents, repetitions and solo climbs through the first ascent of the wall of which he was a member with Anderl Heckmair , Fritz Kasparek and Ludwig Vörg.

The history of the Eiger wall is a chronicle of death but also of struggle for survival and in its beginnings a race to be the first to achieve the great feat, climbing “the Murderous Wall” as it was known for quite some time.

The most interesting of the White Spider is to know firsthand how was the first climb of the Eiger, the solution to one of the biggest problems of mountaineering before the 2nd World War, a success achieved thanks to the persistence of a group of human beings He joined forces to achieve a double objective, leaving alive where few had previously achieved and be the first to ascend the wall after performing several precarious bivouacs in it.

The title of the book, the White Spider, responds to the particular form of the last of the snows that climbers had to go through before reaching the summit, the last problem to be solved until finding the edge that allowed without too many problems to leave the wall and Quickly search the top.

The direct and unambiguous style of Heinrich Harrer brings us closer to the painful tragedies that took place before and after the first escalation, some of them considered among the most dramatic in the history of mountaineering, such as that of the young Toni Kurz who agonized very close to salvation after losing one after another to all his companions, even reaching verbal communication with those who tried to rescue him.Retired at the last moment, bivouacs to the limit, storms in the middle of the wall without being able to escape from them, temperatures of 30º below zero, hurricane-force winds make up the history of the Eiger, as well as some mysteries surrounding the events of those who did not leave alive.

The white spider by Heinrich Harrer: The dramatic story of the ascent to the Eiger wall, is a good book to feel extreme mountaineering, to try to understand the companionship of situations to the limit and the importance of trust in a rope, the author leaves nothing to chance and judges the facts when he sees fit and tries to unravel the mysteries of those episodes that no one could count.

 

6. THE SHINING MOUNTAIN BY PETER BOARDMAN

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THE SHINING MOUNTAIN BY PETER BOARDMAN

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“It’s a preposterous plan. Still, if you do get up it, I think it’ll be the hardest thing that’s been done in the Himalayas.”

These were the words of mountaineer Chris Bonington when he was asked by Peter Boardman and Joe Tasker in 1976 to join them to climb the west wall of Indian mountain Changabang – otherwise known as the Shining Mountain.

It’s a funny, readable and honest account of climbing the technically challenging peak which had never been attempted as a two-man lightweight team.

Peter Boardman was born on Christmas Day in 1950 and became one of Britain’s most-respected high altitude mountaineers. He was a mountaineering instructor at the Glenmore Lodge in the Cairngorms, and was appointed National Officer of the Mountaineering Council before being appointed Director of the International School of Mountaineering in Leysin, Switzerland.

He was part of Chris Bonington’s 1975 Everest Expedition, made an almost impossibly difficult ascent of Changabang with Joe Tasker in 1976 and went on to climb Kangchenjunga and K2, being beaten back by poor weather and exhaustion. Mount Kongur followed in 1981, in March 1982, in a small expedition with Chris Bonington, Joe Tasker and Dick Renshaw, he attempted the previously unclimbed and highly difficult North East Ridge of Everest, where he and Joe Tasker tragically lost their lives. Peter and Joe left two legacies.

It’s a great endeavor, it’s a great way to get the most out of it. Peter’s talent for writing emerged through his climbing career. Sacred Summits, published shortly after his death, the climbing year of 1979, the trips to New Guinea, Kangchenjunga and Gaurisankar.

The shining mountain is a funny, readable and honest account of climbing the technically challenging peak which had never been attempted as a two-man lightweight team.

 

7. SPACE BELOW MY FEET BY GWEN MOFFAT

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SPACE BELOW MY FEET BY GWEN MOFFAT

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This is the fascinating story of Gwen Moffat who deserted her post as an Army driver and went to Wales and Cornwall to live rough and go climbing.

She hitch-hiked from Skye to Chamonix with barely more than a climbing rope and a sleeping bag on her – picking up odd jobs along the way from posing as an artist’s model to becoming a ship helmswoman.

She tackled some of Europe’s toughest climbs and went on to become the first woman to qualify as a mountain guide.

 

8. A SLENDER THREAD BY STEPHEN VENABLES

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A SLENDER THREAD BY STEPHEN VENABLES

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While scaling the unclimbed mountain Panch Chuli in the Himalayas, Stephen Venables’ abseil failed and he fell, smashing into the rocky mountainside, before finding himself seriously wounded and suspended by his rope above a 50-degree ice field. This is the story of how he survived – with the help of teammate Chris Bonington.

Stephen Venables and three companions made the first ascent of Panchu Chuli V—a remote Himalayan peak on the borders of India, Nepal and Tibet. A rappel anchor failed on the descent, pitching Venables into a 300-foot fall. Crashing through the black night, flung from rock to rock, he assumed that he was plunging to his death. Against all odds he survived, but was left stranded 19,000 feet above a labyrinth of glaciers and snow slopes with two broken legs, the threat of gangrene, and scant food or medical supplies. If he was to return to his wife and son waiting at home some 5000 miles away, Venables knew he had to draw on his reserve of courage and determination. The third Adrenaline Classic, A Slender Thread is a spellbinding account of Venables’ survival—and his committed teamwork which brought him to safety.

 

9. SAVAGE ARENA BY JOE TASKER

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SAVAGE ARENA BY JOE TASKER

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Joe Tasker was born in 1948 in Hull, UK. He started climbing at a young age and immediately moved on to climbing in the Alps. He soon progressed to the Himalayas, where he quickly became one of the first to attempt highly technical faces at altitude, such as his first ascent of the West Wall of Changabang (together with Peter Boardman) and countless other ascents. In 1982, he and his climbing partner Peter Boardman took part in a British expedition to attempt the unclimbed NE ridge of Everest, from which both never returned.

The two also had another special talent, namely writing. In order to commemorate their lives, in 1983 their families and friends established the “Boardman Tasker Award”, which even today is recognised as the world’s most prestigious award for mountain literature. In the 70’s and 80’s Joe Tasker was a staunch supporter of the alpine style mountaineering on world’s biggest mountain faces and he is considered one of the purest of most outstanding alpinists of all times.

Joe Tasker and his climber partner Chris Boardman were known in their day for pushing the boundaries of mountaineering.

Savage Arena details his achievements – including ascending the north face of the Eiger in winter and a new route on Kangchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world and one of the most difficult 8000ers.

Tasker delivered the transcript to his publisher just as he left for an Everest expedition in 1982 – and sadly never returned.

10. A SHORT WALK IN THE HINDU KUSH BY ERIC NEWBY

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A SHORT WALK IN THE HINDU KUSH BY ERIC NEWBY

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Acclaimed travel writer Eric Newby left his home in London and embarked on a journey from Mayfair to Afghanistan with his friend Hugh Carless.

Totally inexperienced and underprepared, the pair finds themselves on a month-long adventure in one of the most beautiful places on earth, captured in writing with Newby’s characteristic wit and sharp observations.

The Hindu Kush is a mountain range of the Asian continent that extends throughout the territories of Afghanistan and Pakistan . No less than a thousand kilometers make up this massif, which reaches 7690 meters above sea level at its highest point, the Tirich Mir. Historically, the expedition of Alexander the Great made this region known to the Greeks, who called it Parapamisos .

This was the setting chosen by Eric Newby , an English writer and traveler who takes us on trips through a succession of attempts and failures. Proposed to climb one of the highest peaks of the Hindu Kush, this former sailor and war hero turned into a haute couture salesman decides to abandon his life, already tired of young models and his routine life in the city. After having conquered the peak Mir Samir, the impossible Nuristan is posed as a challenge and thus will find an almost inaccessible place on our planet.

With humor and a pleasant narrative style, Newby is able to make the reader fall in love with the place where he is, with wonderful landscapes, and the adventure he embarked on. The result of this journey gave rise to one of the most emblematic travel books of recent years.

A tour of the Hindu Kush was published in 1958 and since then it has not stopped captivating readers all over the world. The author, in the company of his friend, set course towards the northeast of Afghanistan, and there we are immersed in a peculiar painting that combines the oriental world with these two Westerners and their traditional and fine English humor .

 

11. K2: The Savage Mountain by Charles Houston and Robert Bates

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K2

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Charles Houston (the author) led the 1953 American bid to be the first to reach the top of the second highest mountain in the world, K2, and be the first to reach the top of an 8,000-meter peak.

The adventure was full of peril and Houston’s book was full of harrowing moments.

Most notably, this is the climb where Pete Schoening pulled off the most memorable feat in all of the best mountaineering books— a miracle that saved the tragic expedition from being completely wiped out along with Houston’s significant tale.

When the eleven climbers died on K2 on August 1, 2008, it was a strong reminder that the world’s second highest mountain has, for more than a century, been regarded as the most difficult and dangerous of all top, one dies in the attempt. K2, The Savage Mountain tells the dramatic story of the 1953 American expedition, led by Charles S. Houston, when a combination of terrible storms and illness stopped the team short of the 28,251-foot summit. Dan op de descent, tragedie sloeg, en hoe de klimmers het terugkwamen, is beroemd in de annals of climbing. K2, The Savage Mountain captures this sensational tale with an unmatched power that has earned this book its place as one of the classics of best mountaineering books /literature.

 

Charles Houston (the author) led the 1953 American bid to be the first to reach the top of the second highest mountain in the world, K2, and be the first to reach the top of an 8,000-meter peak.

 

12. Everest: The West Ridge by Tom Hornbein

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Everest The West Ridge by Tom Hornbein

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The top of Everest had already been reached, but the mountain was still mysterious. Tom Hornbein writes about the second American ascent of the mountain and ascent of the boldest line to the top at that time.

He and Willi Unsoeld chose the committing route of the West Ridge and to complete the route by the first traverse of the peak.

Hornbein tells the story, which included a dramatic bivouac just below the summit, with energy and the confidence of a bold explorer.

Not only did Hornbein play a crucial role in one of the most extraordinary accomplishments in the history of mountaineering, his account of the feat is one of the finest things ever written about this peculiar, hazardous, and uncommonly engaging pursuit.

 

13. Scrambles Amongst the Alps in the Years 1860-69 by Edward Whymper

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Scrambles Amongst the Alps in the Years 1860-69 by Edward Whymper

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This is the oldest book to make this brief list of climbing books; it was written in 1870 by the legendary Edward Whymper.

It tells the earliest adventures in the Alps, while providing practical instruction (like how to tie into a rope for glacier travel).

At that time, mountainous regions were no longer considered wastelands or “boils”; they began to be romanticized and became the site for new “sporting” activities. Most notably, Whymper covers his multiple attempts to climb the iconic Matterhorn. Despite the book’s age, it remains very readable.

 

14. Annapurna: A Woman’s Place by Arlene Blum 

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Annapurna A Woman’s Place by Arlene Blum

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Climbing Annapurna is more dangerous than K2, based on the ratio of climbers to climbers’ fatalities per mountain.

To make a point about the power of women, Arlene Blum organized an all women’s team to climb Annapurna.

To raise money for her quest, she even sold tee shirts that said, “A woman’s place is on top.

She was provocative, controversial and inspiring. While there has been controversy about how the ascent was actually executed, the value and pioneering spirit transcend any allegations, which is why it lands in the list of top 10 mountain climbing books.

Expedition leader Arlene Blum here tells their dramatic story: the logistical problems, storms, and hazardous ice climbing; the conflicts and reconciliations within the team; the terror of avalanches that threatened to sweep away camps and climbers.

 

15. The Crystal Horizon by Reinhold Messne|Best Mountaineering Books

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The Crystal Horizon by Reinhold Messner

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Reinhold Messner repeatedly broke boundaries, but this soliloquy of his second journey to the surface’s highest point, and his first alone brings the reader close to feeling like an alpinist by merely turning the page.

His writing has been called “dry” by some, but that’s actually because he restrains his enormous ego to share his moment-to-moment thoughts during his climb and the events that passed during his ascent to stand on their own collective merits.

More than an adventure, this captures Messner’s reflections on Tibet and the climbers who have gone before him. Messner ranks among the most accomplished mountaineers in history. This edition brings a mountaineering classic back into print On August 20, 1980, Reinhold Messner, the world-renowned master of alpine-style climbing, became the first person to reach the summit of Everest solo and without supplemental oxygen. A vivid account of Messner’s expedition, The Crystal Horizon also reflects on how he explored his innermost thoughts while facing the most extreme physical challenge he had ever encountered. The furthest point for mind and body he calls his crystal horizon. Inspired by the legendary mountaineers George Mallory and Maurice Wilson, Messner embarked on a year-long journey through Tibet to the glittering light and rarified air at the roof of the world. More than an adventure story, this is Messner’s profound reflection on his emotional reactions to Tibet, the challenges he faced, and the explorations of self inspired by this amazing journey.

 

16. The Mountain of My Fear by David Roberts

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The Mountain of My Fear by David Roberts

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David Robert’s book is listed as the third climbing book on National Geographic’s extensive ranking of the Top 100 Greatest Adventure Books of All Time, after Herzog’s Annapurna and Krakauer’s Into Thin Air, respectively.

Roberts retells his story, with unparalleled insight, of putting up the most progressive climb in Alaska to date, the Harvard Route on Mount Huntington.

 

17. No Picnic on Mount Kenya by Felice Benuzzi

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No Picnic on Mount Kenya by Felice Benuzzi

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Locked up in a prisoner of war camp in Africa during World War II, soldier and mountaineer Felice Benuzzi could see Mount Kenya from his jail.

He knew escaping from the prison to political freedom was futile because the surrounding desert was so vast. On the other hand, breaking out just for the opportunity to attempt the technical Mount Kenya was something that would break up his boredom and redeem his time. That was, of course, if he could escape, navigate his way, and survive the ascent.

A rediscovered mountaineering classic and the extraordinary true story of a daring escape up Mount Kenya by three prisoners of war.

When the clouds covering Mount Kenya part one morning to reveal its towering peaks for the first time, prisoner of war Felice Benuzzi is transfixed. The tedium of camp life is broken by the beginnings of a sudden idea – an outrageous, dangerous, brilliant idea.

There are not many people who would break out of a P.O.W. camp, trek for days across perilous terrain before climbing the north face of Mount Kenya with improvised equipment, meagre rations, and with a picture of the mountain on a tin of beef among their more accurate guides. There are probably fewer still who would break back in to the camp on their return.

But this is the remarkable story of three such men. No Picnic on Mount Kenya is a powerful testament to the human spirit of revolt and adventure in even the darkest of places.

The history of mountaineering can hardly present a parallel to this mad but thrilling escapade.

The book crackles with the same dry humour as its title. It contains the prison-yard bartering and candlelight stitching that mark a classic jailbreak yarn; the encounters with wild beasts in Mount Kenya’s forest belt are as gripping, and the descriptions of sparkling glaciers as awe-inspiring, as any passage in the great exploration diaries of the early 20th century.

19. The Shining Mountain by Peter Boardman

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THE SHINING MOUNTAIN BY PETER BOARDMAN

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I shared a preliminary list of some experts and Dougald McDonald, the editor-in-chief at Climbing magazine and the Executive Editor at the American Alpine Club, pointed out that I left this off my list.

(I immediately slapped my forehead, to say, “Of course!”)

Written by Peter Boardman, a member of the dynamic duo of the Boardman Tasker Prize of the Boardman-Tasker Mountain Literature Award, the book takes the reader on an alpinist’s quest, and the journey is committing.

 

19. Annapurna by Maurice Herzog

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Annapurna by Maurice Herzog

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This retelling of the first ascent of an 8,000-meter peak, by Maurice Herzog, is actually the number one climbing book on National Geographic’s extensive ranking of adventure books.

While disputes about the book’s accuracy have recently arisen, the significance of the ascent and the dramatic storytelling of the pioneering climb renders the criticisms as minor, especially compared to the influence this book has had in inspiring future generations of climbers around the world.

On the morning of June 3, 1950 Maurice Herzog ( Lyon , France , January 15 , 1919 ), mountaineer and politician French , and Louis Lachenal launched the final attack on the Annapurna summit. They were about to write a brilliant page in the history of mountaineering. In the early afternoon, as Herzog says in his book, “a brutal wind whips us. We are … about the Annapurna. Eight thousand seventy-five meters. “(The height accepted today is 8,190 m ). It was the first conquered Ochomil and culmination of an expedition that left Paris on March 30, 1950 by plane. It had three and a half tons of the most modern climbing equipment of the time, among which was the nylon, material with which the jackets, stores and ropes were made. The team was made up of Jean Couzy, Louis Lachenal, Gaston Rébuffat, Marcel Schatz and Lionel Terray. Jacques Oudot It was the expedition doctor, Marcel Ichac the photographer and Francis de Noyelle, the liaison officer. The group was led by Maurice Herzog, Secretary General of the High Mountain Group, and was supported by eight sherpas under Sirdar Angtharkey.

After making the summit they take some photos and start a descent that was epic. Herzog loses the gloves and Lachenal slips and hits a big blow. They arrive at field V where they are helped by Gaston Rébuffat and Lyonel Terray, who had risen to make an attempt to the summit. The state of Lachenal and Herzog is worrisome. Both suffer severe freezing on their feet and Herzog, who came down with fingers wrapped in a handkerchief, also in his hands.

They continue the descent and must spend the night in a crevice, with a single sleeping bag for four. An avalanche covers the crack where they take refuge, and they can barely get out alive. They are too many hours in height, with the equipment that was used at the time, and all present the first symptoms of snow ophthalmia. They are partially blind and must walk in fits and starts, guided by shadows and reflections.

Finally, it arrives to them the help of the bulk of the group with Marcel Schatz and the Sherpas. The doctor of the expedition, Jacques Oudot, attends the Lachenal and Herzog freezes with novocaine injections.

The top team had to be helped to get around, they were dragged on stretchers on skis through the snow and on the back of the porters in the jungle. At the stops, the doctor examined them and amputated the necrotic parts of his fingers without anesthesia. He later told that he cut through where the worms appeared.

Finally they land in Paris. His arrival in Orly is a reception reserved only for heroes. There is gathered all the gala press of the time, which already has a positive news with which to encourage a depressed and ruined France, struggling to get out of the aftermath of the World War. President Charles de Gaulle then received them in the Elysée palace. It is the apotheosis.

The hardest comes next. They go to the hospital and Herzog loses all the fingers and toes and Lachenal, the toes.

But it was worth it. The answer is in the book by Maurice Herzog: “The Annapurna, towards which we would all have gone empty-handed, is a treasure on which we will live … With this realization, a page is folded … A new life begins. There are other Annapurna in the lives of men … ”

 

20.  The Mountains of My Life by Walter Bonatti

Best Mountaineering books

The Mountains of My Life by Walter Bonatti

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This is the autobiography of Walter Bonatti also a best mountaineering books

He is arguably one of the greatest mountaineers of all time based on his originality, pioneering accomplishments, and tenure.

The book meets up to the standard of the man and that’s why it’s number one on this list of the best mountaineering books /climbing books.

In this unique, sincere and stressful autobiography, Walter Bonatti  recounts his life as a climber, in which formidable ascents are mixed with dramatic human experiences. The book presents the reader with all the golden age of classical alpinism that were the 50s and 60s, while we know in detail the most important exploits of the author: the first ascent to the east wall of the Great Capucin, the dramatic Italian expedition to K2? considered the most difficult summit of the Himalayas ?, the Pilar del Dru, the tragedy of the Pilar Central del Frêney, the Gasherbrum IV, the lonely wintry to the north face of the Matterhorn. It is then, at the peak of glory, when suddenly Bonatti decides to abandon the mountaineering and devote himself to exploration and adventure in the wildest regions of the world, as a journalist for the weekly Epoca .

 

Mountains of a lifetime also reveals the reason for this unexpected abandonment, but above all it is an unparalleled testimony of how mountains can become a school of honesty, sensitivity and strength.

Walter Bonatti made his mark with his incredible ascents. In 1996, he published for the first time his memoirs. Each chapter is dedicated to one of the mountains that has forged its character and experience: the Grand Capucin, the K2, the Grandes Jorasses, the Matterhorn, the peaks of Patagonia or the Mont-Blanc massif, where it bordered on death and saved lives.

The exceptional career of a pioneer of extreme mountaineering, which will end in 1965 after an unprecedented performance.

 

About Andrew Szalay

Andrew-Szalay-

Andrew Szalay is a Washingtonian (the D.C. kind) that believes climbing matters — especially when you live in a metropolitan area. He writes a blog, called The Suburban Mountaineer, about mankind’s accomplishments in the mountains and climbing culture, and he aspires to be an expert on best mountaineering books literature.

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