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Mountain Dew

List your TOP 10 Books on Mountain Climbing!!

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The Ascent of Rum Doodle is a must read as a parody of mountaineering. It is hilarious.


Peter Croft's select guide to Sierra classics is a great read even if you don't do any of the routes.


I can't remember the name of the book but John Long had a series of short stories, one of which involved jumping in a water delivery pipe in S. America and racing underground at high velocity before getting dumped into a lagoon, luckily with some clothes still on board. Ever since then I have used the phrase "in the pipe" to portray commitment with only one way out but most don't get it.

Edited by matt_warfield

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I'll go 1/2 and 1/2 narrative and instructional here... and unfortunately I will repeat a few from above:




Minus 148°

Wow. :o


Annapurna South Face, Bonninngton

Just read it, great story, interesting climb, inspiring.


Two Cups of Tea

Not much climbing, but very interesting stories and insight into a mountain culture in a world apart from our own.


Guardians of the Peaks - Mountain Rescue in the Canadian Rockies and Columbia Mountains, Calvert & Portman

A fairly recent book that talks about the history and development of the mountain rescue teams and methods in Canada. As a SAR member this is fascinating stuff, but it is a good book and would probably interest a lot of climbers.







Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain, Tremper

No BS, very detailed, something for the beginner to the pro. I read chunks of it every year around this time. It has ideas that really expanded my thinking about risk and safety in the mountains.


Extreme Alpinism, Mark Twight

Learn about alpine climbing at a level that most of will never achieve, and pick up a few good tips along the way...


Basic Rockcraft, Royal Robbins

Good for a little history... should be taken along with a dose of Downward Bound or any of Tami Knight's fine literature in order to preserve balance in the world. ;)



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2 books not mentioned yet:


- In the Shadow of Denali, Jonathan Waterman

Great short stories centered around his years climbing and working on Denali, but including peripheral elements including the all time classic, "Lone Wolf: The Other Jon Waterman", about the infamous John ("Johnny") Mallon Waterman.


-High Alaska, by Jonathan Waterman. A "historical" guidebook to Denali, Hunter, and Foraker. with compelling stories of the first ascents of each route on these peaks.


A second vote for "Challenge of Rainier" by Molenaar. One of the best portraits of "classical" mountaineering during the golden age, by a terrific guy. Timeless and inspiring.


Also Matt Warfield's reference to Long's short stories- if this is the same book with the story of visiting an extremely primitive tribe's village in Borneo and Long lets one of the natives listen to his Walkman and the guy completely freaks out and destroys the hut they are in while thrashing around and the tribes leader accuses them of "torturing souls and putting them into this box" and they have to make a run for it into the jungle....then yes, one of the funniest stories I have ever read as well as amost entertaining adventure narrative books as well.


"Mountains of My Life", Walter Bonatti


Finally- "Enduring Patagonia" by Greg Crouch.

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Another book not entirely about climbing but relevant and interesting is "Below Another Sky" but Rick Ridgeway. He takes the daughter of a former climbing partner to the Himalaya to try to understand why her dad liked to climb there, and eventually to find the site where he died in an avalanche. Ridgeway was on the expedition when the accident occurred.

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