|"If the book we are
reading does not wake us, as with a fist hammering on our skull, Why then
do we read it? A book must be the ice axe to break the sea frozen within
us" Franz Kafka
Climbing is an intense experience. Many literary
attempts fall short in describing these experiences because of the difficulty
describing them with words. However some books are exceptional. The list
below may have missed a few classics. The following climbing books hammered
The White Spider
By Heinrich Harrer
If you read one climbing book, read this
one. Great classic of the history of the Eiger north face. Reading this
book inspired me to take up climbing.
Touching the Void
By Joe Simpson
If this were fiction, I would dismiss it
as being too imaginative. However, it is not fiction. It is a personal
account of a self-rescue from an impossible situation.
And One for the Crow
By John Redhead
In word and image, not only an account of
Redheads climbs but a thought provoking and stimulating work by this talented
climber and artist. He would probably hate what I just said.
Starlight and Storm
By Gaston Rebuffat
Account of climbing the six great North
faces of the Alps. Rebuffat brought a different philosophy from the assault
and conquer mentality of the earlier German and British climbers to a more
sensory experiential approach.
Feeding the Rat
Fascinating account of the life of Mo Antoine,
the legendary British climber that explores his risk taking motivation.
Mo used the metaphor of rats gnawing within him to describe his passion
Dark Shadows Falling
By Joe Simpson
Using Everest as a metaphor, Simpson explores
fundamental issues from all angles. No holds barred! This is a frank and
honest account. The best book to read in regard to the present day circus
How to be a Master Climber
Ament has presented the essence of climbing
in a unique and interesting form.
Beyond the Vertical
This is a fantastic compilation of Layton
Korís photo collection by this legendary climber. The sections on the Dolomites
and the desert sandstone were spectacular.
Performance Rock Climbing
Udo Neumann and Dale Goddard
The best rock climbing training book available
in English. Covers all aspects of training.
Wolfgang Gullich A Life in
Biography of the late Gullichís climbing
life in word and photo.
Rock Jocks, Wall Rats, and
Tales from Largo always keep me interested.
May 6, 2000