41 years, Australia

Daily Mountain

41 years, Australia

8 months ago

Top-5 Climbing Books (Part One)

Ok, we talked about movies about a week ago. Let's pass over to books about climbing and climbers, about how it is — to be brave and move ahead. Some of them still cause a lot of dispute. Please share your opinion, maybe it'll be quite the opposite. Don't forget to tell us what other climbing books you know — we're keen on reading! 

1. Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster

It  is a 1997 bestselling non-fiction book written by Jon Krakauer. It details the author's presence at Mount Everest during the 1996 disaster there, in which eight climbers were killed and several others were stranded by a "rogue storm". The author's expedition was led by the famed guide Rob Hall, and there were other groups trying to summit on the same day, including one led by Scott Fischer, whose guiding agency, Mountain Madness, was perceived as a competitor to Rob Hall's agency, Adventure Consultants.

2. The Climb (1997), republished as The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest

It is an account by Russian-Kazakhstani mountaineer Anatoli Boukreev of the 1996 Everest Disaster, during which eight climbers died on the mountain. The co-author, G. Weston DeWalt — who was not part of the expedition — provides accounts from other climbers and ties together the narrative of Boukreev's logbook.

The book is also partially a response to Jon Krakauer's account of the same 1996 Everest climb in his novel Into Thin Air (1997), which appeared to criticize some of Boukreev's actions during the climb.

3. Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time 

This book by Greg Mortenson and Davis Oliver Relin has been published in 2007. 

Three Cups of Tea describes Mortenson's transition from a registered male nurse and mountain-climber to a humanitarian committed to reducing poverty and elevating education for girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan. 

The book's title was inspired by a saying: "The first time you share tea with a Balti, you are a stranger. The second time you take tea, you are an honored guest. The third time you share a cup of tea, you become family...".

In April 2011, critiques and challenges of the book and Mortenson surfaced. Author Jon Krakauer alleged that a number of Mortenson's claims in the book are fictitious and accused him of mismanaging CAI funds.

4. Touching the Void

It is a 1988 book by Joe Simpson, recounting his and Simon Yates' successful but disastrous and nearly fatal climb of the 6,344-metre (20,813 foot) Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes in 1985.

Simpson and Yates reach the summit of the previously unclimbed West Face of Siula Grande. Upon descent, Simpson slipped down an ice cliff and landed awkwardly, crushing his tibia into his knee joint, thus breaking his right leg. The pair, whose trip had already taken longer than they intended due to bad weather on the ascent, had run out of fuel for their stove and could not melt ice or snow for drinking water. With bad weather closing in and daylight fading, they needed to descend quickly to the glacier, about 3,000 feet below.

5. No Shortcuts To The Top 

Climbing The World's 14 Highest Peaks

It is a book by Ed Viesturs and David Roberts.

For eighteen years Viesturs pursued climbing's holy grail: to stand atop the world's fourteen 8,000-meter peaks, without the aid of bottled oxygen. As he recounts his most harrowing climbs, he reveals a man torn between the safe world he and his loved ones share and the majestic and deadly places where only he can go. A cautious climber who once turned back 300 feet from the top of Everest, but who would not shrink from a peak (Annapurna) known to claim the life of one climber for every two who reached its summit, Viesturs has an unyielding motto, "Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory." It is with this philosophy in mind that he vividly describes fatal errors in judgment made by his fellow climbers as well as a few of his own close calls and gallant rescues.—From publisher description.A veteran mountaineer recalls some of his most dangerous climbs as he pursued the goal of reaching the summit of the world's fourteen 8,000-meter peaks, discussing some of his own close calls and rescues, and errors in judgment on the part of fellow climbers.

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