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The Story of Alpine Climbing

Author: Francis Gribble
Publisher: Read Books Ltd
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This vintage book contains a historical account of Alpine climbing, with fascinating information relating to famous climbers and various notable expeditions. It includes authentic anecdotes taken from the journals of those who have climbed the Alps throughout history, and will therefore be of considerable utility to those with an interest in historical climbing expeditions and climbing the Alps in particular. The Story of Alpine Climbing would make for a worthy addition to collections of mountaineering literature and is not to be missed by modern climbing enthusiasts. Many vintage books such as this are increasingly scarce and expensive. We are republishing this volume now in an affordable, modern, high-quality edition complete with its original artwork and text.


Pushing the Limits

Author: Chic Scott
Publisher: Rocky Mountain Books Ltd
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This book captures Canada's 200-year mountaineering history, a story that unfolds both in Canada and around the world. Journeying to the summits, the crags and the gyms, from the west coast to Québec, and from the Yukon to the Rockies, Chic introduces his readers to early mountain pioneers and modern-day climbing athletes. An adept storyteller with an obvious passion for his subject, Chic showcases the under-celebrated achievements of Canadian climbers.


Continental Divide A History of American Mountaineering

Author: Maurice Isserman
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
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This magesterial and thrilling history argues that the story of American mountaineering is the story of America itself. In Continental Divide, Maurice Isserman tells the history of American mountaineering through four centuries of landmark climbs and first ascents. Mountains were originally seen as obstacles to civilization; over time they came to be viewed as places of redemption and renewal. The White Mountains stirred the transcendentalists; the Rockies and Sierras pulled explorers westward toward Manifest Destiny; Yosemite inspired the early environmental conservationists. Climbing began in North America as a pursuit for lone eccentrics but grew to become a mass-participation sport. Beginning with Darby Field in 1642, the first person to climb a mountain in North America, Isserman describes the exploration and first ascents of the major American mountain ranges, from the Appalachians to Alaska. He also profiles the most important American mountaineers, including such figures as John C. Frémont, John Muir, Annie Peck, Bradford Washburn, Charlie Houston, and Bob Bates, relating their exploits both at home and abroad. Isserman traces the evolving social, cultural, and political roles mountains played in shaping the country. He describes how American mountaineers forged a "brotherhood of the rope," modeled on America’s unique democratic self-image that characterized climbing in the years leading up to and immediately following World War II. And he underscores the impact of the postwar "rucksack revolution," including the advances in technique and style made by pioneering "dirtbag" rock climbers. A magnificent, deeply researched history, Continental Divide tells a story of adventure and aspiration in the high peaks that makes a vivid case for the importance of mountains to American national identity.


Freedom Climbers

Author: Bernadette McDonald
Publisher: Mountaineers Books
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CLICK HERE to download the first chapter from Freedom Climbers (Provide us with a little information and we'll send your download directly to your inbox) "One of the most important mountaineering books to be written for many years." —Boardman-Tasker Prize See this book trailer for Freedom Climbers made by RMB Books, its publisher in Canada, where the cover is slightly different from the Mountaineers Books U.S. edition * Behind the Iron Curtain, Cold War mountaineers found freedom on the world's highest peaks—and paid an awful price to achieve it * Winner of the Boardman-Tasker Prize, Banff Grand Prize, and American Alpine Club Literary Award Freedom Climbers tells the story of Poland's truly remarkable mountaineers who dominated Himalayan climbing during the period between the end of World War II and the start of the new millennium. The emphasis here is on their "golden age" in the 1980s and 1990s when, despite the economic and social baggage of their struggling country, Polish climbers were the first to tackle the world's highest mountains during winter, including the first winter ascents on seven of the world's fourteen 8000-meter peaks: Everest, Manaslu, Dhaulagiri, Cho Oyu, Kanchenjunga, Annapurna, and Lhotse. Such successes, however, came at a serious cost: 80 percent of Poland's finest high-altitude climbers died on the high mountains during the same period they were pursuing these first ascents. Award-winning writer Bernadette McDonald addresses the social, political, and cultural context of this golden age, and the hardships of life under Soviet rule. Polish climbers, she argues, were so tough because their lives at home were so tough—they lost family members to World War II and its aftermath and were so much more poverty-stricken than their Western counterparts that they made much of their own climbing gear. While Freedom Climbers tells the larger story of an era, McDonald shares charismatic personal narratives such as that of Wanda Rutkiewicz, expected to be the first woman to climb all 8000-meter peaks until she disappeared on Kanchenjunga in 1992; Jerzy Kukuczka, who died in a fall while attempting the south face of Lhotse; and numerous other renowned climbers including Voytek Kurtyka, Artur Hajzer, Andrej Zawaka, and Krzysztof Wielicki. This is a fascinating window into a different world, far-removed from modernity yet connected by the strange allure of the mountain landscape, and a story of inspiring passion against all odds. This title is part of our LEGENDS AND LORE series. Click here > to learn more.


A History of Mountain Climbing

Author: Roger Frison-Roche
Publisher: Flammarion-Pere Castor
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Beginning with the first conquest of the Alps in the eighteenth century, the drive to scale the world's tallest peaks has inspired generations of amateur and professional climbers and explorers. In this book, Roger Frison-Roche and Sylvain Jouty bring the history of mountain climbing vividly to life. Supplemented by biographies of fifty of the world's most celebrated mountain climbers and a detailed chronology.


Unjustifiable Risk

Author: Simon Thompson
Publisher: Cicerone Press Limited
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To the impartial observer Britain does not appear to have any mountains. Yet the British invented the sport of mountain climbing and for two periods in history British climbers led the world in the pursuit of this beautiful and dangerous obsession. Unjustifiable Risk is the story of the social, economic and cultural conditions that gave rise to the sport, and the achievements and motives of the scientists and poets, parsons and anarchists, villains and judges, ascetics and drunks that have shaped its development over the past two hundred years. The history of climbing inevitably reflects the wider changes that have occurred in British society, including class, gender, nationalism and war, but the sport has also contributed to changing social attitudes to nature and beauty, heroism and death. Over the years, increasing wealth, leisure and mobility have gradually transformed climbing from an activity undertaken by an eccentric and privileged minority into a sub-division of the leisure and tourist industry, while competition, improved technology and information, and increasing specialisation have helped to create climbs of unimaginable difficulty at the leading edge of the sport. But while much has changed, even more has remained the same. Today's climbers would be instantly recognisable to their Victorian predecessors, with their desire to escape from the crowded complexity of urban society and willingness to take "unjustifiable" risk in pursuit of beauty, adventure and self-fulfilment. Unjustifiable Risk was shortlisted for the Boardman Tasker prize in 2011.


Life Is Like Climbing a Mountain

Author: James E. Bruce Sr. Ph. D.
Publisher: AuthorHouse
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The objective of this book is to inform, educate, inspire, and motivate individuals and groups toward understanding oneself and others through a literal or virtual mountain climbing experience. The aim is to introduce the reader to a literary journey that involves the process and the act of mountain climbing. This book brings forth the recognition that, just as literal mountains may be comprised of rocks, trees, ice, snow, and dirt, either singularly or in any combination, so, too, are we, as individuals, comprised of differing traits, strengths, values, mores, and beliefs that offer both specific strengths and weaknesses that alternate given the environment that surround us, the situation presented to us and what we feel within us. A volcanic mountain, it should be noted, is more representative to one's inner self. Similar to that of this 'living rock', changes occur subtly, deep within us, sometimes immediate and many times occurring unnoticed by us over long periods of time. Like the sudden sight of smoke or vibrations felt from underground, it is only during the external expression of change do we realize that we, and those around us, are merely experiencing the change that has long since occurred. The inherent volatility of this 'living rock' parallels the vulnerability, potential explosiveness, and yet the total dependencies that exist in the individual human experience, as well as within our local and world communities. These physical mountains are used as a metaphor to offer insight into understanding the dynamics and challenges that are involved in the process of climbing a virtual mountain. The mountain climbing process might become more meaningful to an explorer who climbs avirtual mountain that may ultimately take the form of realizing a goal, dream, or aspiration. This book explores the spiritual aspect of the physical mountain, particularly how the physical mountain has been a reference place for some people whose successful climb offer testimony to a life-changing experience. This mountain climbing model is useful towards attaining individual, personal or collective goals, set in areas such as education, business, wealth building, job or career development, marriage, political aspirations, geographical relocating, re-establishing oneself, raising children, leading or managing sports teams, hiring and managing a work force, or even military strategy. This "climbing a mountain model" can be used for creating a strategic map towards achieving other personal goals, such as writing a book, building a house from the ground up, or regaining physical or mental health. Similarly, for organizations, this "climbing a mountain model" can be used as a guide when setting an organization's growth plans in motion. The principles are the same. Finally, this book provides a strategic working roadmap that will transform the reader to an explorer, to a believer, and finally, to an achiever. The achiever in retrospect will be inspired to recall and then recite the most powerful words: I said I can, I know that I would, and I made it happen.


The Bold and Cold

Author: Brandon Pullan
Publisher: Rocky Mountain Books Ltd
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Over the past 100 years, climbers have been pushing standards in the Canadian Rockies. From long alpine ridges to steep north faces, the Rockies are synonymous with cutting edge ascents. Peaks such as Robson, Chephren, Kitchener, Twins and Alberta elude the many and reward the few. Many of the big faces were climbed between the 1960s and 1990, the golden age of alpinism in the Rockies. The men and women who first were part of the golden age set high standards. Future alpinists read old journals and guidebooks, hoping to experience what the alpine "pioneers” did. The Rockies require a certain edge that comes with age, humiliation and failure, for most. Perhaps the ones who drink the most whiskey, dream of the biggest peaks and sleep with snowballs in their hands are the ones rewarded with the momentary triumph of coming to a draw with one of these mountains. This is not a guidebook, rather a story book by the people who risked life and limb to establish long and difficult climbs in the style of bold. What kind of climb? The scary kind of climb, the kind that will send most packing and the kind that rarely gets climbed, but often are dreamed about. They demand every inch of one’s physical, mental and spiritual self being. The kind that might, has and could kill. These climbs are not for the weak of heart, the beginner or even the advanced climber. They are for a rare breed. A breed that through experience in harsh and unpleasant situations have honed their skills in a manner that allows them to ante up. The mountains dictate the route and conditions, the climbers dictate the style. These routes are perhaps enjoyed best through the words of others, the pictures taken with frosty lenses and numb fingers, the stories told by the bold souls who knowingly stepped into the spiritual, mental and physical struggle these mountains offer. Suffering, unforgiving circumstances, where if mistakes are made there is a price to pay. The grades are trivial, for it is the experience, not the difficulty that defines the route. These are not any-given-weekend routes. Many factors must align for an ascent to go down, conditions of both the route and the climber must be tip top. These routes are for occasions when the mind and body need a check, a good check. With an increasing number of people entering the world of climbing, it is important to keep these stories close. To know a small group of climbers including Canadian, European, American and South Africans made bold decisions that brought the world’s attention to Canada. Legends were born, men died. The mountains made of rotten rock, ice and snow kept the stakes high. Once the summits were had, the walls had to be had. Nearly 100 years after the rise of alpinism in Europe, it began in Canada. The 1860s are for Europe what the 1960s are for Canada. The peaks had been climbed and it was time for the faces. The pursuit of difficulty on steep terrain, ice and rock marked the dawn of the golden era and the 25 bold and cold.


Alpine Climbing

Author: Mark Houston
Publisher: The Mountaineers Books
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* For climbers who know the basics and are ready to venture at higher altitudes* Written by longtime guides and climbing instructors certified by the American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA)* Teaches situational thinking and learning as well as techniqueThis intermediate-level guide addresses tools, skills, and techniques used in alpine terrain including rock, snow, ice, and glaciers at moderate altitude - approximately 5000 meters (16,000 feet) and lower. The technical protection systems are covered, of course. But 30 years of alpine climbing experience has convinced the authors that mastery - and safety - lie in the far more difficult task of knowing exactly which techniques to use, where and when. Therefore, they teach step-by-step decision-making skills, providing scenarios, checklists, and self-posed questions to inform the decision process. Alpine Climbing assumes some prior knowledge, primarily in rock climbing skills and techniques. Basic knots, belaying,rappelling, building rock anchors, leading, placing rock protection, and movement skills on rock: variations of these skills that are of particular value in the alpine environment are addressed in this book.


The Day the Rope Broke

Author: Ronald William Clark
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The first ascent of the Matterhorn in July 1865 is one of the key events in the history of mountaineering. This is the story of the events leading up to this remarkable ascent and its terrible aftermath.