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Good Books

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Re: Good Books

Postby Sunkissed » Sun Sep 04, 2005 7:27 pm

I just borrowed a copy of Anatoli Boukreev's The Climb...has anyone read this yet? What are your thoughts in comparison to Krakauer's account?
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Re: Good Books

Postby Nelson » Thu Sep 22, 2005 10:55 pm

Just finished The Villian, by Jim Perrin, mentioned above, the biography of famous British climber Don Whillans. Highly recommended.

Whillans was famous for, among other things, his one-liners. Here is one. Tragically towards the end of his like he started drinking heavily and gained a lot of weight. A friend of his, concerend for his health, asked Don why he drank so much. The reply: "I have a morbid fear of dehydration".
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Re: Good Books

Postby Misha » Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:07 pm

I am reading Galen Rowell's "Many people come looking, looking...". So far, excellent! Chouinard's "Climing Ice" was good too.
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Re: Good Books

Postby dadndave » Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:23 pm

My coffee table book is "Voices from the summit" a collection of essays celebrating 25 years of the Banff Mountain Festival. Contributions from Ed Hillarry. Anderl Heckmair, Chris Bonnington, Yvon Chouinard, Catherine Destivelle among others. Great reading. Love the front cover too, it's a picture of 5 climbers atop the abruzzi ridge on K2 seemingly totally absorbed in their immediate surroundings (knee deep snow) and oblivious to the awful pyramid ahead.

Recommended reading
The strawman is evil and must be punished,
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Re: Good Books

Postby Nelson » Fri Sep 30, 2005 6:11 pm

The short list for this year's Boardman Tasker prize for mountaineering literature have been announced:

Andy Cave, Learning to Breathe
Mick Fowler, On Thin Ice
Jim Perrin, The Villain: the Life of Don Whillans
Richard Sale, Broad Peak
Anne Sauvy, Mountain Rescue Chamonix - Mont Blanc

<a href="http://www.boardmantasker.com/site/shortlist2005.htm">Details</a>
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Re: Good Books

Postby ksolem » Sat Oct 01, 2005 7:10 pm

Reading both "Into This Air" and "The Climb," one comes to realise just how different two people's perceptions can be of the same events. Krakauer and Boukreev were on the same mountain at the same time and came away with conflicting stories. This seems to happen on a lot of expiditions.

Tasker and Boardman each wrote an account of their ground breaking ascent of Changabang, and reading them both is great fun. One is called "The Shining Mountain." Don't recall the other...
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Re: Good Books

Postby marauders » Mon Oct 03, 2005 3:23 am

Clint Willis has a few books titled "Epic", "High", and "Climb." Each compiles excerpts from roughly 15 books. “Epic” focuses on great mountaineering literature on high altitude summits. “High” focuses on K2 and Everest. “Climb” focuses on adventures on rock, snow, and ice, but not necessarily summits. Each can be found on Amazon.com.

I would highly recommend them. Most of the stories are very intense. Each excerpt is considered by Clint Willis to be the best in mountain literature. The stories give you good background then get right to the action. Many of the books others have listed in this thread are found in these compilations.
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Re: Good Books

Postby Nugs » Mon Oct 03, 2005 8:54 am

I liked reading "Touch The Top Of The World, a blind man's journey to climb farther than the eye can see" by Eric Weihenmayer. This book is as much about his life before climbing(which is still interseting) as it is about his big climbs though.
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Re: Good Books

Postby ksolem » Mon Oct 03, 2005 4:02 pm

I've got to disagree in a friendly fashion with marauder's take on the Clint Willis books, at least the third one. "Climb" drove me crazy. The stories are cut down so severely that they seem out of context. For example Wickwire's account of his partners death in a crevasse is just plain incomplete without the follow up, especially the park rangers statements describing how diificult it was for their team to recover the man. And the tragic first story by David Roberts frustrated me, all the kid had to do was tie in short a couple times to solve the problem.

There are some great anthologies out there. "Tales From the Steep" by John Long comes to mind but I don't think Willis extreme excerpts does anyone any favors. Just my opinion.
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Re: Good Books

Postby Nugs » Thu Dec 01, 2005 12:12 am

I'm reading Dharma bums by Kerouac. Not really about mountain climbing but climbing is included and the rest is still interesting.
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Re: Good Books

Postby Diggler » Thu Dec 01, 2005 12:30 am

Am finishing up 'No Picnic on Mt. Kenya' (as much a pun on their running out of food with days to go to return as the indication of the difficulty of the climb!) by Felice Benuzzi, an Italian PoW at a British camp near the base of Mt. Kenya.

He & 2 others schemed & executed an escape (& return) from camp to attempt a climb of <a href="http://www.summitpost.org/mountains/photo_link.pl/p/photo_id__123503__object_id__80__type__mountain__mountain_id__80__route_id____user_id____order_by____limit__">Batian,</a> the true summit of Mt. Kenya. Due to various factors, they had to settle for subpeak Pt. Lenana.

The book, although not written in Benuzzi's native tongue, is an excellent read, & really does a good job of portraying the passion Benuzzi had for the mountains, & just living. HIs presentation really lets the reader share in his joy, hunger, disappointment, & revelry. His sincerity & humility are a welcome change from some of the overhyped, insincere drivel that I've read elsewhere. Highly recommended!
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Re: Good Books

Postby TinyTim » Thu Dec 01, 2005 4:07 am

My boss recently caught me reading a climbing book, and to my suprise he said he was very interested in "those" types of books and asked if he could borrow one. Joe Simpson's "The Beckoning Silence" kept me so interested that I went to the book store on my lunch break and bought a new copy just for a loaner. It keeps you on the edge of your chair as soon as you start reading, he also has a funny/ sometimes morbid look on things.
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Re: Good Books

Postby johngenx » Thu Dec 01, 2005 4:11 am

I know Twight's "Extreme Alpinism" is supposed to be a technical book, but I love it for the accounts of things gone right/wrong/sideways.
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Re: Good Books

Postby Cy Kaicener » Thu Dec 01, 2005 2:56 pm

Here are 100 more good mountaineering books <a href=http://www.ronwatters.com/BkChess.htm>http://www.ronwatters.com/BkChess.htm</a>
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Re: Good Books

Postby fdoctor » Thu Dec 01, 2005 5:11 pm

Here's three utter, utter classics which just have to be posessed:
1. The Seven Mountain Travel Books, in a single volume by H W Tilman
2. The Six Mountain Travel Books, in a single volume by Eric Shipton

And, something completely different:
3. Cold Climbs: The Great Snow & Ice Climbs Of The British Isles, compiled by Ken Wilson et al.
This is not a climbing guide book, its coffee table size and entirely with b&w photographs and "stories" written by some very famous climbers for each route. A classic chapter is The Tower Ridge Rulebook (Ben Nevis)Check it out
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