Over the past year, quite a few great new climbing related books were released. Many of you probably found one of these under the tree this Christmas. But for those of you who Santa forgot, and those who need a little adventure inspiration for 2014, take a look at the following five books.
Written by Alan Hinkes, the first British climber and 15th person ever to reach all 14 summits of the world's 8000m peaks, 8000 Metres relates his experience of climbing these mountains: the success and failures, the expeditions and partners, the beauty, harshness, and danger of the high-altitude mountain environment. Alan gives down-to-earth accounts of all of his summits, along with beautiful photographs to accompany his 18-year quest. Alan's motto throughout every expedition was "No mountain is worth a life. Coming back is a success and the summit is only a bonus".
Chronicling the original journey behind the movie 180 South (you should watch the movie if you haven't), Climbing Fitz Roy details the experience of Yvon Chouinard, Doug Tompkins, Dick Dorworth, Chris Jones, and Lito Tejada-Flores on their 6 month trip from California to Patagonia, Chile.
Although the book showcases in wonderful old photographs what the team ultimately accomplished, the summit of Cerro Fitz Roy, the book also includes stories about the journey itself, why and how they ended up in Patagonia. Yvon himself sees the journey rather than the summit as ultimately the most important focus. Knowing that this team would go on to found some of the most iconic and influential companies in the outdoor industry (Patagonia, The North Face), you will be hard pressed not to aspire to your own "funhog" adventures after flipping through this book.
Ed Viesturs, the only American to have climbed all fourteen of the world’s 8,000-meter peaks and the sixth person to do so without supplemental oxygen, focuses in on Mount Everest in his new book. Throughout the book, he chronicles personal expeditions to the mountain that are both harrowing and inspiring.
In addition to his own experiences, Viesturs sheds light on the fate of Mallory and Irvine, and also on the tragic last days of Rob Hall and Scott Fischer in 1996, all from the perspective from someone who has much experience on Everest.
Joe Josephson's original ice climbing guide to the Canadian Rockies has been out of print for quite some time now, leaving many of us to either pay exorbitant prices to get our hands on one or seek out beta elsewhere. ACGM Alpine Guide Brent Peters has just released a brand new guidebook, filled with pitch by pitch beta and beautiful pictures of over 50 classic climbs, as well as references to more than 200 other routes. I absolutely can't wait to head up to Canmore with this book in tow.
Brendan Leonard of Semi-Rad fame, wrote a book about his experience with packing it all in, taking to the road, and living out of his car, all in order to answer some of life's big questions. Not exactly a climbing book per se, but there is climbing involved and the book is most definitely inspirational.