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Climbing Books

Over the last year, I have become more interested in books on mountain climbing; the combination of determination, risk-taking, and sometimes almost hallucinatory descriptions of the climbs bring back my memories from high school of our wilderness trips into the Cascades.  The books on this page (available from represent some of the more interesting books in this area that I've read or that I've purchased and have yet to find time to read; they are listed in order by author.  Those that I recommend over others have an asterisk (***) after the author's name.

Also on this site, I have published complete list of the winners of four different book awards given to mountaineering, climbing, and outdoor adventure books. Many of these award-winning books are also on my personal list below.

bullet American Alpine Literary Award
bullet Boardman Tasker Memorial Award for Mountain Literature
bulletBanff Mountain Book Festival Awards
bullet National Outdoor Book Awards



Title & Description

cover Daniel Anker

bullet Eiger: The Vertical Arena
cover Gary Arce and Royal Robbins
bullet Defying Gravity: High Adventure on Yosemite's Walls
cover Dick Bass
bullet Seven Summits
cover Arlene Blum
bullet Annapurna: A Woman's Place


Peter Boardman and Joe Tasker
bullet The Boardman Tasker Omnibus: Savage Arena, The Shining Mountain, Sacred Summits, Everest The Cruel Way***  Read Review
cover Walter Bonatti
bullet The Mountains of My Life
cover Chris Bonington
bullet Boundless Horizons: The Autobiography of Chris Bonington  Read Review
bullet Mountaineer: Thirty Years of Climbing on the World's Greatest Peaks
bullet Chris Bonington's Everest
bullet The Everest Years
cover Chris Bonington and Charles Clarke
bullet Tibet's Secret Mountain: The Triumph of Sepu Kangri
cover David Breashars
bullet High Exposure: An Enduring Passion for Everest and Unforgiving Places  Read Review
cover Hermann Buhl
bullet Nanga Parbat Pilgrimage: The Lonely Challenge


Greg Child
bullet Thin Air: Encounters in the Himalayas***  Read Review
bulletPostcards from the Ledge: Collected Mountaineering Writings of Greg Child***  Read Review  
bullet Mixed Emotions: Mountaineering Writings of Greg Child  Read Review
cover Geoffrey Childs
bullet Stone Palaces
cover Broughton Coburn
bullet Everest: Mountain Without Mercy
cover Maria Coffey
bullet Fragile Edge: A Personal Portrait of Loss on Everest  Read Review
bullet Where the Mountain Casts Its Shadow: The Dark Side of Extreme Adventure (with Tom Hornbein)


Jim Curran
bullet K2: Triumph and Tragedy  Read Review
bullet The Middle-Aged Mountaineer
cover Art Davidson
bullet Minus 148 Degrees: The First Winter Ascent of Mt. McKinley
bullet Denali: Deception, Defeat, & Triumph: To the Top of the Continent/Conquest of Mount McKinley/the Ascent of Denali

with Art Wolfe
bullet Edge of the Earth, Corner of the Sky
bullet Light on the Land (Earthsong Collection)
bullet Rhythms from the Wild


Matt Dickinson and Philip Turner
bullet The Other Side of Everest: Climbing the North Face Through the Killer Storm  Read Review
cover Kurt Diemberger
bullet The Kurt Diemberger Omnibus: Summits and Secrets; The Endless Knot; Spirits Of The Air
cover Ed Douglas
bullet Chomolungma Sings the Blues: Travels Around Everest
cover Heinrich Harrer
bullet White Spider: The Classic Account of the Ascent of the Eiger  Read Review
cover Jochen Hemmleb
bullet Ghosts of Everest: The Search for Mallory & Irvine
cover Maurice Herzog
bullet Annapurna, First Conquest of an 8,000 Meter Peak
  Lynn Hill
bullet Climbing Free: My Life in the Vertical World


cover Thomas Hornbein
bullet Everest: The West Ridge  Read Review
cover Richard L. House, Charles Houston, Robert Bates, and Will Burdsall
bullet Five Miles High: The Story of an Attack on the Second Highest Mountain in the World by the Members of the First American Karakoram Expedition
cover Charles Houston
bullet K2: The Savage Mountain
cover Jon Krakauer
bullet Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster  Read Review
bullet Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men and Mountains***  Read Review
John Long
bullet Gorilla Monsoon***  Read Review
bullet Rock Jocks, Wall Rats and Hang Dogs: Rock Climbing on the Edge of Reality  Read Review
cover Reinhold Messner
bullet The Crystal Horizon: Everest-The First Solo Ascent  Read Review
bullet All Fourteen 8,000ers
cover Roberto Mantovani and Kurt Diemberger
bullet K2: Challenging the Sky
cover Jamling Tenzing Norgay
bullet Touching My Father's Soul: A Sherpa's Journey To The Top Of Everest  Read Review
cover Jim Perrin
bullet The Games Climbers Play
bullet Mirrors in the Cliffs (Games Climbers Play, Vol. 2)
cover Gaston Rebuffat
bullet Starlight and Storm
cover Rick Ridgeway
bullet Below Another Sky: A Mountain Adventure in Search of a Lost Father
bullet The Last Step: The American Ascent of K2   Read Review
bulletThe Shadow of Kilimanjaro
bulletBoldest Dream: The Story of 12 Who Climbed Mount Everest
cover David Roberts
bullet True Summit: What Really Happened on the Legendary Ascent of Annapurna
bullet The Mountain of My Fear & Deborah: A Wilderness Narrative
bullet Moments of Doubt And Other Mountaineering Writings
bullet Escape from Lucania: An Epic Story of Survival   Read Review 
cover David Rose
bullet Regions of the Heart: The Triumph and Tragedy of Alison Hargreaves
cover John Roskelley
bullet Stories Off the Wall
bullet Nanda Devi: The Tragic Expedition  Read Review
cover Audrey Salkeld
bullet World Mountaineering: The World's Great Mountains by the World's Great Mountaineers
cover Doug Scott
bullet Shisha Pangma: The Alpine Style First Ascent of the Southwest Face (with Alex MacIntyre)  Read Review  
bullet Himalayan Climber: A Lifetime's Quest to the World's Greater Ranges (with Ken Wilson)
cover John Sherman
bullet Sherman Exposed: Slightly Censored Climbing Stories  Read Review
bullet Hueco Tanks: Climbing and Bouldering Guide
bullet Better Bouldering (How to Rock Climb Series)
bullet Classic Rock Climbs No. 6: Hueco Tanks State Park, Texas
cover Eric Shipton
bullet Nanda Devi: Exploration and Ascent
bullet Eric Shipton: The Six Mountain-Travel Books
bullet Tierra del Fuego: The fatal Lodestone (Latin American adventure series)
cover Joe Simpson
bullet Touching the Void: The Harrowing First Person Account Of One Man's Miraculous Survival***  My Review  
bullet Dark Shadows Falling  Read Review
bullet The Beckoning Silence  Read Our Review 
bullet This Game of Ghosts
bullet Storms of Silence
cover Lionel Terray
bullet Conquistadors of the Useless: From the Alps to Annapurna  Read Review
cover Mark Twight
bullet Kiss or Kill: Confessions of a Serial Climber   Read Review
bullet Extreme Alpinism: Climbing Light, Fast, and High; (with James Martin)
cover Stephen Venables
bullet A Slender Thread: Escaping Disaster In The Himalayas  Read Review
bullet Everest: Alone at the Summit
bullet Painted Mountains: Two Expeditions To Kashmir 
  Ed Viesturs
bullet Himalayan Quest: Ed Viesturs on the 8,000-Meter Giants (with Peter Potterfield)


cover Bradford Washburn
bullet Bradford Washburn: Mountain Photography Read Review
bullet Mount McKinley: The Conquest of Denali
cover Jonathan Waterman
bullet In the Shadow of Denali: Life and Death on Alaska's Mt. McKinley (with Greg Child)
cover Ed Webster
bullet Snow in the Kingdom: My Storm Years on Everest
bullet Rock Climbs in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, 3rd edition (East Volume)


For other books on our lists of recommended books, follow the links below.
bulletOur Current Book List. The list of books on our current reading list.
bulletMountain Climbing and Outdoor Adventures with the cover graphics.
bullet Books on Wine Appreciation and Winemaking.
bulletChildren's Books that our boys or their cousins are reading. Click here for the Seattle Children's Theatre recommended booklist.
bulletHistory Books that relate to our family history or that we have enjoyed.
bulletOther Books that we are waiting to categorize.
bulletReturn to TheRagens Books homepage.


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