Here are our top ten recommendations if you are looking for the best books to read in Mountaineering. We have made sure our list is diverse to cater to the interests of different types of readers.
1. There and Back: Photographs from the Edge
The Academy Award – winning director of Free Solo and National Geographic photographer presents the first collection of his iconic adventure photography, featuring some of the greatest moments of the most accomplished climbers and outdoor athletes in the world, and including more than 200 extraordinary photographs. Filmmaker, photographer, and world-class mountaineer Jimmy Chin goes where few can follow to capture stunning images in death-defying situations. There and Back draws from his breathtaking portfolio of photographs, captured over twenty years during cutting-edge expeditions on all seven continents—from skiing Mount Everest, to an unsupported traverse of Tibet's Chang Tang Plateau on foot, to first ascents in Chad’s Ennedi Desert and Antarctica’s Queen Maud Land. Along the way, Chin shares behind-the-scenes details about how he captured such astounding images in impossible conditions, and tells the stories of the legendary adventurers and remarkable athletes he has photographed, including Alex Honnold, the star of his Academy Award–winning documentary film Free Solo ; ski mountaineer Kit DesLauriers; snowboarder Travis Rice; and mountaineers Conrad Anker and Yvon Chouinard. These larger-than-life images, coupled with stories of outsized drive and passion, of impossible goals with life or death stakes, of partnerships forged through incredible hardship, are sure to inspire wonder and awe.
- Author: Jimmy Chin
- Publisher: Ten Speed Press (November 16, 2021)
- Genre: Arts & Photography, Photography & Video
- ISBN: 978-1984859501
- Dimensions: 9.5 x 12 inches
2. SAS Survival Handbook, Third Edition: The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Anywhere
"A classic outdoor manual that addresses every conceivable disaster scenario. Don’t leave home without it”-- Outside magazine The ultimate guide to surviving anywhere, now updated with more than 100 pages of additional material, including a new chapter on urban survival Revised to reflect the latest in survival knowledge and technology, and covering new topics such as urban survival and terrorism, the multimillion-copy worldwide bestseller SAS Survival Handbook by John "Lofty" Wiseman is the definitive resource for all campers, hikers, and outdoor adventurers. From basic campcraft and navigation to fear management and strategies for coping with any type of disaster, this complete course includes: Being prepared: Understanding basic survival skills, like reading the weather, and preparation essentials, such as a pocket survival kit. Making camp: Finding the best location, constructing the appropriate shelter, organizing camp, staying warm, and creating tools. Food: What to eat, what to avoid, where to find it, and how to prepare it. First aid: A comprehensive course in emergency/wilderness medicine, including how to maximize survival in any climate or when injured. Disaster survival: How to react in the face of natural disasters and hostile situations—and how to survive if all services and supplies are cut off. Self-defense: Arming yourself with basic hand-to-hand combat techniques. Security: Protecting your family and property from intrusion, break-ins, and theft. Climate & terrain: Overcoming any location, from the tropics to the poles, from the desert to the mountains and sea.
- Author: John 'Lofty' Wiseman
- Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Revised ed. edition (November 11, 2014)
- Genre: Sports & Outdoors, Mountaineering
- Dimensions: 8.05 x 6.2 x 1.2 inches
3. Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster
National Bestseller "A harrowing tale of the perils of high-altitude climbing, a story of bad luck and worse judgment and of heartbreaking heroism." — PEOPLE A bank of clouds was assembling on the not-so-distant horizon, but journalist-mountaineer Jon Krakauer, standing on the summit of Mt. Everest, saw nothing that "suggested that a murderous storm was bearing down." He was wrong. The storm, which claimed five lives and left countless more--including Krakauer's--in guilt-ridden disarray, would also provide the impetus for Into Thin Air , Krakauer's epic account of the May 1996 disaster. By writing Into Thin Air , Krakauer may have hoped to exorcise some of his own demons and lay to rest some of the painful questions that still surround the event. He takes great pains to provide a balanced picture of the people and events he witnessed and gives due credit to the tireless and dedicated Sherpas. He also avoids blasting easy targets such as Sandy Pittman, the wealthy socialite who brought an espresso maker along on the expedition. Krakauer's highly personal inquiry into the catastrophe provides a great deal of insight into what went wrong. But for Krakauer himself, further interviews and investigations only lead him to the conclusion that his perceived failures were directly responsible for a fellow climber's death. Clearly, Krakauer remains haunted by the disaster, and although he relates a number of incidents in which he acted selflessly and even heroically, he seems unable to view those instances objectively. In the end, despite his evenhanded and even generous assessment of others' actions, he reserves a full measure of vitriol for himself. This updated trade paperback edition of Into Thin Air includes an extensive new postscript that sheds fascinating light on the acrimonious debate that flared between Krakauer and Everest guide Anatoli Boukreev in the wake of the tragedy. "I have no doubt that Boukreev's intentions were good on summit day," writes Krakauer in the postscript, dated August 1999. "What disturbs me, though, was Boukreev's refusal to acknowledge the possibility that he made even a single poor decision. Never did he indicate that perhaps it wasn't the best choice to climb without gas or go down ahead of his clients." As usual, Krakauer supports his points with dogged research and a good dose of humility. But rather than continue the heated discourse that has raged since Into Thin Air 's denouncement of guide Boukreev, Krakauer's tone is conciliatory; he points most of his criticism at G. Weston De Walt, who coauthored The Climb , Boukreev's version of events. And in a touching conclusion, Krakauer recounts his last conversation with the late Boukreev, in which the two weathered climbers agreed to disagree about certain points. Krakauer had great hopes to patch things up with Boukreev, but the Russian later died in an avalanche on another Himalayan peak, Annapurna I. In 1999, Krakauer received an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters--a prestigious prize intended "to honor writers of exceptional accomplishment." According to the Academy's citation, "Krakauer combines the tenacity and courage of the finest tradition of investigative journalism with the stylish subtlety and profound insight of the born writer. His account of an ascent of Mount Everest has led to a general reevaluation of climbing and of the commercialization of what was once a romantic, solitary sport; while his account of the life and death of Christopher McCandless, who died of starvation after challenging the Alaskan wilderness, delves even more deeply and disturbingly into the fascination of nature and the devastating effects of its lure on a young and curious mind."
- Author: Jon Krakauer
- Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (October 19, 1999)
- Genre: Biographies & Memoirs, Community & Culture
- ISBN: 978-0385494786
- Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.83 x 7.98 inches
4. Pro-Knot Outdoor Knots - Portable Waterproof Knot Book
Pro-Knot - The portable waterproof knot book! With over one million knot cards sold and more 5 Star reviews - over 5,000 - than any other knot book author on Amazon, Pro-Knot is America's favorite knot reference. This Outdoor Knots version will serve you well whether you are lashing down a kayak on the roof of your car (use the Trucker's Hitch), hanging an adjustable line in camp (use the Tautline Hitch), tying a boat to a dock (Cleat Hitch), or you just need a quick peek at the good old Bowline Knot while outdoors. And being completely waterproof solid plastic means you can take them with you anywhere without worry - great for wilderness survival kits, boating, camping, and emergency preparedness. This six card set is easy to understand with clear illustrations for the 23 best all-purpose rope knots - see complete list of knots below. If it's on this card set, it is a proven, useful and trusted knot! These rope knots are universal for survival, boating, climbing, prepping, search and rescue, home and ranch, scouts, camping, paddle sports and any outdoor activity involving rope. There are step-by-step instructions for joining ropes together, tying rope to objects and making loops. Waterproof solid plastic cards with no-rust brass grommet 23 essential rope knots Size: 3½ x 2¼ x 1/8 inch, weighs less than one ounce. Perfect backpack, glove box, bug-out-bag or boat Knots include: Bowline (single best all-around knot to know), Square Knot, Water Knot (best knot for use with nylon webbing), Rolling Hitch, Clove Hitch, Sheet Bend, Double Sheet Bend, Trucker's Hitch (a must know knot), Mooring Hitch (quick release knot), Cleat Hitch (boaters must-know knot), Tautline Hitch (adjustable knot for camp guy-lines), Buntline Hitch (use for attaching rings, snaps, etc to rope), Prusik Knot, Butterfly Knot, Half Hitch, Two Half Hitches, Constrictor Knot (bundle up loose items), Double Fisherman's (join two ropes), Figure Eight, Bowline on a Bight, Stopper Knot, Slippery Half Hitch (part of the Truckers Hitch system of knots), Timber Hitch. 23 knots total.
- Author: John E. Sherry
- Publisher: J. E. Sherry Company; 9th edition (September 15, 2020)
- Genre: Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Crafts & Hobbies
- Dimensions: 7 x 3 x 0.06 inches
5. Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident (Historical Nonfiction Bestseller, True Story Book of Survival)
A New York Times and Wall Street Journal Nonfiction Bestseller! — What happened that night on Dead Mountain? The mystery of Dead Mountain: In February 1959, a group of nine experienced hikers in the Russian Ural Mountains died mysteriously on an elevation known as Dead Mountain. Eerie aspects of the mountain climbing incident—unexplained violent injuries, signs that they cut open and fled the tent without proper clothing or shoes, a strange final photograph taken by one of the hikers, and elevated levels of radiation found on some of their clothes—have led to decades of speculation over the true stories and what really happened. As gripping and bizarre as Hunt for the Skin Walker: This New York Times bestseller, Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident, is a gripping work of literary nonfiction that delves into the untold story of Dead Mountain through unprecedented access to the hikers' own journals and photographs, rarely seen government records, dozens of interviews, and the author's retracing of the hikers' fateful journey in the Russian winter. You'll love this real-life tale: Dead Mountain is a fascinating portrait of young adventurers in the Soviet era, and a skillful interweaving of the hikers' narrative, the investigators' efforts, and the author's investigations. Here for the first time is a historical nonfiction bestseller with the real story of what happened that night on Dead Mountain.
- Author: Donnie Eichar
- Publisher: Chronicle Books; Reprint edition (October 21, 2014)
- Genre: Biographies & Memoirs, Historical
- ISBN: 978-1452140032
- Dimensions: 5.85 x 0.7 x 9 inches
6. Wilderness Navigation: Finding Your Way Using Map, Compass, Altimeter & GPS, 3rd Edition (Mountaineers Outdoor Basics)
Over 100K copies sold The official navigation textbook used in outdoor education courses by thousands of students Map and compass skills remain the foundation for traveling safely in the wilderness This new third edition is a major and complete update of the popular textbook: Improved throughout for clarity, with chapter objectives presented at the beginning of each chapter and summaries, "skills check" mini-quizzes, and practice problems listed at the end Updated descriptions of the most current maps, compasses, altimeters, and Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers Updated declination maps for the United States and the world (declination changes over time and compasses must be adjusted for a specific location to provide correct readings) Much-expanded GPS chapter, including interfacing the GPS receiver with the home computer, maximizing battery life, and using the GPS function on a “smart” phones (along with a description of their limitations) Additional information on non-GPS navigational techniques Recommended websites, apps, and other sources of useful navigational information
- Author: Bob Burns
- Publisher: Mountaineers Books; 3rd edition (February 24, 2015)
- Genre: Sports & Outdoors, Hiking & Camping
- ISBN: 978-1594859458
- Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
7. The Ultimate Book of Everyday Knots: (over 15,000 copies sold)
From the co-founder of the International Guide of Knot Tyers, comes an oversize, easy-to follow guide perfect for sailers, campers, fishermen, climbers, and everyone else who might want or need to tie a solid, useful knot This beautifully illustrated, full-color guide unties the mysteries of more than eighty knots. Using clear photographs and diagrams, as well as straightforward, easy-to-follow instructions, any reader can master knots for fishing, boating, climbing, crafts, and household uses. Climbers will feel safer knowing they have tied the perfect Water or Tape knot. Home decorators will enjoy trying their hand at the beautiful and elaborate Chinese Cloverleaf. Fishermen will fight big fish with more confidence. Filled with fascinating knot lore, The Ultimate Book of Everyday Knots is perfect for anyone wishing to learn advanced knotting techniques for any purpose at all. Featuring illustrations throughout, sections include: Overhand knots Figure of eight knots Bowlines and sheet bends Crossing knots And other useful knots Whether for practical use or just for fun, this is a great place to start knotting—so grab a piece of rope, sit back, and enjoy!
- Author: Geoffrey Budworth
- Publisher: Skyhorse; 1st edition (April 15, 2012)
- Genre: Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Crafts & Hobbies
- ISBN: 978-1616085605
- Dimensions: 9 x 0.5 x 11 inches
8. Colorado Bucket List Adventure Guide & Journal: Explore 50 Natural Wonders You Must See!
Exploring Colorado: A Guide to the 50 Must-See Destinations in Colorado to Hit the Road & Start Your Adventure Today Traveling to Colorado is unlike any other adventure you crossed off your bucket list. The ultimate dreamland for free spirits whose soul craves deep connection with nature, Colorado is rich in picturesque landscapes that’ll leave you breathless. As you travel the distance through the Rocky Mountains and wilderness, and then all the way through its Great Plains, you’ll have the time of your life getting lost in the Centennial state’s immersive beauty. From nature’s wonders like the Paint Mines Interpretive Park, to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, and the amazing Garden of the Gods, Colorado just begs to be explored! But, with so much to see, where are you supposed to start from? With Colorado Bucket List Adventure Guide & Journal , you will be able to enjoy and discover every landscape and magical place in the different regions in Colorado without getting lost! Featuring more than 50 must-see destinations in the Southwestern four-corner state, you will be well-equipped to start your adventure! This unique travel guide and journal will help you: Keep track of where you’ve been and where to look forward to going next; Get informed about the areas or places you want to visit, how to get there, what to look for, and what you may need to bring along; Easily find your way to your dream destination thanks to comprehensive driving instructions; Never get lost thanks to the GPS coordinates included for each adventure in this guide; Discover the best time to visit certain destinations, weather conditions, average expenses; And much more! Grab a copy of this guide and you’re well set to explore Colorado! Every chapter comes with lesser-known facts about all the amazing 50 Colorado destinations featured in this blueprint that’ll make you fall in love with this wonderful state even more. Do you dare to break your boring, daily routine and go on an adventure of a lifetime? Scroll up, click on “Buy Now with 1-click”, and Get Your Copy Now!
- Author: Bridge Press
- Publisher: Bridge Press (May 18, 2021)
- Genre: Travel, Specialty Travel
- ISBN: 978-1955149181
- Dimensions: 6 x 0.29 x 9 inches
9. The Little Book of Incredibly Useful Knots: 200 Practical Knots for Sailors, Climbers, Campers & Other Adventurers
Know-tying is an important skill, even essential if you are a boater, sailor, hiker, climber, or fishermen. Here in full color are the knots you need to know. The fundamental skill of tying knots is useful in countless situations, both indoors and out. The Little Book of Incredibly Useful Knots teaches you which knot to choose and exactly how to tie it, whether you’re constructing a trout fly, repairing a hammock, mooring a boat, securing a load to a car roof rack, or engaging in a rescue or survival situation. Compiled and written by two experts on the subject, this is an invaluable manual that explains through clear line diagrams and step-by-step descriptions how to tie more than two hundred practical knots, grouped by construction and tying method. Every entry contains a brief introduction to the history and development of the knot, its alternative names, and information on its uses and special features. Types of knots detailed include: Wagoner’s hitch Englishman’s loop Scaffold knot Cordelette anchor Trident loop Lobster buoy hitch The book also contains a comprehensive glossary of terms to guide you through the complexities of different rope types. It helps you choose the right rope for every task. Skyhorse Publishing is proud to publish a broad range of books for fishermen. Our books for anglers include titles that focus on fly fishing, bait fishing, fly-casting, spin casting, deep sea fishing, and surf fishing. Our books offer both practical advice on tackle, techniques, knots, and more, as well as lyrical prose on fishing for bass, trout, salmon, crappie, baitfish, catfish, and more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to publishing books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked by other publishers and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
- Author: Geoffrey Budworth
- Publisher: Skyhorse (April 5, 2016)
- Genre: Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Crafts & Hobbies
- ISBN: 978-1510706569
- Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.1 x 6.55 inches
10. Stretching: 40th Anniversary Edition
Stretching is the most popular fitness book in the world, having sold over 3¾ million copies in 40 years. It has been translated into 23 languages. In this new edition there are stretches for improving the bad posture attributable to cell phone usage ("tech neck”), and for people using computers. This is the book that people tell their friends about, that trainers suggest for virtually every sport and activity, and that medical professionals recommend to people just starting to get back in shape. Stretching first appeared in 1980 as a new generation of Americans became committed to running, cycling, aerobic training, and workouts in the gym ― all of which are commonplace now. It features stretching routines specific to a variety of people, including sports enthusiasts, travelers, children, gardeners, and people in wheelchairs. There is a new section titled “Stretches for the Digital World,” with stretches for people using cell phones and/or computers, as well as tips for better posture and stretches to do in an office environment.
- Author: Bob Anderson
- Publisher: Shelter Publications; Anniversary edition (October 6, 2020)
- Genre: Sports & Outdoors, Winter Sports
- ISBN: 978-0936070841
- Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.75 x 10.75 inches