Best mountaineering books: 27 great reads – Atlas & Boots

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Up to date for 2021, we listing the perfect mountaineering books ever written, drawing on accounts of world-class climbers within the harshest environments

As I’ve talked about many occasions earlier than, my bookshelves are full of tales of journey journey, survival towards the percentages and obsessive searches.

See more: Top mountaineering books

I’m an avid climber eager on winter mountaineering and wild tenting so, naturally, mountaineering books take up a superb chunk of house on my shelf.

It might be straightforward to fill an inventory like this with narratives of Everest and K2 alone. With that in thoughts, I’ve tried to incorporate a wider number of accounts from quite a lot of mountains spanning a century of alpinism and mountaineering.

Greatest mountaineering books

Drawing on my private favourites as effectively Amazon’s best-selling lists and Goodreads’ hottest books, I’ve chosen a variety of the perfect mountaineering books ever written.

1. Into Skinny Air: A Private Account of the Mount Everest Catastrophe

by Jon Krakauer | Purchase on Amazon

Krakauer’s controversial account of a 24-hour interval on Everest that started with a storm and ended with the worst single-season dying toll within the peak’s historical past. Regardless of a number of inconsistencies within the narrative, the e book stays a superb and entertaining learn.

Mount Everest and yellow tents | best mountaineering books
Slepitssskaya/Shutterstock Everest options a number of occasions on our listing of greatest mountaineering books

2. Useless Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Cross Incident

by Donnie Eichar | Purchase on Amazon

In February 1959, a bunch of 9 skilled hikers within the Russian Ural Mountains died mysteriously on an elevation often known as Useless Mountain. That is their story.

3. Touching the Void: The True Story of One Man’s Miraculous Survival

by Joe Simpson | Purchase on Amazon

This basic is indisputably among the finest mountaineering books ever written. Joe Simpson and his climbing accomplice, Simon Yates, had simply reached the highest of a 21,000ft peak within the Andes when catastrophe struck.

4. Past Doable: The person and the mindset that summitted K2 in winter

by Nimsdai Purja | Purchase on Amazon

Nimsdai set the mountaineering world alight when smashed the document for the quickest ascent of all 8000m and adopted it up with the primary winter ascent of K2. This e book reveals the person behind the climbs – how his formative years in Nepal and the UK Particular Forces made him the particular person to go “past doable”.

nirmal purja wrote one of the best mountaineering books just recently
Nimdai Purja Nimsdai Purja has damaged a number of mountaineering information

5. The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest

by Anatoli Boukreev | Purchase on Amazon

In Could 1996, various expeditions tried to climb Everest. Crowded circumstances slowed their progress and late within the day, 23 women and men together with the expedition leaders had been caught in a ferocious blizzard. Though a much less enthralling learn than Krakauer’s Into Skinny Air, The Climb offers a extra correct account of the 1996 tragedy.

6. No Shortcuts to the Prime: Climbing the World’s 14 Highest Peaks

by Ed Viesturs, David Roberts | Purchase on Amazon

This gripping and triumphant memoir follows a dwelling legend of utmost mountaineering as he makes his assault on historical past, one eight-thousander at a time.

7. Into the Silence: The Nice Struggle, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest

by Wade Davis | Purchase on Amazon

Whereas the search for Everest could have begun as a grand imperial gesture, it ended as a mission of revival for a rustic and a misplaced technology bled white by struggle. In a monumental work of historical past and journey, Davis asks why Mallory saved climbing on that fateful day.

Members of the 1921 Everest expedition
Encyclopædia Britannica Members of the 1921 Everest expedition (Mallory is seated far left)

8. Eiger Desires

by Jon Krakauer | Purchase on Amazon

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On this assortment of his most interesting work, Jon Krakauer explores the subject of mountaineering from the memorable perspective of 1 who has battled K2, Denali, Everest and, in fact, the Eiger.

9. The Lady Who Climbed Everest: Classes realized going through as much as the world’s hardest mountains

by Bonita Norris | Purchase on Amazon

As soon as an anxious teenager with an consuming dysfunction it was climbing that impressed Bonita Norris to vary her life. Drawing on her experiences to seize the highs and lows of her unimaginable feats, Bonita additionally imparts the teachings realized encouraging readers to harness larger self-belief.

10. Buried within the Sky: The Extraordinary Story of the Sherpa Climbers on K2’s Deadliest Day

by Peter Zuckerman | Purchase on Amazon

In 2008, when 11 climbers misplaced their lives on K2, two Sherpas survived. Based mostly on unprecedented entry and interviews, Buried within the Sky reveals their astonishing story for the primary time.

K2 from Concordia
Atlas & Boots K2, the ‘Savage Mountain’, additionally options often

11. No Means Down: Life and Dying on K2

by Graham Bowley | Purchase on Amazon

Thirty climbers try the summit of essentially the most savage mountain on Earth. They make it. However earlier than they begin their descent an ice shelf collapses, sweeping away their ropes. It’s darkish. Their traces are gone. They’re low on oxygen. And it’s getting very, very chilly.

12. The Ledge: An Journey Story of Friendship and Survival on Mount Rainier

by Jim Davidson and Kevin Vaughan | Purchase on Amazon

In June 1992, greatest associates Jim and Mike stood triumphantly atop Washington’s Mount Rainier. Their conquest gave method to disaster when a cave-in plunged them deep inside a glacial crevasse.

13. The White Spider

by Heinrich Harrer | Purchase on Amazon

A basic of mountaineering literature, that is the story of the harrowing first ascent of the North Face of the Eiger, essentially the most legendary and terrifying climb in historical past.

best-countries-for-hiking-switzerland-eiger
Dreamstime The Eiger in Switzerland has one of many nice north faces of the Alps

15. Ascent

by Sir Chris Bonington | Purchase on Amazon

The legend that’s Sir Chris Bonington charts his many triumphs within the climbing world. Count on tales of his daring first ascents, extraordinary climbs and dramatic near-death adventures.

16. The Mountains of My Life

by Walter Bonatti | Purchase on Amazon

A set of Walter Bonatti’s greatest mountaineering books detailing his exploits on quite a few expeditions in addition to the actual story behind the controversy over the occasions on K2 that modified his life.

17. The Tower: A Chronicle of Climbing and Controversy on Cerro Torre

by Kelly Cordes | Purchase on Amazon

Controversy has swirled round this ice-capped peak since Cesare Maestri claimed first ascent in 1959. Since then a debate has raged, with world-class climbers making an attempt to retrace his route however discovering solely contradictions.

Cerro Torre in Argentina
Sebastien Burel/Shutterstock Cerro Torre has given rise to well-known controversies

18. Nanga Parbat Pilgrimage: The Nice Mountaineering Basic

by Hermann Buhl | Purchase on Amazon

In 1953, Buhl made the primary ascent of Nanga Parbat, the third eight-thousander to be climbed, following Annapurna and Everest. Persevering with alone and with out supplementary oxygen, Buhl made a splash for the summit after his companions turned again.

19. Everest The Onerous Means

by Chris Bonington | Purchase on Amazon

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Everest the Onerous Means is the thrilling account of a basic battle of man towards nature, an exhilarating story of braveness, endurance and teamwork.

20. Denali’s Howl: The Deadliest Climbing Catastrophe on America’s Wildest Peak

by Andy Corridor | Purchase on Amazon

In 1967, 12 younger males tried to climb Alaska’s fearsome Denali – identified to locals as “The Excessive One”. Solely 5 survived. That is their story.

The hulking Denali is one of the most beautiful mountains in the world
Steve Allen/Shutterstock Denali is the very best peak in North America

20. K2: Life and Dying on the world’s most harmful mountain

by Ed Viesturs, David Roberts | Purchase on Amazon

An exciting chronicle of the tragedy-ridden historical past of climbing the world’s most troublesome and unpredictable mountain.

21. No Picnic on Mount Kenya: A Daring Escape, A Perilous Climb

by Felice Benuzzi | Purchase on Amazon

In 1943, Felice Benuzzi and two Italian compatriots escaped from a British POW camp in equatorial East Africa with just one aim in thoughts: to climb the damaging 17,000ft Mount Kenya.

22. The Crystal Horizon: Everest – The First Solo Ascent

by Reinhold Messner | Purchase on Amazon

On twentieth August 1980, Reinhold Messner reached the summit of Everest – alone and with out using oxygen. That is an account of his extraordinary achievement.

Legendary mountaineer Reinhold Messner has written some of the best mountaineering books
TonelloPhotography/Shutterstock Legendary mountaineer Reinhold Messner

23. Blind Descent: Surviving Alone and Blind on Mount Everest

by Brian Dickinson | Purchase on Amazon

On their own at 29,035 toes, low on oxygen and stricken with snow blindness, Brian Dickinson was pressured to inch his means down Everest counting on his Navy survival coaching, instincts and religion.

24. Annapurna: First Conquest of an 8000-meter Peak

by Maurice Herzog | Purchase on Amazon

In 1950, when no mountain taller than 8,000m had ever been climbed, Herzog led an expedition to the summit of Annapurna. His e book is taken into account a basic of mountaineering literature and among the finest mountaineering books ever written.

25. Following Atticus: Forty-eight Excessive Peaks, One Little Canine, and an Extraordinary Friendship

by Tom Ryan | Purchase on Amazon

After a detailed pal died of most cancers, Tom Ryan determined to pay tribute to her in a most unorthodox method. Ryan and his pal, miniature schnauzer Atticus, would try to climb all 48 of New Hampshire’s four-thousand-foot peaks twice in a single winter.

Atticus the dog
Tom Ryan Adventurers are available all styles and sizes

26. Ghosts of K2: The Race for the Summit of the World’s Most Lethal Mountain

by Mick Conefrey | Purchase on Amazon

That is my favorite e book on K2 and one which I learn en path to K2 base camp. Mick Conefrey expertly captures the depths of what number of nice mountaineers turn into obsessive about reaching the summit of the world’s second-highest mountain. From the drug-addicted occultist Aleister Crowley to the Italian duo who lastly made it to the summit, Conefrey explores the characters eternally instilled in K2’s legacy.

27. Touching My Father’s Soul: A Sherpa’s Sacred Journey to the Prime of Everest

by Jamling Tenzing Norgay & Broughton Coburn | Purchase on Amazon

Touching My Father’s Soul recounts Tenzing’s son, Jamling Norgay’s climb to the world’s highest peak throughout the notorious 1996 Everest catastrophe. Norgay’s bodily journey to face the place his father as soon as did unfolds alongside an inside journey to know his household’s Sherpa historical past and the importance of the Himalayas.

Readers’ solutions

Right here’s what our readers have added to our listing of the perfect mountaineering books ever written.

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  • Everest 1953: The Epic Story Of The First Ascent by Mick Conefrey
  • The Final Nice Mountain: The First Ascent of Kangchenjunga by Mick Conefrey
  • The Bond by Simon McCartney
  • One Day as a Tiger by John Porter
  • Summit 8000 by Andrew Lock
  • Tartarin On The Alps by Alphonse Daudet
  • Life and Limb by Jamie Andrew
  • The Shining Mountain by Peter Boardman
  • The place the Mountain Casts Its Shadow by Maria Coffey
  • My Vertical World by Jerzy Kukuczka
  • Abode of Snow by Kenneth Mason
  • The Third Pole by Mark Synnott
  • The Subsequent Everest by Jim Davidson
  • Darkish Summit by Nick Heil

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Lead picture: Vixit/Shutterstock

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