The truly inspiring books in the mountaineering genre are non-fiction narratives about a singular objective that was either meaningful to the sport of alpine climbing (because of a first ascent or new route, for instance) or it eloquently said what we climbers think and experience but cannot always put into words to describe them to others. I put together this short list of books, which are not necessarily the best, but are fine, because they tell good mountaineering tales to one degree or another.
have not read them all yet as of January 2011, but you can bet that you’ll see me list the one’s I have not on my “reading now” section of the Mountain Reads page in the future.
- The Mountain of My Fear by David Roberts (1968)
- Touching the Void by Joe Simpson (1988)
- No Picnic on Mount Kenya by Felice Benuzzi (1953)
- Annapurna by Maurice Herzog (1952)
- Everest: The West Ridge by Tom Hornbein (1971)
- Escape from Lucania by David Roberts (2002)
- Men Against the Clouds by Richard Lloyd Burdsall and Arthur Emmons with Terris Moore and Jack Theodore Young (1935)
- Minus 148 Degress by Art Davidson (1987)
- Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer (1997)
- K2: The Savage Mountain by Charles Houston and Robert Bates (1954)
Let me know if the list omitted a great book of a singular climb that belongs on the list, or let me know if a story that I listed doesn’t belong by leaving a comment below. I”m sure that I’ll be revising or amending the list soon; I like to change my mind.