Climbing Classics

Mount Huntington, Alaska Range (All rights reserved)

I am on a long-term quest to identify the Climbing Classics of mountaineering literature and these are my working lists, which are ever changing. I keep a list of candidates for Climbing Classics and a list of books that I need to read/acquire to evaluate so you can see my progress. Please bear with me, as I officially started this back in 2019, and don’t expect to announce the Climbing Classics any time soon.


I keep a spreadsheet that I call the TSM Long Short List or just My Short-Long List. They are books that readers like you have persuaded me might be a candidate or just interested me enough to read for myself. I am searching for copies to borrow or acquire for my own library.

CLIMBING CLASSIC CANDIDATES (So far and in no particular order)

These are candidates but not yet my nominees. To be candidates, I have to have read them and found them to be genre appropriate, significant, and either capable of changing the reader or providing valuable insight while broadly influencing or challenging climbing or representing and capturing a significant change or movement in climbing, or, ideally, both. Books from this list, with your advice and guidance, may arise to be a Nominee. Sign up for my newsletter and get updates on changes, updates, and new ideas in pursuit of the classics.

  • Annapurna by Maurice Herzog (1951)*
  • The Mountain of My Fear by David Roberts (1968)
  • Kiss or Kill by Mark Twight (2001)
  • Fifty Classic Climbs by Steve Roper and Allen Steck (1979)
  • The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd (1977)


Pending (and this may take a while)

*Dates are listed as the first year of publication.

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