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Top 5 Climbing Books

top 5 climbing books

Table of Contents


  1. Over the Edge
  2. Mountaineering; The Freedom of the Hills
  3. Climbing Free: My Life in the Vertical World
  4. Alone on the Wall
  5. Into Thin Air

1. Over the Edge

Warning: (Possible Spoilers Ahead)

Over the Edge is a great read that follows the true story of Tommy Caldwell, Beth Rodden, Jason Smith, and John Dickey. Tommy Caldwell was one of the best free climbers at that time and had decided to take a trip to the Kara-Su Valley located in Kyrgyzstan to conquer some of the most impressive big walls located there. However, this trip would soon turn into a nightmare and not only would they be kidnapped, but one member of the party would have to turn to murder in order to save their friends from this terrible situation. This book is one of the most incredible true stories of human resilience and is an amazing book to read.

2. Mountaineering; The Freedom of the Hills

Warning: (Possible Spoilers Ahead)

For climbers of any kind looking for an all encompassing book to teach the basics of the sport, look no further than Mountaineering; The Freedom of the Hills. This book has been the climbers bible since its inception. From free climbing to ice climbing, this book covers the intricacies and pointers on how to become a masterful climber. From the basics to advanced techniques, this book has been praised by many including the legendary mountaineer, Conrad Anker. Additionally, Mountaineering; The Freedom of the Hills is updated every few years, so that any technique or skill that has developed, more than likely will be included in this guide. This book is a must read if you are already into climbing or someone just interested in how it works.

3. Climbing Free: My Life in the Vertical World

Warning: (Possible Spoilers Ahead)

In this autobiography, Lynn Hill describes her climb of the nose on Yosemite's most famous wall, El Capitan. Lynn Hill was not only the first woman to free climb the Nose, but the first person ever. This book follows the life of this legendary climber through her hardships and adversities she has faced as a female climber when the sport was male dominated. It is incredible to read and tells the story of one of the most influential climbers of all time. Lynn Hill is a role model for many people, and especially for female climbers. This book is well worth picking up because not only is her story incredible, but this book represents the turning point for female climbers in a male dominated sport.

4. Alone on the Wall

Warning: (Possible Spoilers Ahead)

Alone on the Wall, updated soon after Alex Honnold's famous free solo of El Capitan, follows the life of the climber and some of his most incredible climbs and life achievements. Ruthlessly discussing the lessons on fear, risk, and reward, this book is an accurate representation of the life of the greatest free soloist to ever live. Among some of Alex's greatest accomplishments include the free solo of the Midnight Buttress, Half Dome, El Sendero Luminoso, and many others. This book really is an amazing account of the life of one of the most amazing athletes to ever live. Written by David Roberts, this book is an amazing and extremely interesting read and a comprehensive look into Alex Honnold's most impressive accomplishments.

5. Into Thin Air

Warning: (Possible Spoilers Ahead)

Into Thin Air is considered one of the most classic mountaineering books of all time. Written by John Krakauer, this book follows his personal experience in the disaster that occurred in 1996 on Everest, where eight climbers tragically lost their lives. Not only is this a true story, but John Krakauer is writing this from his personal experience, not the experience of others. This provides a new perspective on the 1996 tragedy.

This book is very worth reading, not just because of the story, but because it is written by one of the most revered adventure writers of all time. Krakauer has written many other classics such as Into the Wild and Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman.



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