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sojourner


Mar 17, 2004, 10:56 AM
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climbing history books
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I randomly picked up a copy of Climbing in North America, by Chris Jones, about the history of north american climbing. i must say, it's a very interesting read with lots of historical accounts of first ascents covering pikes peak, mt. whitney, ranier, mckinley, and more. learning more about the history of the sport, for me, helps me to better appreciate where climbing came from, and to respect the ethics of climbing.
anyone else read this book or have other good history of climbing books out there? i'd love to read them!
sojourner


curt


Mar 17, 2004, 11:15 AM
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In reply to:
I randomly picked up a copy of Climbing in North America, by Chris Jones, about the history of north american climbing. i must say, it's a very interesting read with lots of historical accounts of first ascents covering pikes peak, mt. whitney, ranier, mckinley, and more. learning more about the history of the sport, for me, helps me to better appreciate where climbing came from, and to respect the ethics of climbing.
anyone else read this book or have other good history of climbing books out there? i'd love to read them!
sojourner

Pat Ament's book -

A History of Free Climbing in America - Wizards of Rock

is also good to get a historical perspective of how climbing evolved in the United States.

Curt


adamwvt


Mar 17, 2004, 11:45 AM
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Being from New England, I epecially enjoyed
Yankee Rock and Ice, by John Waterman.


jgill


Mar 18, 2004, 8:36 PM
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It's tempting to focus on what's happened in the last forty or fifty years, but to get a feeling for the ethics and attitudes of the first generation of true rock climbers in late Victorian times, try The First Tigers by Alan Hankinson (1972). 8)


curt


Mar 18, 2004, 8:41 PM
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In reply to:
It's tempting to focus on what's happened in the last forty or fifty years, but to get a feeling for the ethics and attitudes of the first generation of true rock climbers in late Victorian times, try The First Tigers by Alan Hankinson (1972). 8)

And, of course since John is far too modest to post this, you may want to visit his own website for a great treatment of the early history and origins of bouldering.

Curt


unabonger


Mar 19, 2004, 5:44 AM
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I'll second the recommendations of Curt re: Wizards of Rock, and Gill's outstanding website.

Another excellent read is Dudley and Chelton's "Climb!".

Really anything by Pat Ament, including his High Over Boulder guidebooks, are chock full of personal accounts and anecdotes and little known figures in climbing.

Rick Thompson's New River Gorge guidebook is an excellent source of the modern history of that area.

Go here for a headslappingly interesting history of climbing gear by John Middendorf:
http://www.bigwalls.net/...b/mechadv/index.html


outdoormikeg


Mar 19, 2004, 5:55 AM
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I just finished a book written by a friend called "The Stettner Way" by John Gorby.

The book is about two German immagrants who lived in Chicago and climbed all over the West. Some of their routes include: "Stettener's Ledges on Long's, thought to be the hardest climb in Colorado from 1927 to about 1947, Stettner Coulour on the Grand Teton and a lesser known route in the Crestone Needles who's name escapes me right now.

It's a quick read and really interesting...


adamwvt


Mar 19, 2004, 6:20 AM
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I've also read an article by John Middendorf: The Mechanical Advantage. It starts with the first mountain expedition in 1492! Very interesting. I found it on his Big Walls website a while ago.

http://www.bigwalls.net\climb\mechadv\


unabonger


Mar 19, 2004, 8:52 PM
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Umm.

The ReadThePostsBeforeReplyingBonger


adamwvt


Mar 21, 2004, 3:24 AM
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Bonghitter, Its weird, berfore I posted, your post wasn't up. I must be stoned or something. Anyway, it is an interesting read.


jeffstephan


Oct 21, 2004, 10:57 AM
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Having already read Sherman's Stone Crusade and Ament's Master of Rock, I was wondering if there's anything written for California as Chelton and Achey's "Climb!" for Colorado. :?:


brianinslc


Oct 21, 2004, 11:39 AM
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In reply to:
Having already read Sherman's Stone Crusade and Ament's Master of Rock, I was wondering if there's anything written for California as Chelton and Achey's "Climb!" for Colorado. :?:

Rowell's the Vertical World of Yosemite. Also Meyers' Yosemite Climber.

Camp 4 by Roper. Ordeal by Piton.

Alex Huber's new Yosemite book. Awesome. Some recycled stuff, but, some new and great photo's.

Duane's El Capitan.

Gary Arce's Defying Gravity.

Brian in SLC


jeffstephan


Oct 21, 2004, 11:41 AM
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Thanks Brian!


jamescuth


Oct 26, 2004, 3:57 AM
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anybody know of good books on the history of climbing specifically in australia? am particularly interested in any info on debates about trad/sport, chalk use, bolting etc and how they played out in OZ.

thanks


alwaysforward


Dec 6, 2004, 2:39 PM
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The Climbers: A History of Mountaineering by Chris Bonington


indigo_nite


Dec 7, 2004, 4:24 PM
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second the vote for Camp 4 by Roper.

it's history but told in a low-key stories around the campfire style. you get a taste for personalities who made history and didn't but all added some color to the culture of that climbing day. it has the feel of a low-budget documentary which is personable and involved. I forget the photographer who is credited with most of the photos but he gets these really candid-looking pix that offer just a glimpse into each climber.

my favorite climbing book so far. though I'm not that well-read.


dingus


Dec 7, 2004, 4:43 PM
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European:

Killing Dragons - Fergus Flemming, sort of an academic treatment of the birth of alpinism. Sorta dry and few pics, gotta love history to appreciate this one. But it covers ground I've seen in no other English language history of the sport. We are woefully ignorant of European climbing history in this country, now more than ever really.

A History of Mountain Climbing - Frison-Roche, (can get it through Amazon, be sure to get the English one) behold stout 5.10 climbing at Dresden at the turn of the 20th century (we think we are SO modern, lol). Anyway, this is the picture book approach to European climbing history, a great coffee table book!

The Mountains of My Life - Bonatti, sort of a personal account of the evolution of climbing in Europe, 40's and 50's. I think it very instructive to those who tend to lump all Europeans into one ethical group.

N America -

Spirit of the Age, autobiography of Royal Robbins, by Pat Ament. An important counter balance to Jones, though a tiring read after a while.

Ways to the Sky - Andy Selters: more modern treatment of Jones book, plus 2nd half adds achievements since the mid-70's to last year. This book does something new, period route recommendations for each major development era of N American climbing, back to the days of John Muir. VERY COOL! Andy is a Canadian living on the East Side of Cali... buy his book so he'll be tempted to write more!

Climbing Ice - Chouinard, a very nice history of ice climbing is included as well as an ongoing discussion about climbing styles and the role of tools in our sport.

50 Classic Climbs of N America - mucho history in this one!

Rowell's Vertical World of Yosemite has already been mentioned. I cannot count the number of times I have read this book!

Last one I recommend: High Odyssey, Gene Rose, (hard to find, Amazon once carried it though): this is an amazing and thoroughly humbling account of the first end to end ski mountaineering traverse of the Sierra Nevada... in 1928! It is sobering that the tactics and the gear used by this man were fundamentally little different from those we employ today. One of the greatest unsung or poorly acknowledged mountaineers of N America. Thanks to Doug Robinson for reminding us about this pioneer.

Speaking of which:

A Night on the Ground, A Day in the Open, Robinson. He also helped write and edit Chouinard's Climbing Ice and this serves as a great companion book.

DMT


reno


Dec 7, 2004, 4:56 PM
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"American Rock" by Don Mellor is a good read about some climbing history in the US. Talks about some of the major areas, including Gunks, Southeast climbing in/near Chattanooga, Boulder, desert Southwest, and, of course, Yos.

Available via amazon.com for about 13 bucks.


scarpenter


Feb 3, 2005, 11:21 AM
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Heroic Climbs published by The Alpine Club! I'm currently enjoying The Challenge of Rainier by Molenaar. It's surprising nobody has mentioned the Edward Whymper book(s), which I checked out from the library but haven't read yet. I bought Because It's There - A Celebration of Mountaineering, From 200 B.C. to Today
for my grandfather, but haven't read it myself. 200 BC - that's history!

I guess the real shocker is the lack of adoration for Between a Rock and a Hard Place as a "new classic" or "a turning point in mountaineering literature" :roll:

Has anybody seen the video "Vertical Frontier"? No doubt this has been discussed in other threads, but I don't have time to check - sorry :)


cintune


Feb 3, 2005, 11:40 AM
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Whymper's Scrambles Amongst the Alps is a classic nobody's mentioned yet. Also Herzog's Annapurna.


mikemachineco


Feb 3, 2005, 1:21 PM
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I would also recommend Mountains of the Mind by Robert Macfarlane. This book covers how human thought about the mountains has changed. It covers the changing views on the creation of mountains and the world, some history behind how people first viewed mountains and the high alpine world (the home of demons and evil spirits!), and a look at how people began to pursue risk-taking and how fear became a commodity instead of something to be avoided, thus leading to the selfish act of climbing mountains for fun. At least, that's what I've read halfway through the book so far.

Also, for Colorado climbing history I really enjoyed Roof of the Rockies, a great history of mountaineering and exploration by the surveying groups, early setters and trappers, and the early climbing clubs.

And, I love the Grand Controversy, which unfolds the story behind who deserves credit for the first ascent of the Grand. In addition to the Grand it has some awesome history of FAs of routes up the Grand and the other major peaks.


bloquer


Feb 5, 2005, 8:10 AM
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A Century of American Alpinism Published by the American Alpine Club
Rock Jocks, Hang Dogs, and Wall Rats-Long (has a humorus outline of the development of free climbing in America)
and I also liked(already mentioned)-
Camp4-Roper
The Vertical World of Yosemite-Acre
Yankee Rock and Ice-Waterman
Royal Robbins Spirit of the Age-Amet
Wizards of Rock-Good Reference but not narrative style

For less generalized info but good as well I reccomend-
K2- The 1939 Tragedy (Mostly American team)
On Edge The Life and Climbs of Henry Barber-Lee
On Belay The Life of Paul Petzoldt-Ringholz
Red Rock Odyssey-DeAngelo


There are tons of Climbing related Bios I mentioned the ones above because they read well and tend to describe the history of the time in America to one extent or another. British and European history is a very different subject and enormous amounts have been written about it.


clmbr3


Feb 8, 2005, 2:41 AM
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In reply to:
Being from New England, I epecially enjoyed
Yankee Rock and Ice, by John Waterman.

Not to nitpick, but Yankee Rock and Ice was written by the late Guy Waterman and his wife, Laura.

Pete Sinclair's "We Aspired: The Last Innocent Americans" is an interesting look into the Teton crew and American climbing in the 50s and 60s.

Not a climbing history, per se, but Ullman's bio on John Harlin (Straight Up: John Harlin, The Life and Death of a Mountaineer) is a good one - definitely one of the best climbing bios I've read.

Starlight and Storm: The Ascent of Six Great North Faces of the Alps by Gaston Rebuffat.

Conquistadors of the Useless by Lionel Terray.

Jeff Achey's Climb II is a pretty good reference book, too.


lucander


Feb 8, 2005, 5:47 AM
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Guy Waterman, "Yankee Rock & Ice" is most excellent.
dl


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