Top 10 Mountaineering Books

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The Guardianhad mountaineer Andy Cave compile is list of his Top 10 books on Alpinism. Cave, who is an author himself, defines what makes a great mountaineering book by saying that they should have “genuinely pushed the boundaries of what is possible.” and those books should also “inspire us to seek new challenges in our own lives.”

The books on his list meet those criteria quite nicely. The list if full of classics of the genre, from top to bottom, such as No Picnic On Mt. Kenya by Felice Benuzzi, which clocks in at number 10 on the list. John Krakauer’s classic Into Thin Air shows up at number 8, and Bonatti’s The Mountains of My Life is number 4 on Cave’s list.

Overall, this is an excellent list, and if you’re looking for some summer reading, you could do worse than starting here. The number one book was a bit predictable, but it’s also very deserving. I wont spoil the top spot, but I’m sure that many of you can guess what it is. Especially since The Guardian is a British newspaper. Each of these books deserves a spot in your alpinism library, so hit up Amazon and fill in anything you’ve got missing.

Thanks to Outdoor Ed for this one.

Kraig Becker

8 thoughts on “Top 10 Mountaineering Books”

  1. I actually think I like your list of books even more than the one from the Guardian Clyde. Great list, and your extended recommendations of other climbing books is great as well. Nice resource!

  2. Good list and there’s a couple I haven’t read – so off to the bookshop! Suprised ‘The White Spider’ wasn’t in there or ‘Beckoning Silence’. While Touching The Void was brilliant that was more because of the subject – well written though it was of course. But I thought Beckoning Silence was a better book – I guess as it wasn’t only one particular story like TTV is why it didn’t rate.

  3. I’m a bit surprised that “White Spider” or “K2: THe Savage Mountain” aren’t on the list either, but with only 10 selections, it’s easy to fill up the top spots pretty quickly.

    I haven’t read “Beckoning Silence” yet, but I hear it’s very good. I did enjoy “Touching The Void” of course, and it’s easy to see what it’s #1.

  4. Such great mountaineering literature…
    I have so enjoyed references like these over the years that spark enthusiasm and inspiration…
    This spring is just that kind of time that such stories are needed…
    They might need to make it the top 100 instead of the top 10 though.

  5. Ten just doesn’t seem to be enough to cover all the great books out there, does it DSD? 🙂

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