reaches a new summit. Organized by continent, this splendid, large-format climbing guide features 52 of the world's most spectacular mountains and their climbs, stepping far beyond the mere map-and-route delineations that define many climbing guidebooks. Even if the topographical descriptions and various routes snaking across the stunningly clear photographs were all that were here, that might seem enough. But each mountain's entry also includes an aerial map, a timeline of climbing history, and practicalities such as access, red tape, the best times to climb, and suggested maps and guidebooks to bring along. Essays--written by top mountaineers, such as Ed Webster on Mount Robson, or Hilary Boardman on the Carstensz Pyramid--recount personal experiences with each mountain. Suddenly the alpine world is above, shimmering and stirring, crisp and clear. The only stumble is that only five of these mountaineer essayists are women.
Route descriptions concentrate less on the step-by-step details and more on the legacy of those who have gone before, their equipment, their route's most difficult and salient features, and the official climb grading. Ideas for future climbs on each mountain suggest new routes on which to test and hone skills.
Sure, there are mountains here that one would expect--Everest, McKinley, K2, Kilimanjaro--but, as Chris Bonington writes in the foreword, "We must remember that there are alternatives to Everest.... There is a wealth of superb climbing to be had around the world ... in places where there are few, if any, other people and still no tell-tale signs of man." Bonington gives cautions about the crowding and development of popular mountains; editor Audrey Salkeld introduces the book with a history of climbing and thoughts on the future of mountaineering. In all, World Mountaineering reveals the dazzling array of climbing possibilities and acts as much as an inspiration as a dependable guide to the top. --Byron Ricks
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The award-winning World Mountaineering is now available in paperback. In the book, the world's leading mountaineers describe 50 spectacular peaks from around the world - their routes, their challenges, their climbing history, as well as compelling climbing experiences to inspire all who are enthralled by these most awesome of nature's creations. Few activities can push people to the edge of their physical endurance or strength of character, but mountaineering is one of them. World Mountaineering captures the essence of this exhilarating sport, with personal accounts of many of the world's most testing climbs and rare insights into the lives of those who dare to defy nature's most awesome challenges. More than 50 of the world's most daunting mountains - from Mount Everest in Asia to Grand Teton in North America to Kilimanjaro in Africa - are featured, each with a detailed topographical description, a timeline showing its climbing history, aerial maps, practical information on undertaking a climb, and an inspiring feature article written by a renowned climber sharing their personal experience of ascents there.