/ Essential climbing literature

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Double Knee Bar - on 05 Dec 2012
I've got a lot of the classics but i'm being asked what i want for christmas, struggling for ideas.
I've got:
Classic rock
Cold climbs
Rock Athlete
Revelations
Andy K's books
Troll Wall
White spider

...amongst others. What else do people recomend?
gingerwolf - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to Double Knee Bar: "The guide to footwork in climbing: improving your technique" ....... :P

haha! sorry dude, couldn't resist!

Any guidebooks you need?
Tom Last - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to Double Knee Bar:

Mountaineering in Scotland, Mountain Days and Bothy Nights, Always a Little Further - all classic and superb.

Also Hard Rock?
Tom Last - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to Double Knee Bar:

Feeding the Rat, Deep Play...
deepstar - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to Double Knee Bar: The Shining Mountain by Pete Boardman.
Rampikino - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to Double Knee Bar:

Hands of a Climber
Tom Last - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to Rampikino:
> (In reply to Double Knee Bar)
>
> Hands of a Climber

Good one, couple it with Let's Go Climbing.
shaggypops - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to Double Knee Bar: the ascent of rum doodle
Darren Jackson - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to Double Knee Bar:

Some folk obviously thought a fair bit of the following:

http://www.boardmantasker.com/site/previous_winners.htm

... And you can add Fiva, by Gordon Stainforth, of this parish, too.
Double Knee Bar - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to gingerwolf: haha would probably the title i'd benefit most from.
Youve already got:
"The guide to southern sandstone- making do when you're no longer near God's rock"
Havent you? Haha.

Thanks for the suggestions guys
Mark Collins - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to Double Knee Bar: Mick Fowler's Vertical Pleasure, read it for the first time this year and thought it was great. Lots of adventures on our own shores, plus further afield.
stoneback - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to Double Knee Bar:
Andy Cave and Mick fowler have both written a couple of books, all very good reads - better than Andy K's imo.

Also, I don't think you can fault Bonningtons autobiography as a snapshot of early british climbing. Its in 3 parts but very readable.

Nick.
Jim Walton on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Double Knee Bar: I could write a MASSIVE list of essential reading but I'll cut it down to these three;

Deep Play - Paul Pritchard; Vertebrate Publishing have just re-released this Glorious book as a paperback. Rock climbing in wales in the 80's and 90's plus Big wall climbing over-seas. Birth of Slate climbing etc

The Hard Years - Joe Brown; A must really for anyone who rock climbs in the UK

One Man's Mountains - Tom Patey; If you like or want to get into Scottish Winter climbing then this is a good book to get you started. Mr Patey was at the forefront of Scottish Winter climbing making first ascents of Classics such as Zero Gully on the Ben, Cuillin Ridge on Skye etc. A very funny book.

One Man's Mountains
Jacob Ram - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Double Knee Bar:

Mirror in the Clouds , lots of shorts so good for dipping into.
Yrmenlaf on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Double Knee Bar:

The Doctor books are good fun (by Dutton)

Y.
Only a hill - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Double Knee Bar:
Edward Whymper: Scrambles Amongst the Alps
James David Forbes: Travels through the Alps of Savoy (1842) for an amazing insight into the pre-Golden Age Alps.
Alan Hankinson: The First Tigers, The Mountain Men
Robert Macfarlane: Mountains of the Mind
W.H. Murray: Mountaineering in Scotland, Undiscovered Scotland
astley007 - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to gingerwolf:
the Beano???
How to make proper cup cakes??
and like he says any books on ballet to get you on your toes!!!
hopefully see you out before Xmas?
See that you got your tree up already!!!
Have fun putting the fairy (cake) on top
Cheers
stroppygob - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Double Knee Bar: "On and off the rocks" Jim Perrin.
Elrond - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Double Knee Bar:

Got to be 'World Climbing: Rock Odyssey' such an incredible book with some truly amazing photos in!
Double Knee Bar - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to astley007:
Sam makes the proper cup cakes for me so that's covered
There's a Hello Kitty on top of the tree already...
Hopefully get out before christmas mate,

Thanks all. Theres plenty of reading there for me to be cracking on with.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Co1in H - on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to Shadowmaster: Nice picture book, but it is not "literature".
Bobling - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to Double Knee Bar:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=474815&v=1#x6556292
http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=467071&v=1#x6540592

I wish, wish, wish that Santa would make a literature thread a sticky (or something) for Xmas so we didn't have to keep re-inventing the wheel. Pretty please mods can you wave your magic wand?
nocker - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to Jim Walton: I second Tom Patey's "One Man's Mountains" because his writing is in a class of its own as is his humour.
ice.solo - on 14 Dec 2012
In reply to Double Knee Bar:

feeding the rat
herzogs annapurna
rumdoodle
Sam Simpson - on 14 Dec 2012
In reply to Double Knee Bar: bear grylls blood sweat and tears :P
Trangia - on 14 Dec 2012
In reply to Double Knee Bar:

Bill Tilman's Seven Mountain Travel Books
"The Last Blue Mountain" by Ralph Barker
tony on 14 Dec 2012
In reply to Double Knee Bar:

Brotherhood of the Rope - biography of Charlie Houston by Bernadette McDonald
Beyond the Mountain, by Steve House
Dandelion - on 16 Dec 2012
In reply to Double Knee Bar: Games Climbers Play - I borrowed a copy from someone and really must get one of my own. Loads of good reading.
Doug on 16 Dec 2012
In reply to Dandelion: Surprised so few non English titles, wth nothng by eg Rebuffat, Bonatti, Terray, Buhl etc I'd probably put Terray's Les Conquérants de l'inutile (or Conquistadors of the Useless if you prefer the translation) on a list of top ten mountaineering books
Siward on 16 Dec 2012
In reply to Trangia:
> (In reply to Double Knee Bar)
>
> Bill Tilman's Seven Mountain Travel Books
> "The Last Blue Mountain" by Ralph Barker

And Shipton's collection to go alongside HW
Siward on 16 Dec 2012
In reply to Siward: And try Jim Curran's autobiography, or 'Suspended Sentences' by the same. Funny self deprecating accounts of associating with the big names of the era (Rouse, Anthoine, Bonners etc).
pamph - on 16 Dec 2012
In reply to Double Knee Bar: If you are interested in the history of British climbing then I think The Villain by Jim Perrin is a great read about the rise and fall of a great British climber, Don Whillans. (One of my early heros. I once sat next to him in the Padarn Lake hotel and watched Joe Brown play darts. He never said hello though.....)
kate8 on 16 Dec 2012
In reply to Double Knee Bar:
Reading 'Life and Limb' at the moment about Jamie Andrew who lost his hands and feet to frostbite on Les Droites. Very good!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Life-Limb-story-tragedy-survival/dp/0749950528/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF...
Bobling - on 17 Dec 2012
In reply to kate8:

God damn you amazon, too easy, meant to add this to wish list and added it to basket instead. Easier to follow through rather than remove from basket, oh well a little xmas pressie from me to me, because I'm worth it.

To the OP - has anyone mentioned Touching the Void yet? Just in case not and you have not read it.
Double Knee Bar - on 17 Dec 2012
In reply to Bobling:
> (In reply to Double Knee Bar)

>
> I wish, wish, wish that Santa would make a literature thread a sticky (or something)

Maybe an article of a list of titles and a short description/blurb would be a good idea? Any climbing book anoraks up for that?
Pursued by a bear - on 17 Dec 2012
In reply to Double Knee Bar: I'll swim against the tide a little.

There are a number of books in the classic mountaineering library that I think need to be moved to long-term storage. Patey's One Man's Mountains is terribly dated; though it's a good indicator of what the climbing scene and its personalities was and were like, I don't think it holds up well now (its best essay, A Short Walk with Whillans, is available in the anthology Mirrors in the Cliffs). Joe Brown's The Hard Years similarly; if you want a better indicator of the Rock and Ice scene, then Perrin's Whillans biography The Villain, though flawed, gives a better picture. McFarlane's Mountains of The Mind seems to be acknowledged as a classic; I found it obvious, tedious and badly written and donated my copy to the charity shop as soon as I'd finished it. And I don't think Peter Boardman's books hold up that well either. However, see below.

So what would I recommend? Despite what I've said above, I'd recommend the Boardman Tasker omnibus. This is because it contains Tasker's Savage Arena, which is still a compelling read, and you may as well get the four B-T books in the omnibus if you can. If you can't, get Savage Arena on its own; it's well worth it.

The anthologies The Games Climbers Play and Mirrors in the Cliffs are still good reads, despite now being a little dated. The first contains the eponymous essay by Lito Tejada-Flores and that's still an insightful read; the second contains Robert Reid's marvellous summary of climbing history No Wonder Mallory Didn't Make It. Both contain much else too and the authors contained within may point your reading list in new directions.

Bonington's books are classics; he has his own style and it's easy to mock, but there's a great deal in The Everest Years which is worthwhile. If you want a different take, try Clint Willis' The Boys of Everest - but you might want to have a look at this thread first http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=212824

If Everest interests you, try Walt Unsworth's Everest; a marvellous book. Still in the greater ranges, try Greg Child's Thin Air.

More when they come to me...have fun reading.

T.
Double Knee Bar - on 17 Dec 2012
In reply to Pursued by a bear: boardman tasker omnibus looks great. Think ill have a gander at the games climbers play too. Thanks.
Bobling - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

Agreed I had to make an effort to get through some bits of Patey, and Murray's Mountaineering in Scotland was so ungripping I had to relegate it to the small room to be my throne tome. I've warmed to it now though but the style takes a bit of getting used to for a modern reader. Twights Kiss or Kill is a very good antidote.

Two American books I thoroughly enjoyed were John Long's The High Lonesome, (an anthology about soloing) and David Robert's Deborah/Mountain of My Fear.

I like the idea of an article, I only wish I had time to invest in something like that.
Matt Rees - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to Double Knee Bar:

I've read pretty much all the books on this thread and a few more besides and I'd have to say that Enduring Patagonia by Greg Crouch is one of my faves.
Robert Durran - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to Matt Rees:
> (In reply to Double Knee Bar)
>
> I'd have to say that Enduring Patagonia by Greg Crouch is one of my faves.

Yes, a truly gripping book.
I'll add The Mountain of My Fear by David Roberts; a true classic.
ads.ukclimbing.com
RichMoss - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to Double Knee Bar: The Burgess Book of Lies
Fredt on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to Dandelion:
> (In reply to Double Knee Bar) Games Climbers Play - I borrowed a copy from someone and really must get one of my own. Loads of good reading.

Outside have a boxfull of these at £1 each. Unless they're all gone.
Bloodfire - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to Double Knee Bar: I'd go for Ken Wilsons Extreme Rock, There are a few copies floating around on Amazon. Its not the cheapest book but it's certainly a rare one and a great investment too.
Doug on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to Bloodfire: Glad I have a copy, but I wouldn't class it as essential literature compared to most of the other titles mentioned so far
Bloodfire - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to stoneback:
> (In reply to Double Knee Bar)
> Andy Cave and Mick fowler have both written a couple of books, all very good reads - better than Andy K's imo.
>
> Also, I don't think you can fault Bonningtons autobiography as a snapshot of early british climbing. Its in 3 parts but very readable.
>
> Nick.

Don't let Peter Jackson get hold of it. It may become a 3 part movie staring Ian McKellan as Gand... sorry Bonnington!

waj - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to Double Knee Bar: The Only Genuine Jones by Alex Roddie
Only a hill - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to waj:
That's made my day, thanks! =)
Blizzard - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to Double Knee Bar:

The Villain, great book. There is lots of literaure concerning Everest that is worth reading eg Boys of Everest
Robert Durran - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to Double Knee Bar:

A.F. Mummery: My climbs in The Alps and The Causasus
Double Knee Bar - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to Only a hill: Any printed books in the pipeline Alex? Not got kindle or anything you see but would like to read your book.
Gordon Stainforth - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to Double Knee Bar:

Alex is launching the paperback version of his OGJ in February:

http://www.facebook.com/events/549823258367884/
Only a hill - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to Double Knee Bar:
As Gordon says my novel is coming out in Feb in paperback form. Received the proof copy today and it's looking good!

Here's the event page on Glencoescotland:
http://www.glencoescotland.com/whatson/book-launch/
Captain Gear - on 21 Dec 2012
In reply to Double Knee Bar:

My top 4 would be:

Hard Rock
Feeding the Rat
Deep Play
Savage Arena - Which I'm amazed no one has mentioned so far!

Co1in H - on 22 Dec 2012
In reply to Blizzard:
> (In reply to Double Knee Bar)
>
> The Villain, great book. There is lots of literaure concerning Everest that is worth reading eg Boys of Everest

BoE really is a c**p book. It is innacurate and ill informed. Scott and Bonington will tell you the same!

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.