/ Good climbing/mountaineering book for a non-climber?

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Oo on 18 Nov 2013
A good friend seems to always be able to buy me amazing books for my birthday and I regularly struggle to compete. Does anyone have any suggestions of good climbing/mountaineering type books that would fit the bill?

Thanks in advance!

Oo
Ben Sharp - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Oo: Depends on what they're like, andy caves learning to breathe is really readable for a non-climber, psychovertical as well, but both very different books.
Chris Sansum - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Oo:

Learning to Breathe was the first one that sprang to mind for me too.
Kevin Woods - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Oo: Rock n Roll Mountains. Has *everything* there if you're a climber, and you don't need to be a climber to enjoy.
Mark Bull - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Oo:

Can't beat a good epic: how about "Touching the Void" or "Fiva"?

Offwidth - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Mark Bull:

Ideal choices. I know loads of such folk who enjoyed the former and as for Fiva, one of my work colleagues read it the other day (no promting by me... another non-climber recommended it) and was very complemetory.
Only a hill - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Oo:
Only one left in stock, but always more on the way:
www.amazon.co.uk/Only-Genuine-Jones-Alex-Roddie/dp/178299095X/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

Fiva is another great choice.
Slipknot_olly on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Oo: If its an educational/training one your after id say you cannot do better than any of Libby Peters books

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rock-Climbing-Essential-Techniques-Mountain/dp/095415116X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8...
Happy Haggis - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Oo:

More votes from me for Learning to Breathe, Fiva and Touching the Void (I think the latter is the best for non-climbers).

No Picnic on Mount Kenya by Benuzzi is also fab - more of an adventure than a climbing story.
Choss on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Oo:

For a non Climber, but for good yarns

killing Dragons
Bonningtons boys

Both easily Accessible for outsiders.

For fun short stories

Mountain days bothy nights
View From the Ridge
complete Doctor stories
SuperstarDJ - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Oo:

I very much enjoyed 'Into the Silence' by Wade Davis. It's a history book that's about the exploration of the Himalaya and the first attempts on Everest by Mallory. There's loads of great stuff in there about the actual attempts but it's not full of technical detail and could as easily be read by a history buff as a climbing/mountaineering buff. It's also stunningly well written.

Steve House's 'Beyond the Mountain' is another I'd recommend. It's much more focussed on the mountains and routes but he lays himself open psychologically and so it's a fascinating insight into what makes a cutting edge high altitude mountaineer tick.
mav - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Oo:
The other one that springs to mind, because its about a topic that interests non-climbers, is the Jon Krakeuer book on Everest, Into Thin Air.
Only a hill - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Choss:
> (In reply to Oo)
>
> For a non Climber, but for good yarns
>
> killing Dragons
> Bonningtons boys
>
> Both easily Accessible for outsiders.
>
> For fun short stories
>
> Mountain days bothy nights
> View From the Ridge
> complete Doctor stories

You have good taste, sir!
Parrys_apprentice - on 19 Nov 2013
Lord of the rings?

they're trying to get that jewellery up mount doom. A bit like Kenton Cool and the olympic medal.
Bwox - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to mav:

> because its about a topic that interests non-climbers, is the Jon Krakeuer book on Everest, Into Thin Air

Also one of his others, Into the Wild.

Andy Kirkpatrick's books are quite accessible for non-climbers (though obviously mostly about climbing).

The Ascent of Rum Doodle.
felt - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Oo:

The only sensible choice is Touching, I'm afraid. All the others are too specialist/geeky. Touching is perhaps a bit like this in the first third, but then becomes universal in its appeal. Hence the non-specialist book prize(s) it scooped.

I've given it to several people who wouldn't know a carabiner from a Carabiniere and they've all loved it, devoured it.
felt - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Bwox:

Oh, yes, Into Thin Air as well. So, apart from Touching and Thin ...
myserable old git - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Oo: Going back a bit there's always One Mans Mountains by Tom Patey, a book my non climbing wife thinks is great.
SuperstarDJ - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to felt:
> (In reply to Oo)
>
> The only sensible choice is Touching, I'm afraid. All the others are too specialist/geeky. Touching is perhaps a bit like this in the first third, but then becomes universal in its appeal. Hence the non-specialist book prize(s) it scooped.

Well 'Into the Silence' won the Samuel Johnson prize in 2012 - "The UK's most prestigious non-fiction award." so also fits that category. It's more of a history book than an adventure yarn.

Touching the Void is a fine book though!

felt - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to SuperstarDJ:

Hmmm, Into, eh? One for the historians, I think; a bit limited in its appeal.

Not everyone wants to wade (ahem) through pages and pages about WWI, esp as they are so ill-informed. And it's the most appallingly written book, I'm sorry to say. Not sure how it ever won that prize.
SuperstarDJ - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to felt:
> (In reply to SuperstarDJ)
>
> Hmmm, Into, eh? One for the historians, I think; a bit limited in its appeal.
>
> Not everyone wants to wade (ahem) through pages and pages about WWI, esp as they are so ill-informed. And it's the most appallingly written book, I'm sorry to say. Not sure how it ever won that prize.


We can agree to disagree on this then (and on musicals too from the looks of that thread :-).

I guess the OP has a few choices to consider and to pick from anyway.

David Cowley - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Oo:

Learning to breathe and the thin white line by andy cave. Also i chose to climb by chris bonnington are my 3 favourites and I've read a few. Check out what they already have first. Echoes by nick bullock is new and very good but any book thats won the boardman tasker prize is guaranteed to be a good read.

The list of books could go on and on :-)
mrbird - on 19 Nov 2013
In reply to Oo: Al Alvarez feeding the rat. Nice easy wee read about Mo Antoine. Seems like a great bloke and a good story. Some climbs mixed up with plenty other experiences he had.
Oo on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to Oo:

Thank you very much everyone! Should have got a few Christmas presents sorted out of this lot as well, might hold off on the tales of near death on some of the nervous relatives though.

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