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Thread: Essential Books?

  1. #16
    Senior Member Neil's Avatar
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    Adrift by Callahan.

  2. #17
    Senior Member DSettahr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony View Post
    One of my favorites was just turned into a movie: Lansing, Alfred (2001). Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 978-02978-2919-5.
    I strongly recommend reading Shackleton's personal account of the trip, South, as well as Worsley's personal accounts which he published as two books, Endurance and Shackleton's Boat Journey. South was one of Lansing's main sources of information, and Worsley does an excellent job of conveying the emotions of the experience.

  3. #18
    Senior Member Nif's Avatar
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    On my list for ones that haven't been mentioned already are of course the classics, The White Spider - Heinrich Harrer Eiger 1st ascent and Annapurna - Maurice Herzog

    Fatal Mountaineer: The High-Altitude Life and Death of Willi Unsoeld

    In the zone : Epic survival stories from the mountaineering world - This is a comilation of short stories by Peter Pottersfield and includes the unbelievable story of Colby Coombs on Foraker.

    Jim Curran's K2 book about the 1986 season.

    Joe Simpson This game of Ghosts. Its his 2nd book about how he got started climbing. I have all his books, but is the next best after touching the void. Some good stories. This guy knows how to get in and out of trouble.

  4. #19
    Senior Member Jay H's Avatar
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    I'd recommend Jon Waterman (not Guy's son, the other Jon)

    "A Most Hostile Mountain", it's about a combo sailing trip/glacier ski/sled/mountaineering climb of Mt St. Elias in the Alaska's Wrangell-St Elias range. It kind of was his attempt to recreate the Duke of Abruzzi's first ascent of the peak that many people consider tougher than Mt McKinley.

    Jay
    You must go and you must ramble
    Through every briar and bramble
    Till your life is in a shambles
    Maybe then you will know
    -"You Must Go" - John Hiatt

  5. #20
    Senior Member WhiteMTHike's Avatar
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    A little different twist but "The Last Season" by Eric Blehm is my favorite outdoor book of all time.
    "The laborers day ends with the going down of the sun, and he is then free to
    devote himself to his chosen pursuit, independent of his labor and his
    employer". Henry David Thoreau

  6. #21
    Senior Member bcskier's Avatar
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    Escape from Lucania

    One book that ought to be on this list is Escape from Lucania by Dave Roberts. It's especially relevant to New Englanders because it chronicles the story of Brad Washburn's '37 ascent with Bob Bates of Mt. Lucania in the Canadian Rockies and their subsequent self evacuation from the mountain because their pilot could not return to take them off (nor could he return with the other two members of the expedition.)

    Here is a review: "This short but sweet look at the ascent two Harvard buddies made of Mt. Lucania in the Yukon Valley in 1937-at the time, the highest unclimbed North American peak at 17,150 feet-is a welcome respite from the high-tech, thrill-a-minute climbing tales that have descended like an avalanche. With their friendship cemented in the elite ranks of the Harvard Mountaineering Club, the brash Brad Washburn and the more reserved Bob Bates decide to explore their "passion" for Lucania, but are immediately faced with hardship when their pilot, who lands them at an unexpectedly slushy base of the mountain, is unable to return to pick them up. Roberts's narrative shows how the resourceful duo decided to climb the mountain and then head more than 100 miles on foot to the nearest town, dressed in clothing that "essentially consisted of layers of wool and cotton." In this day of high-tech expedition gear, it's good to know that Washburn's headgear was a Royal Canadian Mounted Police hat. Roberts (True Summit), a longtime chronicler of adventure and exploration, deftly details a time when "the American public remained almost completely ignorant of mountaineering." Roberts's book reveals the true story behind one of the earliest and most remarkable expeditions of the 20th century."

    I noticed a used copy on sale from Amazon for low as 0.01 (plus shipping)

    This an often overlooked book that really deserves more attention than it gets.

    And as long as I'm making a plug for the undersung; an even more obscure, but definitely deserving, adventure "classic" is Four Against Everest which is the account of Woodrow Wilson Sayre's unsanctioned '62 Everest expedition. He had the record for highest point reached by a North American until the American Everest Expedition reached the summit the following year. Not bad for an unsupported, ad hoc, permitless, 4-man expedition. It's another relevant book for us in New England since Sayre was a Tufts professor and did much of his climbing on our local mountains.
    Last edited by bcskier; 11-18-2008 at 05:54 PM. Reason: Thought of the second book

  7. #22
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    The Electric Koolade Acid Test by Tom Wolfe outlines some seriously adventurous trips

  8. #23
    Senior Member bigmoose's Avatar
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    "The Real Frank Zappa Book" by Frank Zappa & Peter Occhiogrosso.

    And I concur that "Escape from Lucania" is a tremendous read.

  9. #24
    Senior Member NeoAkela's Avatar
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    I really enjoyed Charles Houston and Robert Bates' two books about the first two failed American expeditions to K2 in 1938 and 1953. "Five Miles High" and "K2 The Savage Mountain". They go into quite a bit of detail on the amazing amount of preparation it takes to launch a large expedition, and they take turns telling a very stirring true tale.

  10. #25
    Junior Member bucket head's Avatar
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    Of the adventure books that I've read, the most amazing to me is "Death Valley in '49: The Autobiography of a Pioneer" by William L Manly. This is the story of a young Vermont man who made his way westward and gained survival skills as a trapper. Eventually he travels to California during the 1849 gold rush along with several families who enter the desert and underestimate its extent. The author includes lots of detail about the people and places along the way. This story would appeal to history buffs.

    A second book not mentioned already is "Alaska Wilderness: Exploring the Central Brooks Range" by Robert Marshall (of Adirondack fame). This is his story of several reconnaissance trips in Alaska. I think this book would appeal to those who liked “Escape from Lucania”.

  11. #26
    Senior Member BlackBuffalo's Avatar
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    Non hiking related and not a land lovers book:

    In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathanial Philbrick

    This true story inspired Moby Dick.
    Quite an a amazing tale.

  12. #27
    Senior Member bcskier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackBuffalo View Post
    Non hiking related and not a land lovers book:

    In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathanial Philbrick

    This true story inspired Moby Dick.
    Quite an a amazing tale.
    I agree a great story. What the story "Alive" was to people in the 1970s the accounts of the Essex were to those of the 1820s. Here's a Wikipedia reference to the story of the Essex.

  13. #28
    Senior Member adktyler's Avatar
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    Some of my favorites are:

    "At the Mercy of the Mountains" by Peter Bronski
    "Touch the Top of the World" by Erik Weihenmayer (though I wish it included his expedition up Everest).
    "Into the Wild" by Jon Krakauer
    "Into Thin Air" by Jon Krakauer
    "K2—The Savage Mountain" by Charles Houston
    and the classic "To Build a Fire" by Jack London

  14. #29
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    I also loved Lansing's Endurance and Millard's River of Doubt.

    One of my all time favorites: Gary Paulson's Winterdance about his dream, training and racing in the Iditarod. I never laughed so hard over any adventure book, yet it's poignant, funny and inspiring. I've read it three times but be careful if you're reading it in public. You cannot control yourself.

    Other good ones not mentioned: Jennifer Jordan's Savage Summit, Art Davidson's Minus 148 (first winter attempt of Denali), Rowing to Latitude by Jill Fredston, RD Lawrence's North Runner; and Running North by Ann Cook is about her NH husband George Cook's 1992 racing in the Yukon Quest- (worse than the Iditarod?!)

  15. #30
    Senior Member adktyler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucky Laura View Post
    Minus 148 (first winter attempt of Denali), [U]
    I forgot about this one!! I love this one too.

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