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Alpine Climbing: Techniques to Take You Higher (Mountaineers Outdoor Expert) Paperback – 1 May 2005

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Product details

  • Paperback: 326 pages
  • Publisher: Mountaineers Books (1 May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898867495
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898867497
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 17.4 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 237,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By alexwuk on 30 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback
Cosley and Houston have written an extremely comprehensive guide to staying safe and most importantly, enjoying, time on the Mountain.

All books on Mountaineering have an inherent tension: the sheer amount of knowledge needed to be safe is liable to make any comprehensive guide Encyclopedic, leading to serious difficulty learning all the needed skills. The authors here opt for brevity to keep the length manageable (less than 250 pages), but there is little repetition of key information so attention is needed to make sure you take it all in.

The books covers virtually all techniques needed on a mountain (excluding rock climbing skills which are best addressed practically in any case): if you can take all the information in, you will be a substantially stronger mountaineer, regardless of your starting ability. I found some of the techniques a little abstract unless I practised them in real life, but that is hardly a critique given the medium.

In summary: the best practical guide to mountaineering I have found, and indispensable for intermediates looking to make sure their skillset is complete and error-free.

The authors also have an excellent website.
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By Amazon Customer on 12 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
This is the best mountaineering training book I've ever read. Of course, just reading a book doesn't give you the skills - but it's a start :-)
What's here is a comprehensive overview of the techniques and approaches that you need for alpine climbing, supported by the authors' extensive experience and advice. This isn't the book you want if you're learning to rock climb - knowledge of this is taken for granted. But what is in here is how to apply that knowledge to the mountains, as well as an enormous amount of context and advice. Mountain-specific skills (snow and ice, glaciers, navigation, specialist knots) are explained in detail, and well illustrated.
The authors talk about situational decision making, and that's a good way of seeing what this book is about - it gives you a range of ways to deal with problems, and helps you understand when you might use each - and this is exactly what you need for big, complex, very variable tasks such as most alpine climbs.
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Format: Paperback
I read this to broaden my knowledge of mountaineering after doing some Alpine hiking and climbing a couple of easy peaks. The book has obviously been written by someone with a lot of practical experience and true passion for mountaineering. In general the information was very relevant and particularly interesting to me were the descriptions of things like risk assessment - why mountaineers make the decisions they do in different situations.

A very good and accurate all-round picture of Alpine mountaineering covering equipment, land features, climbing techniques, thought processes etc. I'd reccommend it to any beginner or intermediate.

Could do with more pictures.
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By au'cheval on 5 May 2010
Format: Paperback
This is the finest instructional book on alpine mountaineering I have come across. It is full of essential information clearly and concisely presented.
I would whole heartedly recommend this book to any planning a trip to any alpine region.
If you are going to buy only one book on alpine techniques make it this one. I would also suggest getting EXTREME ALPINISM by Mark Twight. these two read in conjunction contain all the essential information you will need.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 22 reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Sweet spot between the basics and the extreme 27 Dec. 2004
By Ohio climber - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book hits the sweet spot between Freedom of the Hills and Mark Twight. Finally, a book for those of us who know the basics, maybe have done some guided mountaineering trips or novice routes, and already know how to rock climb, but need to know more in order to venture further on our own. The authors frame everything in terms of making decisions, which is very helpful when you are doing things for the first time. Good discussions of equipment, hazards, weather, navigation, and protective systems. The approach is very down to earth and practical.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Climb harder than Freedom of the Hills... 10 Aug. 2005
By Scott Shankle - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
...but not to the extreme.

This book is the second chapter in an aspiring alpinists handbook. I found myself over the years amassing a pile of pooks on running, fittness*, nutrition*, supplements*, advanced rock climbing, ice climbing, crevasse rescue, orienteering*, navigation*, avalanche evaluation, etc. This book would have saved me a few bucks by putting alot of this in one place.

* = These are covered well in this book.

If you know Freedom of the Hills like the back ouf your hand, have Extreme Alpinism and a good book on slightly more advanced rock skills, don't bother. If not, get it.

Even with this book, you need a resource of some sort in avy eval and advanced rock/rope skills.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
good book, well thought out 27 Mar. 2006
By Read some - Published on
Format: Paperback
I agree with the reviewers above (below) that this book complements "Freedom of the Hills". In particular it focuses more on the decision making process than most books of these types. Although I've never traveled with either of the authors, they seem like lovely people and the stories they tell flesh them out for the reader. They also answered a question I had when I wrote them via email. In all, a solid book that it would do to put on your bookshelf.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Excellent book for anyone venturing into the mountains 16 Nov. 2005
By Kapitan - Published on
Format: Paperback
The section on Common Problems with Decision Making was alone worthy the purchase!I could identify many issues and suggestions with my own experiences. Very well laid out book and a must read for anyone venturing into the sport of climbing, or those of us who wish to brush up on skills and ponder ways of continuous learning no matter the level of prior experience. One of definite climbing "bibles" written by people who do it for a living and are prepared to share their experiences and knowledge. Five stars IMHO!!! Happy climbing!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Photos vs drawings 16 Feb. 2015
By Diego Ceballos - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is very comprehensive, helping to choose the right equipment, get rid of avalanches, altitude illness prevention etc. Yet it would be much more clear if instead of using photos (black and white) it used drawings, just as the "Mountaineering: the freedom of the hills" does. I`m reading the book to prepare myself for a expedition, but I always have the "Mountaineering" by my side.
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