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Alpine Climbing: Techniques to Take You Higher (Mountaineers Outdoor Expert) Paperback – 1 May 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
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.