Thursday, May 1, 2008

Top 10: books on Alpinism

Andy Cave is a world-class Alpinist and the author of Learning to Breathe and Thin White Line.

For the Guardian, he named a top 10 list of books on Alpinism. His criteria, followed by Number One on the list:
For me, the best books on Alpinism describe those who have genuinely pushed the boundaries of what is possible. Successful mountaineering literature, however, must do more than just transport the reader to an alien, frozen world through evocative prose and original metaphor. The best have emotional depth, allowing the reader to engage with the protagonists' internal thoughts and motives. Done well, the common theme of courage overcoming adversity can inspire us to seek new challenges in our own lives.

Touching the Void by Joe Simpson

After pioneering a difficult new route up Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes, Joe Simpson breaks his leg. Simon Yates, his partner, begins lowering him down the immense face. Almost on the glacier, in a raging storm, Yates' belay begins to disintegrate and in a moment of utter desperation he cuts the rope between them. What follows is astonishing. One of the greatest survival stories ever written, this compelling narrative forces the reader to wonder how they might have acted in the same circumstances.
Read about all ten titles on Cave's list.

Visit Andy Cave's website.

--Marshal Zeringue