You can be deeply in love with the mountains or just hate them. There is no third choice. Mountain hiking is the lifestyle, a kind of drug, which, at first glance, may look safe, but not every ascending is an easy walk: difficult routes require serious preparation, exercise and moral tolerance, will power, and perseverance to climb to the top. Mountain trek is a great life experience, a lesson, a test of human qualities and strengthening of character. Sometimes, the desire to win the mountaintop is higher than your abilities, and here the power of education plays its role. In this article, we collected some books that will tell you everything about the highest peaks of the world and the dangers you may face. You can find something to read and something to write an academic essay on.
Reinhold Messner “Crystal Horizon”
The personality of the author himself is impressive – Reinhold Messner is the first mountaineer who conquered all 14 eight-thousanders of the world. This book is dedicated to his most brilliant achievement — a single ascent of Everest without oxygen in 1980. This book will be useful to everyone, regardless of his/her attitude towards alpinism, because it gives the opportunity to better understand the nature of human emotions: curiosity, a competitive spirit, a conquest of nature through the victory over yourself, your fears and feelings.
Jon Krakauer “Into Thin Air”
Unlike the previous book, in which the main theme is the ultimate goal — the conquest of Chomolungma, this one gives the emphasis on the difficulties, danger, fatal mistakes during the preparation and climbing to the top. Jon Krakauer went to Everest running an errand of the newspaper in the company of an experienced guide Rob Hall and seven other bad prepared and crazy people who wanted to see the world from the highest top. This book is a warning call for careful deliberation and planning, soaked in desperation rather than the romance of such an adventure.
Maurice Herzog “Annapurna, First Conquest of an 8000-meter Peak”
The purpose of the trip was quite self-centered: to get first to the place where nobody has been before. There was no scientific passion for the study of the endurance of the human body. For the unprepared and ignorant readers, the book may seem dry – rather a summary of the information than an adventure saga. However, the book describes reliable events, tragic moments that allow us to sympathize with the participants of the expedition, think about the incredible efforts and sacrifice, the power of passion and perseverance, which have led them so far.
Anatoly Boukreev “The Climb. Tragic Ambitions on Everest”
Not everyone can surrender the mountain and it is clear that single desires, will power, and even thorough preparation may not always be sufficient for the ascent and descent of the mountain. The book is valuable, because of a direct participant of the ascension, an outstanding climber Anatoly Boukreev, wrote it. It describes the day-by-day course of the events, fully recreates the story, which was the basis for the blockbuster of Baltasar Kormákur “Everest” – the tragedy that happened on the Everest in 1996 and killed 5 people, including the guides – Rob Hall and Scott Fisher.
Vladimir Sanin “White Curse”
The avalancher is rare but, at the same time, heroic, extremely dangerous and totally underestimated profession. Its main task is the study of the avalanches and methods of climbers’ rescue. With humor, sincerity, and honesty Vladimir Sanin tells about these brave people, their work and the importance of the profession. The book is also an informative insert about the most famous avalanches, their victims and the possible ways of salvation.
Norgay Tenzing “The Tiger of Snows”
Another story about the Everest from Norgay Tenzing, who returned to the Himalayas seven times and in the end, reached the highest peak in the world. The story is told not by the alpinist, but by the Sherpa porter, who in addition to overcoming kilometer by kilometer with the alpinists, carries the enormously heavy luggage and guides the expedition.
Desio Ardito “K2 — the Second Top Of the World”
Though the second highest top of the world, the K2 or Chogori was considered a relatively easy to conquer and ascend the mountain. The participants of the international expedition mistakenly expected that they would be able to avoid difficulties, because of the professionals in their crew. The ascent was difficult but successful — the author interestingly and in detail describes everything from training, selection of participants to descend and stories about the attempts of other expeditions to climb the second highest peak in the world.
Jeff Long “The Wall”
Well, a little bit of fiction, which is, however, very rich in mountaineering terms. The book is easy to read, because of the plot twists and gradually gaining dynamism, but it will force you to look into the Internet several times in order to learn how a particular item of equipment looks. The former alpinists decide to make the last leap — climb the El Capitan. From the beginning, the signs, warnings, tragic and mysterious events make them hesitate and feel nervous, but do not stop them. The question is – will they reach the top?
If you think that you are brave enough not only to read, but also to see everything and try it yourself – you are welcome! Be sure to read more books and study more information about the peak and good luck!