Three Must-Read Mountaineering Books

Hey friends, happy holidays!

It’s that crazy time of year…. family gatherings, cooking and baking nonstop, shopping, holiday parties, working around the clock…

If you’re anything like me, your schedule has been so chaotic lately that you haven’t had a ton of time to get outdoors and enjoy nature.

When this happens, I love sitting down with a good mountaineering book and reading about grand adventures on the biggest mountains on the planet.

Wait a second.

Let’s face it. Even if I weren’t crazy busy, I still wouldn’t be climbing the biggest mountains on the planet. My skill level and courage just aren’t there at this point.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t love reading about those kinds of adventures!

So I wanted to share with you my three favorite mountaineering books!

  • No Shortcuts to the Top: Climbing the world’s 14 Highest Peaks by Ed Viesturs.
    As much as I love a good thriller, I think I love even more the lessons that Viesturs teaches in his books. He’s super strict on safety. Time and time again he writes, “Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is necessary.” And even so, his stories are always full of adventure and excitement. This book is about Endeavor 8000, Viesturs’ quest to climb all fourteen 8,000 meter peaks.


  • The Naked Mountain by Reinhold Messner. This is the story of Messner’s first summit of an 8,000 meter peak, which resulted in tragedy with the death of his brother, Gunther, and the first ever traverse of Nanga Parbat. He was forced to descend via the Diamir Flank alone, after climbing up the Rupal Face when he was unable to get down the same way.
  • Annapurna: First Conquest of an 8000-meter Peak by Maurice Herzog. I scored an original 1953 hardcover copy of this book for $1 at a local library booksale. Amazing! In 1950, when Herzog led an expedition to Annapurna, not only had no one ever climbed an 8,000 meter mountain, but no one had ever even been to this mountain. They had to first figure out how to get to it and then figure out a route to get up it. This book is seriously fascinating. And it comes with an awesome fold-out map of the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna Massifs!

Leave a comment below and let me know what your favorite adventure books are.


And be sure to enter your email here so you’ll never miss an update on where to find vegan outdoor gear. It’s free, why wouldn’t you want it?

Post a new comment