Mountaineering Books – down sizing. What’s is your favourites?

I am trying hard at downsizing my Mountaineering books, it is sad to see some of them unread on my bookshelves. I will try to ensure many go to good homes some I will keep this is  a few off them that mean so much to me.

What are your favourite Mountaineering books? These are mine in no order.

A book my Dad gave me years ago one of my first books and every year he bought me a Mountaineering book. The Classic Undiscovered Scotland. W.H.Murray

The Classic Undiscovered Scotland. W.H.Murray

Forget that this was written so long ago read about the climbs, the walks and the journey that W.H. Murray made. This was an era of limited travel, poor maps and a discovery every weekend. I love his writing it is wonderful and his insight into the great climbs and peaks opened my eyes to this incredible wee country in another era.

The Shinning Mountain

The Shinning Mountain – Pete Boardman

When this book came out it was a real insight into what was possible in Himalayan Mountaineering at the time. I had met Pete Boardman on the hill a few times what an incredible man. He an Joe Tasker sadly died on Everest and the world lost two of its finest mountaineers and writers. The talk Pete gave in Elgin for the Moray Mountaineering Club was exceptional and his words of “total committeement” and Alpine style changed attitudes to the big mountains,

Hamish Mountain Walk .

Hamish Mountain Walk – Hamish Brown the man who made the MunroS so popular by his first trip through the mountains climbing all the Munro’s in one trip. Inspirational not just for what Hamish did but his tales of the mountains the history and folklore. I always read about the hills on my return and learn so much each read.

Two Star Red

Two Star Red – Gwen Moffat – This is the classic of RAF Mountain Rescue by Gwen Moffat and what a read of some of the Rescues in the UK in the 50’s and 60’s. This was a women in a man’s world incredible these are tales by a lady years ahead of her time.

The Munros Book SMC

The Munros Book. A great guide by the SMC on the Munros one of a few additions and an insight into the ways up these great Mountains. One of the classics and a best seller. Every book the SMC sells money goes the Scottish Mountain Trust (SMT) I was a Trustee for the SMT and they some great work over the years they have raised:

Examples of the work of the Scottish Mountain Trust

Below are shown the approximate totals of the grants made by the Trust in its major areas of activity in the period 1990-2017.

Footpath Construction and Maintenance: £419,000
Core Funding of Mountaineering Council of Scotland: £215,000
Land Purchase: £68,500
Mountaineering Education and Training: £31,500
Mountain Rescue Equipment and Facilities: £65,000
Support of Expeditions: £32,500
Renovation of Club Huts: £189,000
Other: £277,000
TOTAL £1,297,500 

Ben Nevis

Ben Nevis – Scotland finest Mountain a history full of so many great tales about this magic mountain. There is so much to this hill and its history of the great climbers and a great insight and a must read for those who have climbed and love the Ben.

The Cairngorms

The Cairngorms Greg Strange – Another Classic The Cairngorms how much I enjoyed this book. Many of the less busy cliffs in the Cairngorms and the adventures of bothying and climbing in these  remote cliffs and mountains. The wild life, environmental impact and characters are all in this book what a read for those who love this special place.

Scotland’s winter Mountains. Martin Moran.

Scotland’s winter Mountains. Martin Moran. If you want to learn about winter mountaineering this is the book. It is so full of information but the great thing it has lots of mountain Tales by a great mountaineer who knows and loves Scotland so well.

Classic Rock – Ken Wilson

Classic Rock – Ken Wilson – Not being a great climber this took me all over the UK and I was so happy when I completed all the routes in this book. Nowadays many of the routes are busy but it opened my eyes to so many great places to climb. Called “Soft rock” and other names I loved it, the routes all have a piece on many of the routes some by the first ascents. My book has the names of those who climbed the routes with me and what memories I have of these great days. I find over the years this is a great way once the memories fade a bit the comments and the dates are a great insight into the day.  I still have my copy of Hard Rock with a few routes climbed and the next book Extreme rock was not in my league but they were for several of my mates.

Cold Climbs – Ken Wilson Dave Alcock and John Barry

Cold Climbs – Ken Wilson Dave Alcock and John Barry. This was a book that I loved dearly. It opened my mind to some of the great Winter Climbs. The essays/tales of each route were read and read again. It came out just as winter climbing became popular and we even took a copy in the early 80’s to the Alpine Club of Canada in Canmore where we were out ice climbing. This is the book of so many of my climbing heroes and this was a truely wonderful insightinto the winter ice climbing history in the UK.

Hamish Call-out

Hamish Call-out – This is another book my Dad bought me an incredible insight into some of the Rescues in Scotland. Hamish the pioneer of Scottish Mountain Rescue and his tales of the Glencoe MRT these characters is a powerful tale of a life in Mountain Rescue. One book with so many lessons in it. My Dad bought me this it was pretty dramatic at the time and an eye opener, little did he realise I would meet the great man so many times, what a book. A must read for all those who climb.

A Bobby on Ben MacDui

A Bobby on Ben MacDui John Duff – The local Bobby from Braemar tells his tales of life in the Breamar MRT. Part of the story is about the Cairngorm Disaster and John Duff’s view of it. Very interesting a sit explains in detail about this and other insights into the politics of  the Mountain Rescue. Also John Allen’s – Cairngorm John another insight into the big Rescues in these wild mountains and some of the stories from his perspective a good modern view of the politics at the time of Mountain Rescue. It never changes it seems?

Cairngorm John – John Allen

Some amazing books

Mountaincraft & Leadership Eric Langmuir.  The Handbook Of Climbing Allen Fyffe &Ian Peter.  Everest The Cruel Way Joe Tasker.  Long Days On the Hills.A H Griffin   Feeding The Rat Al Alvarez.   Snow & Ice Climbing John Barry.  Ice World Jeff Lowe. Seven Years In Tibet Heinrich Harrier. Medicine For Mountaineering James A. Wilkinson.  Ski  Mountaineering Peter Cliff. A High & Lonely Place Jim Crumley. Hands Of a Climber Steve Dean. 50 years of Alpinism Cassin. Famous Climbers in Canada Phil  Dowling. The White Line Andy Cave. Tales from the Steep John Long The Shishapanga Expedition. Doug Scott  Alex Mac Intyre.  Touching The Void Joe Simpson. The Beckoning Silence.Joe Simpson. This Game Of Ghosts Joe Simpson.

The Book of the Climbing Year Cameron Mc Neish. Camera on the Crag Alan Hankinson. Great Climbs Chris Bonnington.  Mountaineer Chris Bonnington. Beyond The Vertical.Layton Kor. Trango Nameless Tower.Leo Dickenson .Jim Curran Filming The Possible Leo Dickenson Anything is Possible Leo Dickenson Hell of a Journey.Mike Cawthorne. All 14 Eight Thousanders. Reinhold .  Quest  For Adventure – Chris  Bonnington Everest The Hard Way. Chris Bonnington Beyond Everest Patrick Morrow . If You Fall -Karren Drake .The Villian -,Jim Perrin .Highland Wilderness.- Colin Prior .The International Mountain Rescue Handbook – Hamish Mac Innes.

Eiger Dreams – Jon Krakauer. Mountaineering A Manual For Teachers  & Instructors D. t. Roscoe .

Any Comments :

How about for starters, Eric Shiptons and Tilmans mountain travel books, John Muirs Sacred summits, One man’s mountains Tom Patey.

John Chapman comment – Of course The White Spider – superb !

High Endeavours

Douglas Crawford reminded me of this great book. The icon of Scottish climbing Robin Smith taken so young at 23. What a mountaineer and what achievements in his short life.

lets go climbing

Pete Greening – Want to know what climbing is all about, or what inspires people to go climbing? You only need to read Kirkus’ Let’s Go Climbing. Written 80 years ago, it’s still valid today. The enthusiasm Kirkus has for his subject, leaps off every page.

Any Comments – Guide books next?

About heavywhalley.MBE

After dinner speaker Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 36 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 4 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Articles, Avalanche info, Books, Bothies, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Mountaineering, Recomended books and Guides, Rock Climbing, Scottish winter climbing., SMC/SMT, Views Mountaineering. Bookmark the permalink.

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