Five of our Favorite Mountain Climbing Books

As you come in for a landing in Colorado en route to one of the Timbers Resorts private residence clubs like One Steamboat Place, The Sebastian - Vail, The Timbers Club in Snowmass or Dancing Bear Aspen, you can’t help but fall in love with the breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains. Therefore, it’s only fitting that you take along some of the world’s best mountain climbing books, which provide awe-inspiring looks into the danger and glory of climbing the world’s highest peaks. Here are five of our favorites:

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
Into Thin Air has been one of the most popular books about climbing Mount Everest for more than a decade. The book is the author’s account of successfully summitting the world’s highest mountain while examining what mistakes led to five fellow climbers losing their lives. These events in May 1996 have become a significant part of Everest’s history and lore. Guide Anatoli Boukreev wrote a competing account of the events, The Climb, after taking exception to Krakauer’s portrayal of him. Be warned though — once you start this book, you won't be able to put it down until you've finished it. Timbers Resorts tie-in: Neal Beidleman who was a guide on the famed 1996 climb is an Aspen, Colorado, resident and friend to Timbers Resorts.

No Shortcuts to the Top: Climbing the World's 14 Highest Peaks by David Roberts and Ed Viesturs
There are only 14 mountains on the planet higher that 8,000 meters, and mountaineering legend Ed Viesturs set out to climb all of them without the aid of bottled oxygen. It took Viesturs 18 years to accomplish the task before publishing this memoir in 2007. To be inspired by one of the world’s most incredible achievements (and men) No Shortcuts to the Top is the perfect vacation read. Timbers Resorts tie-in: In 2008, One Steamboat Place brought Viesturs to town for a slideshow presentation from his 8,000-meter peak quest, which drew a full house at the Community Center. Ski mountaineer Chris Davenport of Aspen, Colorado, opened the presentation with an account from his "Ski the 14ers" project where he skied all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks in a record-setting time of one year.

Annapurna: The First Conquest of an 8,000-Meter Peak by Maurice Herzog and Conrad Anker
Annapurna claims the life of more than half of those who attempt to reach its summit. Not only is it 8,100 meters high, but the approach is one of the most treacherous in the Himalayas. All of this makes the tale of the men who reached Annapurna’s top for the first time in 1950 – without oxygen or modern climbing equipment – all the more amazing. This book is Maurice Herzog’s account of the climb, dictated from his hospital bed after barely escaping the mountain with his life. Timbers Resorts tie-in: Conrad Anker was the keynote speaker at the 2010 5Point Film Festival sponsored by Timbers Resorts in our hometown of Carbondale, Colorado.

Miracle in the Andes: 72 Days on the Mountain and My Long Trek Home by Nando Parrado and Vince Rause
On October 13 1972, a plane crashed in the Andes carrying 45 people including a Chilean rugby team. After being unconscious for three days then waiting for a rescue that never came, Nando Parrado led a group of survivors 45 miles through the Andes to find help, then lived to tell the tale.

Savage Summit: The True Stories of the First Five Women Who Climbed K2, the World's Most Feared Mountain by Jennifer Jordan
K2 is not as high as Everest, but it's far more dangerous. At the time this book was published in 2005, only six women had reached its summit, compared to Everest’s 90. Three died on the way back down. Jennifer Jordan tells the stories of these courageous women.

Got a favorite arm-chair mountaineering book we didn't list? Share it with us in the comments section below.

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