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Just finished the best book I have ever read.

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Just finished the best book I have ever read.

Postby GeorgiaTyler » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:18 pm

I remember the big list of mountaineering books a little while back, and I’m sure that this book is on there. If you have read a decent amount of mountaineering
Books, chances are one has been written by David Roberts. I just finished “On the ridge between life and death” a climbing life reexamined by David Roberts and every chapter really captivated me. HIS stories from many Alaska expeditions where he put up first ascents, his accounts of sketchy flatiron climbs, 14er scrambles back in the day, and heroic ice climbs, and all the emotions that go hand in hand with mountaineering. This book has it all and his stories take you to base camp to summit unlike anyone I have ever read. If anyone wants a great read that will capture you from page 1, I highly recommend this one. peace

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Re: Just finished the best book I have ever read.

Postby I Man » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:20 pm

David Roberts is a living legend, and near the top of my list of favorite climbers.

I read that book mostly before I started climbing, and I know that I should re-read it now that I have spent some time in the mountains.

I also highly recommend reading the short story "Moments of Doubt" in conjunction with this book.
You can touch the void, just don't fall into it.

"I fly a starship across the universe divide....and when I reach the other side...I'll find a place to rest my spirit if I can. Perhaps I may become a Mountain Man again.

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Re: Just finished the best book I have ever read.

Postby GeorgiaTyler » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:30 pm

That one is prob. next on the list. Dude has had an amazing life (with lots of close calls huh?)

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Re: Just finished the best book I have ever read.

Postby I Man » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:33 pm

GeorgiaTyler wrote:That one is prob. next on the list. Dude has had an amazing life (with lots of close calls huh?)


"Moments of Doubt" was a magazine piece written by him way back in the day about whether or not it is "worth it." Roberts was witness to or involved in 3 fatal accidents before he was 21.


In "On the Ridge," he reexamines his conclusions decades later.
You can touch the void, just don't fall into it.

"I fly a starship across the universe divide....and when I reach the other side...I'll find a place to rest my spirit if I can. Perhaps I may become a Mountain Man again.

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Re: Just finished the best book I have ever read.

Postby kushrocks » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:37 pm

SWEET!!! GeorgiaTyler thank you. I just purchased it on Amazon. Perfect timing to because I am in need of a new mountaineering book immedieatly.
" The two most important days in your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why." - Mark Twain
"Danger in Alpinism is just part of the game. As soon as you eliminate the danger you have just every other sport." Febrizio Zangrilli
“The best climber in the world is the one who is having all the fun.” – Alex Lowe
"To travel, to experience and learn, that is to live" - Sherpa Tensing Norgay (first person to Summit Mt. Everest)
"Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit" - Edward Abbey
" Don’t be afraid to move out of your comfort zone. Some of your best life experiences and opportunities will transpire only after you dare to loose."

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Re: Just finished the best book I have ever read.

Postby SurfNTurf » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:38 pm

Coincidentally enough, I finished On The Ridge Between Life and Death last night. Great book once you get past the cringeworthy chapters about him losing his virginity. Don't get me wrong, I understand how that incident played a role in his climbing life and the thesis he was trying to convey, but a play-by-play wasn't really necessary. :shock:

If anyone wants it I'll be returning it to the Denver Public Library downtown branch this week.

The collection "Moments of Doubt," which includes its namesake piece as well as many others, was better overall in my mind, but both works are must-reads for any fan of mountaineering literature.
Many Miles to Go (Blog)

“There are two kinds of climbers: those who climb because their heart sings when they’re in the mountains, and all the rest.” - Alex Lowe

"There have been joys too great to describe in words, and there have been griefs upon which I cannot dare to dwell; and with those in mind I say, 'Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are nought without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste, look well to each step, and from the beginning think what may be the end.'" - Edward Whymper

Re: Just finished the best book I have ever read.

Postby AndYouSeeMe » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:41 pm

Def a great book, thanks for the borrow Matt!

I am actually housesitting in Boulder right now 4 doors down from his childhood home under Chautauqua. I can just imagine him running down Bluebell after the Flatiron incident.

That was my first mountaineering book and it definitely got me hooked on them, such fun reads.

And I always chuckle when I take the dogs for a walk in the virginity cemetery!

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Re: Just finished the best book I have ever read.

Postby I Man » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:45 pm

AndYouSeeMe wrote:Def a great book, thanks for the borrow Matt!

I am actually housesitting in Boulder right now 4 doors down from his childhood home under Chautauqua. I can just imagine him running down Bluebell after the Flatiron incident.

That was my first mountaineering book and it definitely got me hooked on them, such fun reads.

And I always chuckle when I take the dogs for a walk in the virginity cemetery!


South Noddle head is your Destiny! Dooooo it. 8)
You can touch the void, just don't fall into it.

"I fly a starship across the universe divide....and when I reach the other side...I'll find a place to rest my spirit if I can. Perhaps I may become a Mountain Man again.

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Re: Just finished the best book I have ever read.

Postby Dave B » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:48 pm

SurfNTurf wrote:Don't get me wrong, I understand how that incident played a role in his climbing life and the thesis he was trying to convey, but a play-by-play wasn't really necessary..


Agreed :-&

However, and I hear Simon Yates is similar, I couldn't help but feel that the profoundness of many of the climbs he talks about to be, well, understated. Some of his routes are amazing FAs with little beta yet the description gives it the intenseness of a walk in the park (even those on which people died). The one that stands out particularly was the FA of the avalanching face in Banff.

Maybe it's just me :?: .

I also found it to be quite an interesting perspective on Jon Krakauer, especially after having read Anatoli Boukreev's The Climb, his account of the '96 Everest disaster which casts Krakauer in much less stellar of a light than Into Thin Air
"There is no cheating in climbing, only lying." - Semi-Rad

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Re: Just finished the best book I have ever read.

Postby I Man » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:51 pm

Dave B wrote:
SurfNTurf wrote:Don't get me wrong, I understand how that incident played a role in his climbing life and the thesis he was trying to convey, but a play-by-play wasn't really necessary..


Agreed :-&

However, and I hear Simon Yates is similar, I couldn't help but feel that the profoundness of many of the climbs he talks about to be, well, understated. Some of his routes are amazing FAs with little beta yet the description gives it the intenseness of a walk in the park (even those on which people died). The one that stands out particularly was the FA of the avalanching face in Banff.

Maybe it's just me :?: .

I also found it to be quite an interesting perspective on Jon Krakauer, especially after having read Anatoli Boukreev's The Climb, his account of the '96 Everest disaster which casts Krakauer in much less stellar of a light than Into Thin Air


And they were tripping on mescaline on that FA in Banff.


One thing that i have come to realize about mountaineering literature, is that I likely didn't fully grasp the magnitude of the climbs until I start climbing myself. Once you get a feel for mountain terrain and what a 60 degree slope looks like, etc...it is much easier to picture things in your mind.
You can touch the void, just don't fall into it.

"I fly a starship across the universe divide....and when I reach the other side...I'll find a place to rest my spirit if I can. Perhaps I may become a Mountain Man again.

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Re: Just finished the best book I have ever read.

Postby DaveSwink » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:53 pm

Every story can have two sides, I guess. Read Transcendent Summits by Roberts' high schoolmate, Gerry Roach, to get a very different perspective.

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Re: Just finished the best book I have ever read.

Postby kushrocks » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:56 pm

Dave B wrote:I also found it to be quite an interesting perspective on Jon Krakauer, especially after having read Anatoli Boukreev's The Climb, his account of the '96 Everest disaster which casts Krakauer in much less stellar of a light than Into Thin Air


Totally agree. Reading The Climb was a huge eye opener and possibly one of my favorite books especially after Anatoli along with other key witnesses proves Krakauer's account of the 1996 disaster wrong multiple times. Into Thin Air is now a joke to me. Anatoli may have made some mistakes but he also saved the lives of several climbers in -100 wind chill when no one else not even the sherpas had the strength to assist . . . oh and this was after climbing Mt. Everest without bottled O's. I dont care what anyone says Anatoli is an absolute bad ass and a hero in my eyes. When he died on Annapurna the world lost one of the best climbers of all time.
" The two most important days in your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why." - Mark Twain
"Danger in Alpinism is just part of the game. As soon as you eliminate the danger you have just every other sport." Febrizio Zangrilli
“The best climber in the world is the one who is having all the fun.” – Alex Lowe
"To travel, to experience and learn, that is to live" - Sherpa Tensing Norgay (first person to Summit Mt. Everest)
"Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit" - Edward Abbey
" Don’t be afraid to move out of your comfort zone. Some of your best life experiences and opportunities will transpire only after you dare to loose."

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