Book: Alpine Climbing

Alpine Climbing: Techniques to Take You Higher picks up where many other climbing instruction books culminate. Authors and experienced climbers/guides Mark Houston and Kathy Cosley harness all the basic rock climbing knowledge most beginning mountaineers start with (lead climbing, gear placement, anchor construction, etc.) and demonstrate how to jump from your local crags to more serious, committed alpine routes. While the book is chock-full of technical instruction—different snow anchors, proper self arrest and self belay practices, and crevasse rescues, to name a few—Houston and Cosley also delve into topics that aren’t often spoken of in instruction books such as decision-making, risk assessment, and mental preparation—all integral pieces to a successful day in the mountains. Learning how to make sound, safe decisions in dangerous situations is key in becoming a good alpinist and surviving to enjoy the next adventure. By teaching step-by-step decision-making skills, providing checklists, offering self-posed questions, and providing various climbing scenarios, this book will help accelerate the learning process and good judgement learned through many days, good and bad, spent in the mountains. This intermediate-level guide should be on any budding alpinist’s bookshelf.