For those who would like to climb mountains, and for those who merely like to contemplate the possibility, Ruth and John Mendenhall have written as entertaining and completely instructive a book as have ever been tucked into a rucksack.
Since ascending a peak inevitably beings at the bottom, the Mendenhalls first advice neophytes on where to find proper instruction, how much will be expected of them as beginners, and what to bring on early climbs. Sorted out here is the gear and clothing really needed to get started, and safe ways to get the experience and learn techniques needed to confidently approach later climbs on rock, snow, glaciers, and peaks.
Explicit, authoritative information on what climbers really do on diverse terrain introduced the proper use of rope, belaying the climber below and the leader above, learning to lead, and using pitons in rock or ice. In this step-by-step progression the beginner is introduced to rappels, how to choose sound rappel points, and how to set safe rappels. Details on the functions of ice axe and crampons, and the complex conditions encountered on glaciers, arm the progressing climber with further basic information that builds mountaineering skill.
This uniquely complete coverage advanced from the beginning through intermediate climbing, and includes discussions of advanced and controversial techniques that the less experienced will be curious about. Through it all comes an awareness of what mountaineering really is…the high spirits, good humor, pleasures, and philosophies of those who climb.