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6 Riveting Reads for Your Summer Climbs

This year’s Spring Commencement featured mountaineer and U alum Conrad Anker as the featured speaker

Dr. Gregory C. Thompson, Associate Dean for Special Collections and Alfred Mowdood, Head of Faculty Services and Librarian, were both involved in events around Conrad Anker and his bestowal of an honorary doctorate from the U.

Recently, a guide has been created to make various books, magazines, and movies about rock climbing, hiking, and other subjects surrounding Anker’s work easier to find. Here are six of our favorites. 

1. The Lost Explorer: Finding Mallory on Mount Everest by Conrad Anker; David Roberts

Recounts the disappearance of George Leigh Mallory and Andrew Irvine on Mount Everest in 1924 and the recent discovery of Mallory’s remains. This is the adventure story of the year, how Conrad Anker found the body of George Mallory on Mount Everest, casting an entirely new light on the mystery of the explorer who may have conquered Everest seventy-five years ago. 

Check it out

2. St. George Bouldering by Dallas Lasley

St. George, Utah has become the winter destination of the west. Long known for it’s abundance of quality routes, Dallas Lasley’s new book now fills in the gaps for boulderers.This guide includes Pioneer Park, Moe’s Valley, Garth, Super Mario Land and Anasazi.

Check it out

3. Best Climbs Red Rocks by Jason D. Martin

Best Climbs Red Rocks appeals specifically to traveling climbers and local climbers who want the best local climbing. Although the Best Climbs guides feature routes of all grades, the emphasis is on easy to moderate routes in the 5.6 to 5.10 range. The book will include nearly 200 featured routes with each section including climbing area trivia and history in the form of short “callouts,” but the primary focus will be on the route selection and descriptions themselves. All routes will be shown clearly on detailed color photo topos, alongside stunning action photos and a contemporary design.

Check it out

4. Alpine Exposures by Jon Griffith

In Alpine Exposures, mountain sports photographer Jon Griffith presents over ten years of breathtaking photography in the Western Alps. Written in English, French and German languages, and with a foreword by leading alpinist Ueli Steck, Alpine Exposures takes the reader on a tour of cutting edge climbs deep in the heart of the Alps’ most celebrated mountains.

Check it out

5. The 9th Grade: 150 Years of Free Climbing by David Chambre

This book tells the history of rock climbing, more specifically free climbing, starting from the beginnings at the end of 19th century, until today, with the 9th grade, level reached by the best climbers in the world. The book contains a rich iconography showing the best climbing moves over the years, and photographs of the iconic climbers.

Check it out

6. Forget Me Not: A Memoir by Jennifer Lowe-Anker

Alex Lowe, widely considered one of our greatest modern mountaineers, died tragically in an avalanche in the Himalaya in 1999, leaving behind his wife, Jennifer Lowe, to care for their three young sons. In this memoir Jennifer Lowe paints a portrait of two fiercely independent people pursuing their separate passions – climbing mountains for Alex, creating art for Jenni – while remaining deeply committed to each another.

Check it out

Just in case you weren’t satisfied by reading alone, here is a film recommend as well!


7. Meru: Believe in the Impossible by Jimmy Chin & Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi

Three renowned climbers navigate nature’s harshest elements and their own complicated inner demons to ascend Mount Meru, the most technically complicated and dangerous peak in the Himalayas.

Check it out

Climbing and hiking can be super fun summer activities. Just be sure to always follow proper safety precautions with everything you do!

What are your favorite climbing books, magazines, or films? Did we miss your favorite? Suggest them in the comments below. For more recommendations and to see the full guide of all of these books and more, visit the campus guide. 

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