Nov 152009
 

Until I read Jon Krakauer’s Eiger Dreams, I could honestly say that I had no desire to attempt ice climbing. I like waterfalls, but I never would have considered visiting one in the winter to scale up it. After reading the book though, I am a little curious about the sport and about mountaineering in general.
The book is a compilation of twelve articles on mountaineering written by Krakauer. Of all the arms of mountaineering presented in this book, ice climbing has stuck with me the most for some odd reason.
Krakauer outlines the sport of climbing in these articles, covering everything from ice climbing to climbing legends to canyoneering. The book conveys the stories of climbing in detail and made me want to try it out. Even though it sounded kind of miserable at times, I still felt inspired.
This kind of odd inspiration seems to be the point of Krakauer’s book. In the introduction he says, “Even so, by the end of this book I think the reader will have a better sense not only of why climbers climb, but why they tend to be so goddamn obsessive about it.”
Most people have probably read Krakauer’s Into the Wild and some may have read Into Thin Air or Under the Banner of Heaven  but if you’re looking for a quick read about Krakauer’s personal experiences and climbing knowledge (which is extensive), I recommend picking up Eiger Dreams over Thanksgiving.
If you are as inspired as I am by these stories, rent some gear and get out!

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