Adventure and Expedition Book Recommendations From Pole to Pole and All Points In-Between

Mountaineering Books

TitleAuthor(s)Description
The Third Pole: Mystery, Obsession, and Death on Mount EverestMark SynnottAttempting to find the camera possibly carried to the summit of Everest in 1924 by Sandy Irvine, Synnott recounts his climb and the history of the highest mountain in the world. First published in 2021.
A Window to Heaven: The Daring First Ascent of Denali: America's Wildest PeakPatrick DeanThe true story of the first Ascent of Denali by a unique team of men lead by Hudson Stuck, who was also an Episcopal priest. First published in 2021.
The Next Everest: Surviving the Mountain's Deadliest Day and Finding the Resilience to Climb AgainJim DavidsonTrapped on Everest for 2 days during the deadly 2015 earthquake, Davidson shares his story of survival and his return to finally climb Everest. First published in 2021.
Nimsdai Purja, Nirmal PurjaPurja shares his incredible record breaking journey of climbing the 14 highest mountains in just over 6 months. First published in 2020.
The World Beneath Their Feet: Mountaineering, Madness, and the Deadly Race to Summit the HimalayasScott EllsworthEllsworth describes the historic "races" to various Himalayan summits by competing governments, millionaires and great mountaineers. First published in 2020.
The Moth and the Mountain: A True Story of Love, War, and EverestEd CaesarThe true story of a World War I veteran who embarked on a wild journey to fly from London to the summit of Mount Everest, hoping to become the first person to do so. First published in 2020.
Alone at the Top: Climbing Denali in the Dead of WinterLonnie Dupre, Pam LouwagieAfter dealing with some personal life changes, artic explorer Lonnie Dupre decided to attempt to climb Denali in the winter to help his recovery. First published in 2018.
Denali Ranger: A Life of Drama and Adventure on America's Tallest PeakLew FreedmanAs a ranger on Denali for over 30 years, Roger Robinson shares his many stories of tragedy and heroism on the mountain. First published in 2017.
Surviving LoganErik Bjarnason, Cathi ShawDuring an anniversary climb of Canada's Mount Logan, several experienced team members found themselves in a deadly situation which was quickly getting worse due to an extratropical cyclone. First published in 2016.
Tears in the Wind: Triumph and Tragedy on America's Highest PeakLarry SementoSemento recounts his climb of Denali where he and his expedition teammates faced the full force of the tallest mountain in North America. First published in 2016.
Training for the New Alpinism: A Manual for the Climber as AthleteSteve House, Scott JohnstonSteve and Scott explain a modern approach to training for mountaineering which prepares the climber for all aspects of the sport. First published in 2014. (Training Log also available)
Denali's Howl: The Deadliest Climbing Disaster on America's Wildest PeakAndy HallHall conducts a detailed investigation of the 1967 Denali tragedy which took the lives of seven climbers. First published in 2014.
Climbing Fitz Roy, 1968: Reflections on the Lost Photos of the Third AscentYvon Chouinard; Dick Dorworth; Chris Jones; Lito Tejada-Flores; Doug TompkinsA collection of lost photos and stories from the climbers of the third ascent of Patagonia's Fitz Roy in 1968. First published in 2013.
Beyond the Mountain
Steve HouseSteve House, an accomplished climber, recounts some of his memorable climbs from around the world during his 18 year (and counting) career. First published in 2013.
Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of EverestWade DavisA detailed history of the first three British Mount Everest expeditions along with how World War I was connected to the men of the expeditions. First published in 2011.
No Way Down: Life and Death on K2Graham BowleyBowley tells the tragic story of the series of events that took place on K2 in 2008 which led it to be the deadliest accident on the mountain. First published in 2010.
Alive in the Death Zone: Mount Everest SurvivalLincoln HallLincoln Hall, an accomplished Australian mountaineer, describes where his love of the mountains came from and how he survived a night alone on Everest. First published in 2008.
Dead Lucky: Life After Death on Mount EverestLincoln HallAfter surviving a night in the death zone on Everest all alone, Hall describes his experience and how it made him look at life in a different way. First published in 2007.
No Shortcuts to the TopEd Viesturs; David RobertsA telling memoir of the struggles and triumphs of Viesturs' journey to climbing the 14 highest mountains in the world. First published in 2006.
Above the Clouds: The Diaries of a High-Altitude MountaineerAnatoli BoukreevIn Above the Clouds, Boukreev tells readers stories of his climbs from around the world through his own diary entries. First published in 2002.
The Beckoning SilenceJoe SimpsonAfter many memorable climbs around the world, Simpson recounts all of the struggles and hardship climbing can bring. First published in 2002.
The Accidental Adventurer: Memoir of the First Woman to Climb Mt. MckinleyBarbara WashburnShortly after marrying the famed scientist and explorer Brad Washburn, Barbara began mountaineering and she explains how she became the first woman to climb Mount Mckinley (Denali) in 1947. First published in 2001.
The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on EverestAnatoli BoukreevOn Everest during the tragic 1996 season, Boukreev shares his experience assisting other climbers down the mountain while suffering his own injuries. First published in 1999.
The Lost Explorer: Finding Mallory on Mt. EverestConrad Anker; David RobertsAnker recounts the day he found George Mallory's body and gives his opinions on whether or not Mallory and Irvine made it to the summit of Everest in 1924. First published in 1999.
Into Thin AirJon KrakauerA personal account of the tragic events that took place on Mount Everest in the summer of 1996. First published in 1997.
To the Top of Denali: Climbing Adventures on North America's Highest PeakBill SherwonitTo The Top of Denali shares some of the most famous and interesting stories of Denali, from it's climbers to it's unpredictable weather. First published in 1990.
Touching the VoidJoe SimpsonSimpson recounts the miraculous events that occurred after a severe fall while climbing in the Andes. First published in 1988.
The Mont Blanc Massif: The Hundred Finest RoutesGaston RebuffatWritten by French mountain guide Gaston Rebuffat, he describes 100 popular routes of the famous Mont Blanc Massif. First published in 1975.
The Challenge of RainierDee MolenaarThe Challenge of Rainier gives readers a wonderful history lesson of the various routes, accidents and notable successful ascents. First published in 1971.
On Ice and Snow and RockGaston RebuffatDesigned as a guide book for those learning how to climb, On Ice and Snow and Rock is full of photos of Rebuffat climbing and demonstrating what he is teaching. First published in 1971.
Men and the MatterhornGaston RebuffatRebuffat gives his own insight of climbing the Matterhorn along with sharing some other climber's experiences of the mountain. First published in 1967.
Between Heaven and EarthGaston RebuffatGaston Rebuffat describes the climbs of the Matterhorn, Aiguille du Midi and Mont Blanc in the Alps. First published in 1965.
Mountain Fever: Historic Conquests of RainierAubrey L. HainesWith her extensive knowledge and experience as a National Park Ranger and Park Historian, Haines shares Mount Rainier's history from its discovery to famous ascents. First published in 1962.
Mountaineering: The Freedom of the HillsThe MountaineersOne of the most popular resources for learning mountaineering skills, techniques and basics. First published in 1960.
The White SpiderHeinrich HarrerA personal account of the first ascent of the Eiger by Harrer and his team in 1938. First published in 1959.
Mont Blanc to EverestGaston RebuffatFrench mountaineer Rebuffat shares short examples of why some people are drawn to the mountains. First published in 1956.
High Adventure: The True Story of the First Ascent of EverestEdmund HillaryThe inspiring story of the first successful ascent of Mount Everest in 1953, written by one of the climbers. First published in 1955.
Starlight and Storm: The Conquest of the Great North Faces of the AlpsGaston RebuffatClaimed to be one of the most transformative mountainnering books, Rebuffat describes how he became the first person to climb six of the famous north faces in the Alps. First published in 1954.
The Conquest of EverestSir John HuntThe detailed story of the first successful climb of Mount Everest told by the leader of the British Expedition. First published in 1953.
AnnapurnaMaurice HerzogFollow along as Herzog leads his French team to the first ascent of Annapurna in 1950. First published in 1952.
Nanga Parbat AdventureFritz BechtoldA firsthand account of the 1934 German expedition to Nanga Parbat that resulted in the worst mountaineering accident at the time. First published in 1936.
First Over Everest! The Houston-Mount Everest Expedition, 1933Air Commodore P.F.M. FellowsAir Commodore Fellows and his team describe how they developed a plan and ultimately successfully flew an airplane over Mount Everest to gather scientific data and photos of the mountain. First published in 1933.
The Story of EverestCaptain John NoelThe story of the unsuccessful 1924 expedition to Mount Everest where Mallory and Irvine lost their lives. First published in 1927.
The Epic of Mount EverestSir Francis YounghusbandYounghusband, Chairman of the Mount Everest Committee, recounts the three British expeditions to Everest in 1921, 1922 and 1924. First published in 1926.
The Fight for Everest: 1924Edward NortonThe last of three British expeditions to Everest in the early 1920's, Norton recounts the tragic attempt of climbing the highest peak. First published in 1925.
The Assault on Mount Everest, 1922Charles BruceAfter a successful reconnaissance in 1921, Bruce shares the experience of the first attempt of reaching the summit of Everest in 1922. First published in 1923.
Mount Everest: The Reconnaissance, 1921Charles Howard-Bury; George MalloryHoward-Bury recounts the 1921 reconnaissance of Mount Everest's northern route. First published in 1922.
Round Kangchenjunga: A Narrative of Mountain Travel and ExplorationDouglas FreshfieldWith the goal of trekking around Kangchenjunga to record it's features in 1899, Freshfield shares his journey into the relatively unknown land. First published in 1903.
Climbing on the Himalaya and Other Mountain RangesNorman CollieCollie gives a description of climbs from the Canadian Rockies to the Alps to the Himalaya. First published in 1902.
Among the Himalayas
Laurence WaddellAs a medical officer in the colonial Indian Medical Service, Waddell describes the Himalayan region from its wildlife to its bamboo bridges. First published in 1899.
The Abode of Snow- Observations on a Tour from Chinese Tibet to the Indian Caucasus, Through the Upper Valleys of the HimalayaAndrew WilsonWilson writes about his travels through the Himalayans in 1873, including his interactions with the locals and surviving the harsh environment. First published in 1886.
Himalayan Journals- Or, Notes of a Naturalist in Bengal, the Sikkim and Nepal Himalayas, the Khasia Mountains, EtcJoseph Dalton HookerHooker, a British botanist and explorer, led a three year long expedition to the Himalayan region where he focused on the flora and geological features. First published in 1854.

Arctic and Antarctic Books

TitleAuthor(s)Description
The Impossible FirstColin O'BradyFollow along as O'Grady recounts his record breaking 2018 journey across Antarctica completely unaided and on foot. First published in 2020.
Alone on the Ice: The Greatest Survival Story in the History of ExplorationDavid RobertsAs the leader of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition in 1911, Douglas Mawson survives almost certain death in some of the most adverse conditions imaginable. First published in 2004.
Mawson's Will: The Greatest Polar Survival Story Ever WrittenLennard BickelThe amazing story of Sir Douglas Mawson's experience during his 1911-1914 Australasian Antarctic Expedition. First published in 2000.
Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible VoyageAlfred LansingA detailed look into Sir Ernest Shackleton's 1914 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. First published in 1959.
The Worst Journey in the World, Antarctic, 1910-1913Apsley Cherry-GarrardAs a member of the ill-fated Terra Nova Expedition (1910-1913), Cherry-Garrard gives an honest description of what he and his fellow members had to endure in Antarctica. First published in 1922.
The Great White SouthHerbert PontingAs a member of Robert Scott's 1910 South Pole expedition, Ponting shares with readers expedition life in the Antarctic along with observations of the wildlife. First published in 1921.
The Home of the BlizzardSir Douglas MawsonMawson, the leader of the 1911 Australasian Antarctic Expedition, recounts the tragic journey they undertook to map and record the Antarctic continent. First published in 1915.
The South Pole: An Account of the Norwegian Antarctic Expedition in the "Fram," 1910-1912Roald Amundsen
Amundsen describes his journey as the leader of the first successful team to reach the South Pole. First published in 1913.
The Heart of the Antarctic- Being the Story of the British Antarctic Expedition 1907-1909Sir Ernest ShackletonShackleton describes the British expedition he was a part of to Antarctica between 1907-1909. First published in 1909.
South: The Story of Shackleton's Last Expedition, 1914-1917Sir Ernest ShackletonShackleton tells the unbelievable story of his 1914 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition where he and his men overcame hardship after hardship. First published in 1909.