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Beyond the Mountain Hardcover – September 1, 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

 

"[Beyond the Mountain is] a rare and profoundly personal glimpse of the drive, dedication and focus behind today's light-and-fast ascents." --Michael Kennedy, editor-in-chief, Alpinist

“House's Beyond the Mountain is raw, funny, and tragic, but never forced. Above all else, this is a story of goals fueled by energy, rewards, and triumphs meshed with soul-baring confession.” –The Daily Camera

 Winner of the 2009 Boardman Tasker Prize for mountain literature

Winner of the 2009 Banff Mountain Literature " Best Book" Award

 

About the Author

Steve House, along with Vince Anderson, pioneered a new direct route on the Rupal Face of Pakistan's 8,126-meter Nanga Parbat. He also spends time pursuing climbs in the Alaska Range, the Canadian Rockies, and the European Alps. Steve has been particularly prolific in the Canadian Rockies in recent years, having opened big new routes on many of the major faces in the range including: Robson’s Emperor Face, the North Face of Mount Alberta, the North Face of North Twin, the East Face of Howse Peak, and the East Face of Mount Fay. He has worked as a Patagonia alpine ambassador since 1999. Now an independent guide, he has guided for Exum Mountain Guides, the American Alpine Institute, and North Cascades Mountain Guides. Raised in La Grande, House now is based in Central Oregon, near Bend.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Patagonia; First Edition edition (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 097906595X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979065958
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #821,990 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By bradw2k on October 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
In Beyond the Mountain, Steve skillfully plots his career with a series of truly amazing stories. Mostly we are treated to gripping descriptions of climbing at the edge of human ability, in which his relentless drive risks his life for reasons he struggles to identify. But there are also understated love stories here -- not of romance, but of the partners and others who have meant the most to him personally in his vertical pursuits. Steve seems to have put all of himself into this work, writing with a psychological honesty that is uncommon, reliving for us his victories and moments of clarity, but also his intense inner struggles with the desire to succeed and the fear of failure, the love of the sport and the crushing despair over fallen friends, the will to risk everything and the nagging question of why he does this given the intense personal costs. It is because of his brutal honesty, with others but mostly with himself, that what Steve gives us here is truly a gift, a glimpse into another man's soul, so that ironically this biography of the uber-athlete is the story of Everyman. You will start to read it because it is the must-read of the year for everyone who has ever felt the thrill of going on belay, but you will blast through it and then dwell on it for days because Steve has not tried to oversimplify or falsely dramatize or glorify, but only to describe his lifelong quest to answer with his body the fundamental question of how one should find meaning and fulfillment.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Just to pile on here... This book is a masterpiece. It does not tell the story of "a climb." It does not tell the story of an approach to climbing. It tells the story of a man who climbs, one of the world's best climbers, and that makes this book unique from my experience of reading mountaineering literature. It's not just a biography. It is a confession, of the fears, hopes, shortcomings, and hard work of being Steve House. This is truly a unique and enjoyable book!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When most of the accomplishments in mountaineering are so summit oriented, alloyed with sponsorship and even reality TV, how can you not be pleased to read the account of someone whose accompishments are purity of the opposite? The value of the climb, the route, and the unique experience of successful climbing partnership are lost to all except the climber. Steve House brings this all back to its proper value and vividly in his own words. This book is an act of Alpine art in itself. No Sherpa support, no supplemental oxygen, only minimal equipment, and nothing left on the mountain!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am surprised at all the positive reviews. I have read much on this genre, and was familiar with the mountains and partners written about. I found the writing dull and forced. There is little description about his efforts, but much spent describing various climbing moves. There is zero discussion about expedition funding. I hated the final chapter as he climbed the Rupal face...I didn't like the way he went from back and forth from the ascent and descent.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Steve House's alpine climbs are amazing - he is probably the best American alpinist. However, he does not bring it is his writing like he brings it on his climbs. I have read accounts of many of these climbs previously in Climbing and Rock and Ice and the accounts of these same climbs by Marc Twight and Barry Blanchard are far more riveting than this book.

While in climbing, Steve House always takes the sharp end of the rope, in writing this book, he has passed on taking the sharp end in reviewing and writing about emotion. His accounts of a client dying on a climb or going to a climbing friends funeral seem to pass on emotional reflection and report it- - it is very difficult to write about - but that is what makes a climbing story gripping, sympathetic and a great read. I was also disappointed as the tension of climbing with partners seemed to be glossed over, such as when Steve dropped or forgot stuff. How did it affect his partners? It seemed that the author did not want to dwell on any tension with climbing partners in writing this book, so we end up reading a sanitized version of his amazing climbs.

I find that stories of alpinism far are more riveting by Child, Krakauer, Twight and Blanchard because writing about their emotion is the core of their books. This book in comparison feels like a move-by-move description of climbing. What makes climbing great is working through your own inadequacies and fears while dealing with your partners different motivations and similar fears but still getting those days when everything meshes. This book just hints at that feeling we as climbers are seeking, but lost the tension inherent in the moments of stress.
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Format: Hardcover
Beyond the Mountain is a must read for anyone interested in alpinism and the motivations and sacrifices of those who practice it at its highest levels. Steve House obviously went through a lot of soul searching to write this account of his career to date leading up to his successful ascent of Nanga Parbat. The result comes off as an honest and heart felt tale which is a pleasure to read and left this reader with as many questions about personal motivation and accomplishment as it did provide answers. Highly recommended.
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