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Beyond the Mountain Hardcover – September 1, 2009

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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 (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #609,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Steve House is a world-renowned climber, mountain guide and Patagonia ambassador, widely regarded for his clean, light-and-fast style. He has published articles in a number of periodicals including: Alpinist, Rock and Ice, Climbing, The American Alpine Journal, Gripped, Canadian Alpine Journal, Climb, Vertical, Montagnes, Risk, Alp+, Campo Base, Desnivel, and Stile Alpin. His essays have been published in several books including; Contact: Mountain Climbing and Environmental Thinking; Soltari, a collection of essays about solo climbing published in Italian; Berg, a German book about climbing in the Himalaya; and an upcoming book about Nanga Parbat edited by Reinhold Messner. He has worked as a Patagonia alpine ambassador since 1999.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful 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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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Tim Ternstrom on October 17, 2009
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Christopher J. Scott on May 23, 2011
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Derek Fox on November 28, 2012
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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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mark E. Postle on October 21, 2009
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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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Rod the Wrench on September 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Just finished reading "Beyond the Mountain" by Steve House. His story of alpine climbing and the personal struggles and sacrifices associated with it are real, undiluted and eloquent. Not a handful of people can do what he does physically, much less use the profoundest of prose to lay bare the essence of what it is to be human. I have received many levels of inspiration by reading "Beyond the Mountain". A heartfelt thanks to Steve for sharing his story with the rest of us.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Neahring on October 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a book with broad appeal. Whether the reader is an alpinist who guides for a living, a weekend climber who can't put down a climbing magazine until it is read cover-to-cover, or an Everest enthusiast who never plans to climb a mountain, this tale is a winner. Steve manages to give us a feeling of being in the moment that other climbing literature only touches superficially. His honest reflection on the emotions and decisions he makes, while climbing out on the edge of what is possible, is a true gift to the reader. I look forward to the next book from a gifted writer. Perhaps after a successful climb on Makalu's West Face?
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dave Morris on October 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Unlike a lot of memoirs written (or should I say ghost-written) by accomplished athletes, Steve House's memoir isn't an exercise in ego. Almost the opposite is true. This book seems to be, as much as anything else, an exploration of the egolessness and humility that the mountains taught him over nearly three decades of pioneering climbing. There is little that is "extreme!" in this book and there is none of the self-aggrandizing daredeviltry that has come to dominate the American action sports scene a'la the X-Games. Most surprising about House's story is his candid admission that summiting some of the world's great peaks is frequently a disappointing experience, underlining the refrigerator magnet platitude that is true however trite it might seem: the beauty lies in the journey.
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