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Extreme Alpinism: Climbing Light, Fast, and High Paperback – September 10, 1999

4.9 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

...another quality mountaineering book from the sport's preeminent publisher, Mountaineers Books...entertaining reading. -- Wyoming Tribune-Eagle<br /><br />Everyone from the hardened extremist to the aspiring tiger to the weekend punter will learn from this book -- Climbing magazine<br /><br />Twight has been one of America's boldest alpine climbers for a couple of decades, and his book is a primer for serious mountaineers.(The Times-News (Twin Falls, ID)) --(The Times-News (Twin Falls, ID))

About the Author

Marc Twight is one of America's leading alpinists. His routes in Asia, North America, and the Alps have stretched the limits of the possible. Many remain unrepeated. His gripping accounts and vertiginous images of climbing at the edge have been published in leading magazines around the world. He lives in Boulder, Colorado. James Martin is a free-lance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in Smithsonian, Sports Illustrated, Climbing, Outside, and a host of other publications. The author of several books, Martin is also an experienced climber who has established first ascents in the U.S. and Canada. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • Publisher: The Mountaineers; 1st edition (September 10, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898866545
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898866544
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 7.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #234,794 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Mark Twight has not written an instruction book filled with clear drawings about how to tie a clove hitch. Beginning climbers looking for basic technique info should buy "Mountaineering: the Freedom of the hills" and go on a course first, but this does not mean that Twight's book is for extreme climbers only.
Any climber that knows these basic techniques benefits from his thoughs and experience. The book is divided in 4 parts:
(1) Approach: about 12 pages about your mental state of mind, very useful for the climber and anyone who wants to achieve specific goals as his thoughts about self-knowledge, focus, confidence, suffering, failure and learning can be applied to a broader range of goals.
(2) Training: this is the first time I have seen a real mountaineering training program in a book like this. He covers a 20 week training cycle in detail, with chapters on mental training, strength, endurance and importantly, nutrition. This really helps set a goal and work towards it. It's impossible to climb any mountain unprepared and unfit and depending on your goal you can adjust his schedule.
(3) Equipment: Clothing, Gear and Potection.
Twight has become (in)famous for refusing the accepted 3 layering system as it's too bulky, warm and heavy. He stresses the lightweight system which was an eye opener for me. Although his thoughts are not applicable for every mountain area (if you wait in Scotland for the rain to stop before climbing, you might as well not come at all...), it helped me to better pack my stuff for my trips: lighter and more useful.
His thoughts about gear are just very useful, learn from the expert, not from someone who is trying to sell the stuff...
(4) Technique:
No it will not teach you to climb a 5.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
This is THE best book I have ever read regardging climbing, period! It not only gives practical insights in to climbing but the nuts and bolts on training, gear selection and route selection for you ability. I especially found the sections on training to be extremely insightful. This is a topic never discussed in detail by any of the worlds top climbers. This book, the text and the pictures has done more to motivate me than all books combined. I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am ready and capable to move my climbing to a new level!
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Format: Paperback
Mark Twight and James Martin have assembled an excellent reference and an enjoyable read supported by wonderful photos.

I found the chapter on attitude and character most fascinating. The recognition and acceptance of fear coupled with will and realization of suffering as part of alpinism, helped to crystallize success and acceptance of failure.

An honest discussion about psychological training is helpful for the beginning and experienced climbers. Chapter 2 covers awareness, visualization, and psychological acclimatization before, during and after the climb.

These subjects are usually avoided or hidden in nuances in other mountaineering works. Bringing them into the open in the first two chapters helps set the supporting themes used throughout Extreme Alpinism.
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Format: Paperback
This book tells you everything experienced alpinist Mark Twight has learned 'climbing light, fast and high'. For those who want it, there's plenty of detail here, all delivered in an uncompromising style. Some of it's highly technical and probably only relevant to elite climbers, but even armchair alpinists could benefit from the nutrition, training and psychology advice.
Plenty of his advice contradicts the 'rules' - not taking waterproofs, placing protection with bare hands. But these practices have kept Twight alive during some of the hardest climbs ever done. And he readily admits that not everything works all the time, and you have to find your own solutions. But there's a lot of practical, sensible advice here, and at the very least it should make you question your own assumptions.
Easily the best book on alpine-style climbing available.
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By A Customer on October 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
I wish I had this book when I started to alpine climb over 20 years ago. It would have cut my learning curve in half and saved me from hauling way too much junk up some very big routes!
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Format: Paperback
Extreme Alpinism is a distillation of Mark Twight's advice on tactics that are on the polar opposite of the slow and steady expedition style that has been accepted in the climbing mainstream as the norm. The concept that light and fast means safety is not a new one, but Twight's detailed descriptions of the gear, techniques, and mindset necessary to accomplish fast alpine climbs in a safe manner are unique to history. Quite simply, the last word of the subject. Armchair alpinists would be more satisfied with Kiss or Kill; this is a practical guidebook, not a collection of tales.
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Format: Paperback
Just a short review of a great book. I particularly found the training programs and theory useful. I do most of my climbing solo and rank this book, in my mountaineering collection, as probably the most useful.
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Format: Paperback
I don't climb anymore; I read this book because I thought it was about something I used to dabble in. I found that it presents a philosophy not just of climbing, but of life--a philosophy that I share. "The mind and body adapt to both comfort and deprivation." How true! This one sentence applies to every sport, every activity of life, including the daily routines of life itself (for those of us with routine lives). Very inspiring book.
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