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Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills, 8th Edition

154 customer reviews

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  • Covers everything from the basics of equipment, knots, rappelling techniques, and leave-no-trace principles to the more advanced skills of setting up complex anchors, evaluating avalanche terrain, and developing your leadership skills. Completely revised and updated to include the latest in gear and techniques. Written by a team of more than 40 expert climbers and climbing instructors.
  • Features hundreds of technical illustrations. Includes extensive revisions to self-rescue, aid climbing, waterfall and ice climbing. Significant new chapter on physical conditioning.
  • All-time bestselling climbing instructional book. Printed on 100% recycled paper. 8th edition, 2010.
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Product Description

Product Description


With more than 600,000 copies sold, Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills is the acclaimed bible for climbers all over the world, and the new edition marks the 50th anniversary of this seminal title.

Since the publication of the first edition in 1960, Freedom, as the book is known, has endured as a classic mountaineering text. From choosing equipment to tying a climbing knot, and from basic rappelling techniques to planning an expedition, it is all here in this essential mountaineering reference. A team of more than forty experts, all active climbers and climbing educators, reviewed, revised, and updated this compendium to reflect the latest evolution in mountaineering equipment and techniques. Major updates include a significant new chapter on conditioning, plus detailed and extensive revisions to rescue and first-response, aid climbing, and waterfall and ice climbing.


If the mountains are my church, then Freedom is my bible. From early 5.4 leads to more than 25 years ago to present day, it has served me well as a base for exploring every facet of the mountains. As a very young climber I read it cover to cover, then dug trough it again and again for nuggets of wisdom. I still do. --Will Gadd

If there is only one how to book to read for the aspirant and expert alike, it is Freedom of the Hills. In fact, it is fair to say that Freedom is the definitive guide to mountains and climbing and has influenced pretty much every climber. --Conrad Anker

I purchased my first copy of the Freedom of the Hills in 1976 and consumed it several times, well before I ever set foot in the mountains. Through the years, my well worn copy became by guide and reference for the art of mountaineering. I would highly recommend this book as a must have for any aspiring mountaineer's library. --Ed Viesturs

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.3 x 1.5 inches ; 2.5 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Origin: USA
  • ASIN: 1594851387
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • Manufacturer’s warranty can be requested from customer service. Click here to make a request to customer service.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Becky on August 4, 2013
With over 1/2 a million copies sold, "Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills" is truly is "the bible" of safe and efficient climbing. With the book measuring in at over one inch thick, it would be impossible to accurately give it justice in the space provided here. Therefore, I'll hit the highlights. The 6th edition, which I have, is divided up into 6 parts:

-outdoor fundamentals...covers things such as clothing/equipment/land nav/food

-climbing fundamentals...knot tying/rappelling info

-rock climbing...footholds/shoes/leading on rock

-snow, ice, and Alpine climbing...the in's and outs of ice and snow climbs (includes various rescues)

-emergency prevention and response...leading in a crisis situation/first aid

-the mountain enviroment..mountain geology/snow cycles/cloud types (neat pics!!)

The book ends with a nice list of additional reading (like you'd really need to with all the info in this book!). As you can see, there's really one word to describe this book- COMPLETE. So, if you're looking for a mountaineering resource to put on your shelf for when some questions come to mind- GET IT! Also recommend Treat Your Own Rotator Cuff for shoulder problems that interfere with your climbing.
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Peter Norgaard on January 25, 2011
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Someone once told me "Mountaineering is just like backpacking with less margin for error". Of course the reality is that there are additional skills, concepts, and so on that you absolutely need to know before hauling yourself onto a rock face or glacier. This book contains all of that - the accumulated wealth of knowledge based on the experience of more than 40 of the world's best mountaineers. What makes this book so unrivaled?

- Topics are effectively separated into chapters that allow you to find what you need fast
- Information is presented with photos and diagrams to clarify each and every detail
- The writing style is pleasant to read - neither frivolous nor obfuscating
- Everything you ever wanted to know (about mountaineering) is in the book

Buy several copies, sleep with one as a pillow in the hopes the information will naturally osmose into your brain, love mountaineering, be safe, and in your many travels please respect our natural resources!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 18, 2012
There's not much to say about this amazing work that hasn't already been said. However, it is important to recognize what goes into this work - particularly the 8th edition. This is the 50th year of The Mountaineers producing this work, but really started with the handwritten notes of Wolf Bauer (and later typed up by Mary and Lloyd Anderson - founders of REI) seventy five years ago. In that time it has helped launch the climbing careers of thousands upon thousands of mountaineers. Every time a new edition is crafted, a select group of volunteer climb leaders and instructors come together to gather the collective wisdom of everyone who used the previous edition and how to make it better. For new climbers, for experts, and for those who are looking to improve certain skills.

I keep a copy on my bookshelf, and very dirty and well used copy under the seat of my truck. Guess which one I use more often, and in more fun places?
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Brenton Richards on July 6, 2012
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I was first introduced to mountaineering in the Boy Scouts at age 12; Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills was in it's fourth edition, I believe, and my scoutmaster recommended I read it. I consider it not only the most helpful boy scout manual on the planet, but the best manual for anything that involves trails, hiking, camping, backpacking, technical climbing, and beyond. It covers all of the aforementioned as well as proper technique, safety, trail etiquette, gear (which has been updated in this version to include new materials offered to to public - Gore-Tex was brand new and prohibitively expensive when I was younger, but membrane jackets and clothing are common place nowadays), survival, menu planning, climbing gear and technique, and a boat load more. I recommend it for anybody and everybody who wants to get off the tarmac and enjoy the wilderness. Many sections include illustrations so it is easier to visualize. Just about every time I go camping or hiking, I use some tip, technique, or principle found in the book (from digging a proper snow cave or avoiding bears to preserving body heat while stranded at 12,000 feet on a rock ledge on the Grand Teton after the sun went down with only a rain jacket and beanie). Seriously, if you are considering it, buy it! Best $20 you'll ever spend on camping gear. It's not just for the hardcore mountaineer, either, but for ANYBODY who ventures off the paved road. It is several hundred pages, but it is well organized and easy to find information pertinent to your interests and abilities, plus some.
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34 of 48 people found the following review helpful By R. Giuliani on March 9, 2012
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This is a great book, obviously, and has been the mountaineering bible for years. The Kindle edition, however, is a bad purchase. It lacks all of the charts that accompany the text! Want to view the Equipment checklist, figure 2.3? Think again! You're SOL. Feel like I was ripped off.

EDIT 4/1/12
Unclear if the publisher updated the book, or if I have an updated Kindle for iPad app, but all of the charts and illustrations now are appearing so purchase away, and I've changed my rating. Perfect timing too, since I'm going climbing in Denli National Park in June.
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