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Soul of the Heights: 50 Years Going To The Mountains (Falcon Guides) Hardcover – October 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Series: Falcon Guides
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Falcon Guides; 1st edition (October 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762745274
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762745272
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 9 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,188,477 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Significant Seven, December 2007: As an original "climbing bum" during the legendary (and supremely competitive) early days of the sport in the 1950s, Ed Cooper made a name for himself through his pioneering routes up volcanoes, crags, and cyclopean rock faces ranging from Alaska to Yosemite to the Rocky Mountains and beyond. Soul of the Heights: 50 Years Going to the Mountains--gorgeously illustrated throughout with his own accomplished photographs of North America's most spectacular peaks--collects Cooper's recollections of harrowing first ascents, as well as firsthand accounts from other climbing luminaries of the "golden age" of mountaineering. It is a must-have for any climber, backpacker, or armchair mountaineer. --Jon Foro


Review

Ed Cooper’s vision, photographic skill, and knowledge of our scenic resources is unexcelled. Soul of the Heights combines the recall of daring and daunting climbing challenges with quintessential images. The result is truly inspirational.

FRED BECKEY
[Note: Fred needs no introduction to the world of mountaineering. He has made more alpine first ascents and new routes than perhaps any else will ever make. Fred authored the highly acclaimed guidebooks for Pacific Northwest climbing.]

***
I've had a wonderful time reading Soul of the Heights. It's really an autobiography of an extraordinary fellow--Ed Cooper of Sonoma, California--that's so very interesting that it's extremely difficult to lay it down!! Throughout his life, spent mainly in the out-of-doors, he has always been the happiest in mountainous regions.

Merely climbing to the tops of high and difficult peaks was no longer enough. He became fascinated by bringing back to civilization detailed reminisces of the wonders of the wilderness through the medium of superb photographs. The scores of these photographs with which this book is illustrated prove better than any words that our author is really a gifted photographer.

Soul of the Heights is a remarkable volume, which should be read and enjoyed by everyone interested in exploration or mountaineering, and it will make a great addition to anyone's library.

-- Brad Washburn

***
This beautifully illustrated photographic essay documents the author's life and times, from his childhood and youth in New York and through his career-seeking, wanderlusting travels that lead to the discovery of climbing as a way of life. His first scramble on Mt. Rainier in the early 1950's was the beginning of a climbing record that led to big-time wall climbs and numerous pioneering ascents in the western U.S. and Canada. But this was just a preamble to a satisfying career as an artistic photographer of the high alpine scene.

All of this is presented in this coffee-table edition--an absorbingly written text supported by super B&W and color photos that cover many decades in Cooper's illustrious career. With each superb shot is included a brief story behind each image. Such photographic data as subject title, camera, lens, f-stop, shutter speed, type of film (and for B&W prints type of photo paper and darkroom manipulations) are revealed--along with such observations as publishers inserting full moons in scenes where the direction of lighting is incompatible with that of the rest of the image.

All climbers and mountain lovers will enjoy this lively story, and having this volume as a ready reference in their personal libraries.

Dee Molenaar
mountaineer, geologist, artist and designer/publisher of landform maps, author of The Challenge of Rainier
***
Ed Cooper will be remembered in the annals of mountaineering history for his many first ascents ranging from mountaineering routes to big rock walls. Cooper was one of the most prolific pioneer climbers in the Northwest in the late 1950's and early 1960's. His talents--which included free climbing, solo climbing, and mixed rock and ice--were unsurpassed by other Northwest climbers. And these feats occurred in the "dinosaur age of climbing," when equipment and techniques were primitive by the standards of today.

But it does not stop there. Many of us will know Ed Cooper for his brilliant photography. With his large format cameras, he captures the beauty and mystique of the mountain world. Among his thousands of outstanding images, surely his Moon over the Titan in Utah's Fisher Towers will be celebrated in the annals of nature photography.

Cooper is a visionary with an eye for the aesthetic, whether it be a classic line on a rock wall or the subtleties of nature photography. His contributions to photography and the mountain world have firmly secured his place in history.

Eric Bjornstad, Moab, Utah

[Note: Eric is author of four rock climbing guides to the desert (the most
recent of which was published in 2003) and is himself a legend for his
many first ascents, especially of desert rock formations.]
***
Anyone who has ever read any of the Fred Beckey "Cascade Alpine Guide" books has seen the fabulous photos by Ed Cooper. Many Beckey reading climbers may not know that Ed was one of the original hard climbers in the 60's, putting up outstanding and difficult first ascents without benefit of sticky rubber, perlon ropes, grigri's, or any of the other modern devices today's climbers consider essential. How would YOU like to lead a 5.10 layback in clunky boots and no sit harness?

You owe it to yourself to learn about the renaissance of rock climbing in the Pacific Northwest through the words of this self-styled "original climbing bum". You¿ll also have a chance to have a book of Ed Cooper photos; don¿t miss out.

Midge Cross
Member of 2002 No Boundaries All Women¿s Everest Expedition




Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen S. Kirkpatrick on September 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book initially for the fabulous mountain images. But as soon as I started reading, I was totally hooked. Here's a guy who pioneered the mountain climbing movement. He was the first guy EVER to scale many crazy sheer rock walls. His descriptions are intriguing and refreshing. I say refreshing because there's no hint of any "look how awesome I am" tone. I just felt like I was at a cocktail party with this very cool, down-to-earth guy telling me a story. And the pictures are stunning. It was interesting to read about the making of such photos without too much boring, technical detail. Although the detail IS included at the back for those who are interested. All in all, it is a great book that would make a perfect gift for anyone who enjoys mountain photography and/or adventure reading. Now I have to hurry off and buy the US Rockies version.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Eiichi Fukushima on July 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A marvelous mix of pioneering mountaineering style, spectacular photography, and lifestyles. Even without my added interest due to familiarity with northwest mountaineering in that period and Ed Cooper's mountaineering accomplishments and reputation, this would be a fascinating book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Leftylee on April 9, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I gave this as a gift to a person who is really into hiking/climbing and was told it was a good book.
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Soul of the Heights: 50 Years Going To The Mountains (Falcon Guides)
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