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.
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.
Member of 2002 No Boundaries All Women¿s Everest Expedition