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To the Summit: Fifty Mountains that Lure, Inspire and Challenge Hardcover – January 10, 1998

4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Eiger, Kilimanjaro, Denali, Everest: historic mountains steeped in climbing legend, not only for mountaineers, but for anyone attuned to the siren song of adventure. Here, in a coffee-table-ready collection of gorgeous photos, inspiring text, and factual data, author-climber Joseph Poindexter describes these legendary mountains and 46 more of the world's most magnificent climbs, "fifty places around the world, most of them cold, barren, starved of oxygen, subject to violent fits of weather--and beautiful--where human ambition collides with the glacial indifference of dangerous terrain." And Poindexter doesn't stop there--he also shares how you get to some of these peaks, when you would want to go, and, should you be so inclined, what route you might follow to get to the top. But, although each incredible page will make you want to quit your job and hitchhike to Timbuktu, Poindexter warns, "Do not attempt to embark on any of the routes described in this book without extensive physical training and formal instruction ... this is not a guidebook or manual of any kind." Maybe not, but it's a beautiful resource for mapping your daydreams. --George Laney

From Library Journal

Mountains have always been an integral part of human history, and journalist Poindexter, an accomplished climber, has produced what could well be the ultimate mountain book. Many of the names are magical: Everest, Denali, Devil's Tower. Others bring to mind memorable vacations: Rainier, Mont Blanc, Grand Teton. Still others remain shrouded in mystery: K-2, Chimborazo, Kanchenjunga. Poindexter combines spectacular photographs of the world's great mountains with the personal narratives of those who have met their challenge. Along with the highest peaks on all seven continents and others that play a major role in the lives of people living near them, Poindexter provides a thrilling introduction to the sport of climbing. He discusses the mythology surrounding many of the peaks as well as the political forces that affect the accessibility of certain areas. A wealth of statistics only adds to the overall enjoyment, and the comprehensive bibliography and glossary make this a valuable reference tool as well. Very highly recommended for all public libraries.AJoseph L. Carlson, Vandenberg Air Force Base Lib., CA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal (January 10, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579120415
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579120412
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 1.2 x 14.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #789,308 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This text may well qualify as the "mother" of all coffee table books. As a matter of fact the librarian who checked it out to me remarked that by merely screwing 4 legs into this monster you could build a coffee table worthy of holding the remainder of your coffee table book collection! This book is much more than the pretty face many large format books display, there is a lot of substance worth reading between the covers. Overall a worthy compilation of world wide mountaineering. It contains many historical glimpses and a wide range of international climber bio's from 1800's to present day. Photos range in quality from excellent to grainy and underexposed. While many historical photos are included it is of course expected they would not be up to today's photo standards for clarity however many apparent recent photo selections either did not stand up to the publishing and enlargement demands or editing was compromised for packing the pages with images. Since climbing of course does not always take place in picture perfect lighting there will of course need to be representative samples to illustrate less than ideal weather conditions. Page 231 full page picture of the east face of Mt. Whitney has been reverse printed. I was distressed to find such an obvious error in printing for an otherwise incredible book I did not have the time or resources to verify all the other mountain profile photos but I might like to challenge the definition/graphic chosen for CAM. It is quite the resource...take a look for yourself.
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By A Customer on January 10, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is a excellent book and I highly recommend it. It has an abundance of wonderful stories, gorgeous photography, and unfortunately, a huge number of glaring typographic errors. I have rarely seen a book so thoughtfully designed contain so many mistakes! I hope they get it right in the next printing.
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Format: Hardcover
If you don't notice from the size and weight, this is a heavy, oversized coffee table book. Overall I think it is great. I saw negative comments in reviews about typos and the quality of the pictures, but golly I guess neither of those criticisms jumped out at me as I read the text and took in the pictures. My interest in the various mountains fluctuated a bit, I suppose, perhaps due to the stories accompanying them, but I have other books that talk about climbs on the well-known mountains (Everest, K2, Eiger, Annapurna, etc.) so I appreciate having a resource that discusses so many mountains that I haven't heard about. Heck, I haven't even read all of this yet and may not finish every chapter for months, but I already know this is a keeper in my mountaineering collection.

Because of the ease of shipping books via Media Mail and how slowly the cost of media mail rises, you should be able to buy this heavy book for just $4 or so, the same price as a small paperback. The disadvantage of Media Mail is that it can be soooo sloooow sometimes and even when the shipper has a tracking number, tracking is sporadic. If you are in a hurry or like to know where the book is in the shipping process, upgrade the shipping. But I haven't had a book not show up yet.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book tells good stories about mountaineering.
Better yet, it has great illustrations showing what mountain climbing is all about.
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