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Extreme Alpinism: Climbing Light, Fast, and High Paperback – September 10, 1999
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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...
No it will not teach you to climb a 5.Read more ›
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.
The only downside to the book is the somewhat dated information (1999) about gear and clothing. I wish he'd do an update. But with a little interpolation/knowledge of current gear/clothing, you can easily adapt what he says to today's gear. The techniques and so on are still as relevant now as they were then, almost without exception.
I had zero hesitation giving this five stars. Twight knows his stuff cold, and shares it all with the lucky reader. But reader beware: this book may inspire you a bit too much. As others have said elsewhere, "Fast and Light" should always be followed up by "Fit and Experienced." Twight tries to emphasize this with sections on the sometimes draconian workouts he recommends, but still... I could see clowns like myself biting off more than what's chewable after reading this.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Terrific and entertaining read. This book can be returned to over and over as one's skill and understanding of climbing evolves. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Henri Colt
An excellent accompaniment to Freedom of the Hills. It starts out with a very good chapter on your mind and how you must learn to control your fear. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
It is hard to be an alpinist living in the southeast. Not a lot of 14ers here. This book has helped me over the last few decades to refine my skills as a climber and apply the... Read morePublished 22 months ago by steven dyer
One of the most inspiring books on climbing I ever read. It's a book about true hardcore alpine climbing, written by hardcore alpine climber. Read morePublished 24 months ago by kirill
A wealth of information. Some stuff may be outdated due to advances in technology and gear, but the concepts still apply none the less. The conditioning side is without a doubt. Read morePublished on May 3, 2014 by ArmyBrat
Chock full of great information for the alpinist, or for any athlete for that matter. Also, a pleasure to read.Published on July 7, 2013 by anonymous
I doubt many people are willing to adopt all the practices in this book. That said, I believe it's worth reading regardless. Read morePublished on June 18, 2013 by Scot