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High Infatuation: A Climber's Guide to Love and Gravity Paperback – March 9, 2007
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"The ultimate focus of the book is not climbing but the conflict Davis feels between the radical solitude of her chosen obsession and being a member of society." (San Luis Obispo Tribune)
"Interesting, well written, humble and sincere" (Climb Nashville)
"Davis uses a conversational voice with just enough climbing lingo to tie together a lifetime of lessons learned in the almighty name of Going Higher. In fact, she's put together a hell of an infatuating story. It's four cups sweat and adrenaline adventure tales, two cups fresh personal essay, a tablespoon of poetry and a handful of international and cultural travel writing." (Francisco Tharp Mountain Gazette)
"High Infatuation: A Climbers Guide to Love and Gravity is a collection of soul-searching essays by a female climber who has experienced enough adventure to last several 'normal' lifetimes." (The Bulletin (Bend, OR))
"[Davis's] writings reveal a woman given to impulses, seeking outlandish challenges and daring to be different." (Klamath Falls Herald&News)
"Steph Davis's stories and anecdotes are truly inspiring; her writing, thoughtful and poignant. She has led an uncompromising life. And her heartfelt insight into the struggles and decisions that have informed that life is a gift to any reader." (Jimmy Chin, Photographer and climber)
"High Infatuation chronicles her stripped-down, up-the-wall life… [and] the book is about more than gear and climbing routes." (The Modesto Bee)
"Davis's clean, fresh prose and honest and open examination of herself make High Infatuation an enjoyable, quick read, and the book has some gems, like 'Falling,' … in which she explores the death of two sisters in Freemont Canyon. This book will be a nice addition to the annals of mountaineering literature." (Rock and Ice Magazine)
About the Author
STEPH DAVIS is on record with first ascents in Pakistan, Patagonia, Baffin Island, and Kyrgyzstan. Her writing has appeared in Climbing and Rock & Ice, among other publications. She makes her home in Moab, Utah. She was the first U.S. woman to summit 11,073-foot Fitz Roy Peak in Patagonia-a success realized after spending five seasons, a total of ten months, in Patagonia. Follow along on all of her adventures and even ask her questions about her life as a climber on her website, High Infatuation.
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High Infatuation is a collection of journal entries, photos and published articles by Davis as she finished difficult climbs through the years. While I probably would have preferred the essays to be in chronological order, or at least given more background so we understood where she was at the time and where she was coming from, I don't think it was necessary. Once I got to the end of the book I could see why she ordered it the way she did. If I had to read six essays about Patagonia in a row, I may have ended up getting bored with the book. Each of her quests was amazing to read about, with the last one (the Salathe wall in Yosemite) being my favorite. Her attempt of the Salathe in Yosemite was a difficult climb for her and it made me realize that even the pros still have challenges when it comes to climbing (that's why they're still climbing, right?).
The photos in the book really helped me to understand better what she was talking about. They also made me want to get out and climb right away. Unfortunately my climbing partner has a bruised rib so we haven't been out in a few weeks, but hopefully we'll get out there before the weather gets too much warmer (it was 103 here yesterday!). This book definitely inspired me as much as I hoped it would ... but it also made me realize how much I still have to learn about rock climbing. There are about ten techniques I have written down that I have to go look up now and beg someone to teach me about. But then I just have to remind myself that Steph Davis has been climbing for more than 15 years and I feel a little better about my novice climbing skills.
In the book I also loved the short clips she included. There was one about running that was only about two paragraphs long, but it was a beautiful image of running and why it feels so great. If you're a climber and want some inspiration (and tons of words you may not have heard before), then I'd recommend checking out this book.