Customer Reviews: To the Top: Climbing America's 50 State Highpoints
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on May 7, 2003
A must read for anyone with an adventurous spirit and a good sense of humor. The photos and humorous dialogue bring you right into this story. Anyone who has struck upon a "bright idea" over beers with a friend will to relate to this book. To The Top is a mix of adventure, misadventure, light-hearted humor and awesome photographs of two guys who get alot more than they bargained for. The photos alone are worth the price of the book -- the story is an excellent bonus. Great photos, great story, and great banter between Joe and Nels. Check it out.
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on May 13, 2003
I have done 5 of the 50 state summits. I can't imagine the logistics of knocking off all 50. What I liked about this book is that you can skip around and read about different climbs or just flip through and look at the photos (which are awesome). Something to throw out on the coffee table. And the stories are pretty darn funny.
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on August 17, 2003
Because of Mr. Ackerlund's world class photography and Joe Glickman's absolutely delightful writing style, "To The Top" is the BEST "travel/adventure travel book" in my collection. As expected, the 50 state "summits" are presented professionally. Unexpected are the occasional tear and numerous barrel-laughs from Glickman's sometimes poignant, occasionally irreverant, and nearly always witty writing style. It's a truly wonderful "feel good" read for anyone who enjoys the outdoors, travel, or simply a slice of Americana.
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on September 29, 2003
I found this collection of essays to be a great new way to look at our country. With its vastly different climats, its beauty is unmatched by any other.
I also enjoyed the casual intimacy in wich Mr. Glickmen tells of their various adventures though out this wonderfully photographed book. Great conversation peice.
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on March 31, 2012
My son browses this every time we have a vacation coming up - summer, spring break, or Christmas - and decides where we will go next. This book has really inspired him to do as many of the high points as we will allow him (about 45 for now) and he can dream of doing the others after we no longer have a say in the matter.
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on July 1, 2004
Joe's writing style is hilarious and down-to-earth. I found the narratives of two guys spending countless hours driving around the country dealing with each others petty annoyances as well as their successes familiar to me. It churned up fond memories of my own friends and the similar times I've spent with them. The narratives of the highpoints from a "normal person's" perspective, that is, someone who is not particularly experienced, has given me lots of information about what to expect in my own aspirations to the 50 summits. And since it is not a guidebook but more of a travelogue, the emotional nature of their personal experiences really has had a profound effect on me. Guidebooks are useful for the logistical information needed, but a book like this helps with the mental preparation.
The photographs are stunning, and my only complaint about this book is that there are not enough of them. I would gladly have paid an extra $10-$15 for a book twice the size in order to accomodate more photos, especially of the spectacular western peaks.
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on October 11, 2010
This is a great book. I got this as a gift for someone who is in the middle of a journey to climb to the highest points of all 50 states. The author has done a great job of documenting his journeys in pictures and text. If you just want a quick glance, you can always skip the text and the pictures will keep you interested throughout the book. This book is about 10 years old, but still interesting and applicable. Some the photos from the top are familiar from our journeys. For others, it's interesting to see how the views have changed. There are also photos from along the route, especially along the more interesting/harder to reach high points.

This book does not give directions, recommended approaches, or topography of high points. However, I would definitely recommend this book as a gift for anyone else on a journey to complete the high points as a preview of what they can look forward to or just as a coffee book table. It's an easy way to get a glance at all 50 states.
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on October 22, 2014
This book is loaded with excellent narratives and photos from journeys to the High Point of each of the 50 States in the U.S.A. The writing is well paced and offers background in terms of preparation and guidance for each trek. Sadly, they did not make it to the top of Wyoming's Gannett Peak (on my list for August 2015) -- and both the author and photographer did not make it to the top of Alaska's Mt. McKinley (I don't recall which of the two made it). It is a nice coffee-table boon and conversation starter - and quite the page turner considering the subject matter.
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on February 13, 2004
I have been a big fan of F. Spencer Chapman for a LONG time. In 1930, he spent a YEAR on Greenland with the British Arctic Air Research Expedition (an important sounding name for a group of college boys on an adventure). The Team Leader was Henry George "Gino" Watkins. As such, they became supremely proficient paddlers in kayaks. They also spent considerable time nordic skiing on the glacial plateau, flying Tiger Moths in aerial surveys, as well as recording meteorological conditions.. On the Second Expedition in 1932, Watkins was again the leader, and Chapman again went along. Watkins died in a hunting accident. Chapman wrote both expedition books, "Northern Lights: The British Arctic Air Research Expedition" and "Watkins Last Expedition." But before WWII, he also went to the Himalayas and climbed several mountains, including Chomolari in the Kingdom of Bhutan (one of the highest peaks to be climbed prior to WWII). His book "Memiors of a Mountaineer" is a classic of those times in Tibet and the Himalaya.

Joe Glickman is our modern F Spencer Chapman. I recently got copies of Joe's "Kayak Companion" and "To the Top" books. Excellent material. Joe has an easy reading style, and his stories are amongst the best, paddling or climbing. If Joe can't make you laugh, your funny bone has to be broken. I usually find myself laughing at myself, because I too have been there.
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on March 8, 2004
Joe - I'm reading this book - finally, and I have to apologize for waiting so long. It's really quite wonderful and I'm enjoying it immensely. You write so well. Not only that but along with the humor, omnipresently threaded through your writing, there is real wisdom and insight into the nature of life. You are a philosopher with a light touch my friend. I'm learning some good stuff from you. What I feel about the book is the writing is just so good now, such a pleasure to read and so much of it has come from the fact that you've seen value in taking risks, pushing yourself and in adventure. Besides being a general good read, the experience offered to the reader is of a deeper significance than may be apparent on the surface and I appreciate you for that. Nel's photos are a profound visual treat - a fine compliment to your writing.
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