Today, on April 23, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of World Book and Copyright Day. It is an annual event organized by the UNESCO to promote reading, publishing, and copyright.
It Is Not the Mountain We Conquer, But OurselvesEdmund Hillary
We recommend to read books about climbing or any other literature all year round, not just today. However, on this day we have prepared a short list of books that you should read if you really want to learn something about mountain climbing and people who take the challenge to face the most difficult peaks of the world.
1. Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer
A bank of clouds was assembling on the not-so-distant horizon, but journalist-mountaineer Jon Krakauer, standing on the summit of Mt. Everest, saw nothing that “suggested that a murderous storm was bearing down.” He was wrong. The storm, which claimed five lives and left countless more – including Krakauer’s – in guilt-ridden disarray, would also provide the impetus for Into Thin Air, Krakauer’s epic account of the May 1996 disaster.
2. Freedom Climbers by Bernadette McDonald
Freedom Climbers tells the story of a group of extraordinary Polish adventurers who emerged from under the blanket of oppression following the Second World War to become the world’s leading Himalayan climbers. Although they lived in a dreary, war-ravaged landscape, with seemingly no hope of creating a meaningful life, these curious, motivated and skilled mountaineers created their own free-market economy under the very noses of their Communist bosses and climbed their way to liberation. At a time when Polish citizens were locked behind the Iron Curtain, these intrepid explorers found a way to travel the world in search of extreme adventure—to Alaska, South America and Europe, but mostly to the highest and most inspiring mountains of the world. To this end, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and Nepal became their second homes as they evolved into the toughest group of Himalayan climbers the world has ever known.
3. Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer
A landmark in travel writing, this is the incredible true story of Heinrich Harrer’s escape across the Himalayas to Tibet, set against the backdrop of the Second World War. Heinrich Harrer, already one of the greatest mountaineers of his time, was climbing in the Himalayas when war broke out in Europe. He was imprisoned by the British in India but succeeded in escaping and fled to Tibet. Settling in Lhasa, the Forbidden City, where he became a friend and tutor to the Dalai Lama, Heinrich Harrer spent seven years gaining a more profound understanding of Tibet and the Tibetans than any Westerner before him.
4. The Outdoor Survival Handbook by Ray Mears
Whether you are a novice hiker or camper, or a more experienced outdoorsperson who spend weeks or months in the wilderness The Outdoor Survival Handbook will help you make the most of your adventures in the great outdoors. Suvival-skills expert Raymond Mears delivers dependable, thorough, and easy-to-understand advice on every aspect of outdoor survival, season by season.
5. The crystal horizon Everest, the first solo ascent by Reinhold Messner
On August 20, 1980, Reinhold Messner, the world-renowned master of alpine-style climbing, became the first person to reach the summit of Everest solo and without supplemental oxygen. A vivid account of Messner’s expedition, The Crystal Horizon also reflects on how he explored his innermost thoughts while facing the most extreme physical challenge he had ever encountered. The furthest point for mind and body he calls his crystal horizon.
Inspired by the legendary mountaineers George Mallory and Maurice Wilson, Messner embarked on a year-long journey through Tibet to the glittering light and rarified air at the roof of the world. More than an adventure story, this is Messner’s profound reflection on his emotional reactions to Tibet, the challenges he faced, and the explorations of selfninspired by this amazing journey.
Do you have any favorite books about mountains? Share with us on our tourists forum.
In 1995 UNESCO decided that the World Book and Copyright Day would be celebrated on 23 April, as the date is also the anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, as well as that of the birth or death of several other prominent authors.