Required Texts

Peter Bayers, Imperial Ascent: Mountaineering, Masculinity & Empire

René Daumal, Mount Analogue: A Tale of Non-Euclidean and Symbolically Authentic Mountaineering Adventures

Heinrich Harrer, Seven Years in Tibet

Heinrich Harrer, The White Spider: The Story of the North Face of the Eiger

Maurice Herzog, Annapurna: The First Conquest of an 8000-Meter Peak

Charles Houston & Robert Bates, K2: The Savage Mountain

Maurice Isserman & Stewart Weaver, Fallen Giants: A History of Himalayan Mountaineering from the Age of Empire to the Age of Extremes

Jon Krakauer, Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster

Robert Macfarlane, Mountains of the Mind: Adventures in Reaching the Summit

Sherry Ortner, Life and Death on Mount Everest: Sherpas and Himalayan Mountaineering

David Roberts, True Summit: What Really Happened on the Legendary Ascent of Annapurna

Sources for Other Assigned Readings

Bernard Debarbieux and Gilles Rudaz, The Mountain: A Political History from the Enlightenment to the Present

Daphne du Maurier, Don’t Look Now: Selected Stories of Daphne du Maurier

Marjorie Hope Nicolson, Mountain Gloom and Mountain Glory: The Development of the Aesthetics of the Infinite

Mary Louise Pratt, Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation

Susan R. Schrepfer, Nature’s Altars: Mountains, Gender, and American Environmentalism

Other Readings

On the academic end of the spectrum

Wade Davis, Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest

Peter & Leni Gillman, The Wildest Dream: The Biography of George Mallory

Peter Hansen, The Summits of Modern Man: Mountaineering After the Enlightenment

Mike Searle, Colliding Continents: A Geological Exploration of the Himalaya, Karakoram, & Tibet

On the literary-autobiographical-memoir-popular end of the spectrum

Stacy Allison & Peter Carlin, Beyond the Limits: A Woman’s Triumph on Everest

Conrad Anker & David Roberts, The Lost Explorer: Finding Mallory on Mount Everest

Robert Bates & Charles Houston, Give Miles High

Chris Bennington & Charles Clarke, Tibet’s Secret Mountain: The Triumph of Sepu Kangri

Arlene Blum, Annapurna: A Woman’s Place

Walter Bonatti, The Mountains of My Life

Chris Bonington, Annapurna South Face

Chris Bonington, Boundless Horizons: The Autobiography of Chris Bonington

Anatoli Boukreev, Above the Clouds: The Diaries of a High-Altitude Mountaineer

Anatoli Boukreev & G. Weston DeWalk, The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest

Graham Bowley, No Way Down: Life and Death on K2

W.E. Bowman, The Ascent of Rum Doodle

David Breshears, Last Climb: The Legendary Everest Expeditions of George Mallory

Herman Buhl, Nanga Parbat Pilgrimage: The Lonely Challenge

Greg Child, Thin Air: Encounters in the Himalayas

Maria Coffey, Where the Mountain Casts Its Shadow: The Dark Side of Extreme Adventure

Jim Curran, K2: The Story of the Savage Mountain

Jim Curran, K2, Triumph and Tragedy

Matt Dickinson, The Other Side of Everest

Kurt Diemberger, The Endless Knot: K2, Mountain of Dreams and Destiny

FUKADA Kyūya, One Hundred Mountains of Japan

Lene Gammelgaard, Climbing High

Andrew Greig, Summit Fever

Jochen Hemmleb, Eric Simonsson & Dave Hahn, Detectives on Everest: The 2001 Mallory & Irvine Research Expedition

Jochen Hemmleb, Larry Johnson & Eric Simonsson, Ghosts of Everest: The Search for Mallory and Irvine

Thomas Hornbein, Everest: The West Ridge

Michale Kodas, High Crimes: The Fate of Everest in an Age of Greed

Jon Krakauer, Eiger Dreams

Goran Kropp, Ultimate High: My Everest Odyssey

Nick Heil, Dark Summit: The True Story of Everest’s Most Controversial Season

Laurence Leamer, Ascent: The Spiritual and Physical Quest of Legendary Mountaineer Willi Unseold

Bernadette McDonald, Brotherhood of the Rope: The Biography of Charles Houston

Reinhold Messner, The Crystal Horizon

Reinhold Messner, Free Spirit: A Climber’s Life

Christopher Norton, Everest Revealed: The Private Diaries and Sketches of Edward Norton, 1922-24

Rick Ridgeway, The Last Step: The American Ascent of K2

Robert Roper, Fatal Mountaineer

John Roskelley, Nandi Devi: The Tragic Expedition

Galen Rowell, In the Throne Room of the Mountain Gods

Julie Summers, Fearless on Everest: The Quest for Sandy Irvine

Colin Thubron, To a Mountain in Tibet

Jim Whittaker, A Life on the Edge: Memoirs of Everest and Beyond

Freddie Wilkinson, One Mountain Thousand Summits: The Untold Story of Tragedy and True Heroism on K2

Clint Willis, The Boys of Everest: Chris Bonington and the Tragedy of Climbing’s Greatest Generation

Stephen Venables, A Slender Thread: Escaping Disaster in the Himalaya

Stephen Venables, Everest: Alone at the Summit

Ed Viesturs & David Roberts, K2: Life and Death on the World’s Most Dangerous Mountain

Ed Viesturs, No Shortcuts to the Top

Peter Zukerman, Buried in the Sky: The Extraordinary Story of the Sherpa Climbers on K2’s Deadliest Day



Above All Else: The Everest Dream (1999)

Beyond the Edge (2014)

Blindsight (2006)

The Dark Glow of the Mountains (1984)

80 Meters Below the Summit (1997)

Everest: Beyond the Limit (2006-2009, TV series)

Everest: The Death Zone (1998)

Everest: 50 Years on the Mountain (2003)

Everest: IMAX (1998)

Hillary and Tenzing: Climbing to the Roof of the World (2003)

Into the Thin Air of Everest: Mountain of Dreams, Mountain of Doom (1999)

The Man Who Skied Down Everest (1975)

Meru (2015)

The Summit (2013)

Team Everest: A Himalayan Journey (2008)

Touching the Void (2003)

Vertical Frontier: A History of the Art, Sport and Philosophy of Rock Climbing in Yosemite (2002)

The Wildest Dream (2011)

Feature films

Cliffhanger (1993)

The Eiger Sanction (1975)

K2 (1991)

Nordwand [North Face] (2010)

Vertical Limit (2002)