Patagonia Book Club
With a love for the great outdoor’s that will no doubt out-live its legacy, Patagonia is both an eco-minded brand and a multifaceted hub for many like-minded climbers, alpinists and environmental activists. Home to a number of admired ambassadors across an array of explorative ventures, Patagonia is a brand that offers a little slice of free-spirited freedom to anyone and everyone. Now with a collection of books, guides and publications under its wing, we’ve decided to supply a quick-fire run down on three of our favourite climbing-orientated releases, including those from mountaineering mastermind Kelly Cordes, legendary climber Fred Beckey and fitness-focused Steve House and Scott Johnson.
The Tower: A Chronicle of Climbing and Controversy on Cerro Torre (Hardcover) - Kelly Cordes
In line with climber, writer and self-confessed margarita specialist Kelly Cordes’ untangled persona, The Tower: A Chronicle of Climbing and Controversy on Cerro Torre is a fast-paced chronicle that offers a glimpse into the colourful climbing legacy that surrounds one of, if not the most, beautiful peaks in the world - Patagonian Ice Field summit Cerro Torre. Hooking into the mysterious contradictions and double-dealing declarations encompassed by Italian mountaineer Cesare Maestri’s 'claimed' first ascent in 1959, this 400-page publication offers a unique glimpse into the famed icy-capped peak’s charismatic coax that’s lured many world-class climbers and technical alpinists into its frosted palms. Offering a little slice of fresh-aired literary freedom for both avid climbers and new-age adventurers alike, Corde actively addresses the notion of human condition and how our perpetual urge for extremity leaves us forever searching for that divine satisfaction - the summit of all things fundamentally gratifying.
A book that was the winner of the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival in 2015, Patagonia Alpine ambassador Cordes takes readers on an evolutionary journey that covers not only his own personal alpine experiences and investigative stints, but also mountaineering’s colourful history and its ties to Cerro Torre’s complex composure. Cordes’ love of mountains and mother nature’s bewitching beauty is as ever evident as it is in his other publications, including his latest Crash Test Dummy guide for the Patagonia catalogue, whilst the handy inclusion of a field-tested glossary helps highlight an easier route for those not as acquainted with go-to terminology. A book that’s often sparked a divide due to its coffee-table aesthetic and arguably OTT white-space layout, we think the balance between its helpful maps, inspiring photos and informative timelines ties itself off just perfectly. A book that will leave you questioning who mountains rightfully belong to, the credibility surrounding solo un-documented climbs and how we value 'pointless' pursuits, this fascinating and highly authentic insight into Cerro Torre’s cloud-shrouded legacy is a definite high-climber.
Fred Beckey’s 100 Fav North American Climbs (Hardcover) - Fred Beckey
A climber’s bible jam packed with peak-tweaked proverbs, hand-drawn climbing topos and narrative descriptions, the late Fred Beckey’s 100 Fav North American Climbs is much more than just a culmination of well-trekked routes, it's an even-handed list of achievable aspiration that supplies realistic possibilities for climbers and alpine adventurists of almost all skill sets (5.1 through to 5.9). Dubbed as climbings OG ‘Energizer Bunny’ due to his ‘living lightly, but living large’ ethos, legendary climber and environmental do-gooder Fred Beckey guides us through 75 years worth of explorative odyssey, leaving no stone unturned when it comes to presenting ‘the granite knobs of Charlotte Dome to the dizzying sandstone of Zion’. Whether it's a coffee-table addition or a more adventure-inspiring read that you’re after, this 336-page publication showcases the very best ascensions that North America has to offer.
With thousands of first-accents scrawled with his name, this book is much more than just an egotistical sound-off for Beckey - in fact only 39 of the 100 listed routes are declarative first ascents for the climber, something that helps shed a more egoless hue to this beautifully photographed hardback. Loyal to his free-spirited legacy and admiration for the great outdoors, as honoured by Patagonia’s 2018 ‘Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey’ film, this unparalleled guidebook is bursting with intimate accounts, detailed lay-downs and motivational insights into the white-capped peaks of a world thousands of feet above our own. From the Canadian Rockies to Sierra Nevada, and with an additional 40 extra climbs in between, this large-sized book is filled with many aesthetically clean photos and diagrams making it a more table-worthy constituent than the previously noted Cerro Torre publication from Kelly Cordes. Although some dividing attention has arisen from the overall size of the images given its hefty profile, and the lack of explanatory route-line overlays, we think this carefully curated collection of timeless climbs provides both avid alpinists and everyday mountaineering spectators with a great platform on which to either strategise or soak up some of the sweetest lines this planet readily boasts.
Training For The New Alpinism: The Climber Athlete’s Manual - Steve House & Scott Johnston
Well-suited to those looking to ready themselves in-line with an upcoming ascent or athletic aspiration, Training For The New Alpinism: The Climber Athlete’s Manual is a training-tailored guide designed to be read alongside its New Alpinism Training Log counterpart. Pieced together by world-class climber and methodological Patagonia ambassador Steve House and famed U.S. National Champion and World Cup Nordic Skiers coach Scott Johnston, this handy 464-page book takes a turn at covering all there is to know about application, altitude and self-assessment when it comes to any form of endurance sports training, whether alpine-based or not.
Thanks to the inclusion of informative graphs, detailed illustrations, inspiring peak-pioneering photos and first-hand accounts from the likes of Mark Twight, Peter Habeler and the late Ueli Steck, this training manual, unlike others, is both easy-to-read and well-formatted. Allowing readers to coach themselves towards any mountaineering goal from the comfort of their own home, House and Johnston offer a more in-depth insight than just the typical ‘climb lots’ propositions seen previously. Although training routines in themselves are often highly subjective, this go-to guide actively addresses its training program outline with honesty and authentic sincerity. With its digestible break-down and notable extensive research, there’s plenty to be admired about this book and how it’s wholly surprising that something similar hasn’t been published before.
Shop all Patagonia books at Flatspot.
Shop all Patagonia at Flatspot.