The Blog Has Moved!

The blog of the American Alpine Club Library has joined the AAC’s blog, Inclined.

More information about the AAC Library can be found on the AAC website as well as on our Facebook page.

The library catalog can be searched online, and members can check out and renew books here.

Email us at library [at] americanalpineclub [dot] org, or call 303-384-0112

Hope to hear from you!


February 2012 Book Club News

Jim Moss writes in about the Front Range Book Club:

1.       The Joy of Books

2.       Next month will be our 3rd Anniversary!!  We’ll be Reading Wade Davis new book Into the Silence.

This is from Amazon:

On June 6, 1924, two men set out from a camp perched at 23,000 feet on an ice ledge just below the lip of Mount Everest’s North Col. George Mallory, thirty-seven, was Britain’s finest climber. Sandy Irvine was a young Oxford scholar of twenty-two with little previous mountaineering experience. Neither of them returned.

In this magisterial work of history and adventure, based on more than a decade of prodigious research in British, Canadian, and European archives, and months in the field in Nepal and Tibet, Wade Davis vividly re-creates British climbers’ epic attempts to scale Mount Everest in the early 1920s. With new access to letters and diaries, Davis recounts the heroic efforts of George Mallory and his fellow climbers to conquer the mountain in the face of treacherous terrain and furious weather. Into the Silence sets their remarkable achievements in sweeping historical context: Davis shows how the exploration originated in nineteenth-century imperial ambitions, and he takes us far beyond the Himalayas to the trenches of World War I, where Mallory and his generation found themselves and their world utterly shattered.  In the wake of the war that destroyed all notions of honor and decency, the Everest expeditions, led by these scions of Britain’s elite, emerged as a symbol of national redemption and hope.

Beautifully written and rich with detail, Into the Silence is a classic account of exploration and endurance, and a timeless portrait of an extraordinary generation of adventurers, soldiers, and mountaineers the likes of which we will never see again.

Wade is a great writer and speaker so I suspect the book will be very well written. We’ll see if our super sleuths can find some holes in this account of what happened on Everest in the 1920’s.

Finally Greg Glade of Top of the World Books is going to be starting an AAC Bookclub in Vermont. If you know anyone in Vermont who reads…….look for more information on the New England Section page of the AAC website.


Holiday Reading, Holiday Shopping and Holiday Hours

Happy Holidays!

Here is your reminder that the last day for bookmail is December 22, 2011. The American Mountaineering Center and the American Alpine Club Library will be closed from December 23, 2011 through January 2, 2012.

Need some ideas for escapist reading? Try some mountain-related fiction!

If you are hunting for some last minute gifts, we’ve got some ideas!

A gift AAC membership!



A beautiful new book by Sandy Hill (sales of which benefit the library).


Mountain celebrates every dimension of the beauty, wonder, and spectacle of the heights, and is a unique and spectacular tribute to the mountains of the world. With more than 300 oversized pages of photographs by: Ansel Adams, Barry Corbet, Arnold Fanch, Laura Gilpin, Edmunch Hillary, Eadweard, Muybridge, Gerhard Richter, Royal Robbins, Galen Rowell, Vittorio Sella, John Scurlock, Frank Smyth, Bradford Washburn—including never-before-seen photographs and essays from AAC Members Ellen Lapham, Phil Powers, Jack Tackle, and more.

Pre-order your copy of Mountain today and support the American Alpine Club Library.

Regular Copy: $85.00 plus $15.00 shipping

Limited edition copies signed by Sandy Hill and Jack Tackle, enclosed in a custom handmade cloth slip case, are only available through The American Alpine Club for $130.00 plus $15.00 shipping.

Holiday Mystery Book Gift Box

Everyone likes surprises right? Well, surprise a climber in your life with an AAC Library Holiday Mystery Book Gift Box!

We have thousands of collectible books on our shelves—ranging from $5-$300 in value—and we’d like you to have some of them! Buy a Gift Box and you’ll get twenty randomly selected books from our storeroom. Topics include mountaineering and climbing all over the world, with publication dates mostly from 19th and 20th century.

Each purchase helps support climbers, the AAC Library, and the climbing community.

Member Price: $499.96

Front Range Book Club November/December Reading

Book Club leader Jim Moss writes in:

November’s book:  The Third Man Factor: Surviving the Impossible by John

One of the issues that keeps popping up in a lot of the books we read is the

third man. So in November, let’s look into it!

From Amazon: “A scientific mystery or divine intervention is how Geiger, the editorial

board editor at the Globe and Mail and author of Frozen in Time, describes

The Third Man Factor, the human knack of facing deprivation and possible

death with an unseen presence pointing the path to survival. He researched

these visitations for six years, chronicling their history in harrowing

life-and-death events with mountaineers, sailors, divers, aviators and polar

explorers. It is to Geiger’s credit that he stresses the very human need to

endure and survive through critical times in the included anecdotes over the

sometimes convoluted scientific jargon, especially the gripping tales of the

last 9/11 survivor Ron DiFrancesco, NASA astronaut Jerry Linenger aboard the

Mir space station and merchant seaman Kenneth Cooke, who paddled in

shark-infested waters. Whether this guardian angel factor is neurological or

divine, Geiger’s fresh, insightful book will tell readers things that are

not easily explainable, but no less real for that.”

December’s book: No Way Down: Life and Death on K2 by Graham Bowley

From Amazon: “In this riveting work of narrative nonfiction, journalist Graham Bowley

re-creates one of the most dramatic tales of death and survival in

mountaineering history, vividly taking readers through the tragic 2008 K2

ascent that claimed the lives of eleven climbers, severely injured two

others, and made headlines around the world.

With its near-perfect pyramid shape, the 28,251-foot K2-the world’s

second-highest mountain, some 800 feet shorter than the legendary Everest

hundreds of miles to the south-has lured serious climbers for decades. In

2008, near the end of a brief climbing season cut even shorter by bad

weather, no fewer than ten international teams-some experienced, others less

prepared-crowded the mountain’s dangerous slopes with their Sherpas and

porters, waiting to ascend.

Finally, on August 1, they were able to set off. But hindered by poor

judgment, lack of equipment, and overcrowded conditions, the last group did

not summit until nearly 8 p.m., hours later than planned. Then disaster

struck when a huge ice chunk from above the Bottleneck, a deadly 300-foot

avalanche-prone gulley just below the summit, came loose and destroyed the

fixed guide ropes. More than a dozen climbers and porters still above the

Bottleneck-many without oxygen and some with no headlamps-faced the near

impossibility of descending in the blackness with no guideline and no

protection. Over the course of the chaotic night, some would miraculously

make it back. Others would not.

Based on in-depth interviews with surviving climbers and many Sherpas,

porters, and family and friends of the deceased, No Way Down reveals for the

first time the full dimensions of this harrowing drama.”

Fall 2011 Front Range Book Club

Jim Moss, the Front Range book club’s fearless leader writes in:

Next Book club meeting is September 13, 2011 at 6:30 PM at the AAC.  We’ll be reading One Mountain Thousand Summits: The Untold Story Tragedy and True Heroism on K2 by Freddie Wilkinson.  Here’s Alpinist’s review.

October 11, 2011 at 6:30 PM at the AAC, we’ll have Jim Davison, who just wrote The Ledge: An Adventure Story of Friendship and Survival on Mount Rainier by Jim Davidson and Kevin Vaughan. Jim lives in Fort Collins and we were able to entice him to come down and talk about his book.  We don’t have it here in the library yet, but we expect it soon!

Lantern Slide of the Week: Another B. Comstock Photo

Here’s another one from B. S. Comstock, with no caption.  Anybody recognize the peak?

This is number 739 of 4,000 or so lantern slides, and finishes out the first storage drawer.  Adam McFarren figures it’s taken him about a year to get this far, volunteering on it twice a week for a few hours.  That means he’s going to have to stick around for several more years at least.  Good!

Lantern Slide of the Week: Lake Oesa

This time we actually know a bit about the photographer!  The photo was taken by Benjamin S. Comstock, an early AAC member.  You can read about him in the 1942 AAJ In Memoriam, page 481.  He joined the AAC in 1908, and climbed between 1890 and 1928.  What do you think the date of this photo is?