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Beyond the Mountain

4.25  ·  Rating Details ·  400 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
What does it take to be one of the world's best high-altitude mountain climbers? A lot of fundraising; traveling in some of the world's most dangerous countries; enduring cold bivouacs, searing lungs, and a cloudy mind when you can least afford one. It means learning the hard lessons the mountains teach.

Reinhold Messner calls Steve House the best high=altitude climber in t
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Patagonia (first published 2009)
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I finished this book about a week ago but I keep thinking about it. In several respects it is a flawed book. The prose is serviceable, not great. There is a certain monotony to the sequence of chapters, all of which are devoted to a milestone climb. Most of House's outings are described in astonishing detail, down to the individual moves, which only diehard mountain afficionados will appreciate. Worst of all, an adolescent streak, that got me pretty worked up, runs through the whole narrative. T ...more
Nov 03, 2012 Andreas rated it it was amazing
A very matter of fact and openly revealing account of what, where, when, with whom, how. Amazing account of how the next evolution of Alpinism came about. Revealing to read, especially the hints on answers to the question of "why?" Always personal, to me the endeavors in which the author conquers great adversity, loneliness, danger to find a pure self and pure partnership resonate most.
And reading his book, my experience could not help but to reverberate: For many attaining that "pureness" is e
Mudassar Ahmed
Jun 09, 2017 Mudassar Ahmed rated it really liked it
I read this book before going for an expedition to Karakorums in the northern part of my country (Pakistan). I went for this book purposefully to know more about these mountains but gladly, I found much more information than I was looking for. The writer is wonderful when he describes things in detail, specially the feuds between the climbers and the time up on the mountain where you do not see anything except snow. Its a tale of courage and resilience & explains the life when you are up on ...more
Sep 28, 2010 Corrina rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 05, 2011 Agnese rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mountains
Steve House tells about his life climbing ice and rock mountain walls. Climbing is his key to life. The only way to climb is with open, sincere eyes, looking straight into the mountain face, eager to reach its summit and share the world or ready to retreat if the time isn’t right. No pretending is possible while hanging on a wall, no half-truths can be muttered. “Beyond the mountain is the man” with his dreams, his courage, his fear, his passion. House finds life values in climbing: friendship, ...more
Feb 04, 2015 Tomek rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars: House is cut from the same cloth as the great alpinists who came before him. While his writing tends to be more matter-of-fact and unromantic than climber-writers like Bonatti and Messner, his accomplishments are no less incredible. He considers climbing an expressive art form and is truly a champion of the fast and light breed of alpinism that one cannot help but hold in high regard. Fueled with GU packets and carrying only 15 pounds worth of gear , he managed to rack up numerous new ...more
Grant Evans
Apr 14, 2015 Grant Evans rated it really liked it
"Beyond the Mountains" by Steve house is written in first person. The story follows the dangerous, but exciting life of those who love adventure climbing. The book will make you sweat with fear as you consider the choices where a wrong answer means instant death. Houses's physical journey begins in Slovenia. He describes being mentored by the late, great mountain climber Alex Lowe, and making amazing solo climbs on Alaskan ice walls and the Karaoum Peaks. House manages to weave his experience t ...more
Jan 24, 2012 Chance rated it really liked it
Steve House has a very simple writing style that lends itself pretty well to a climbing book. Everything is strongly first person and present tense.

He very directly confronts the existential conflicts that make an inseparable component of climbing itself. He is also not shy about explaining the sacrifices made for an obsession. But perhaps most interestingly, he's happy to talk about the emptiness of success.

Now for the less than stellar bits. These properties keep it from being a five-star:
- Th
Jan 20, 2014 Yair rated it really liked it
I expected this book to be interesting, and perhaps to help motivate me, to get out and do an ice climb this winter. However this book is an up-close, personal, and honest look at alpinism, and the picture it paints is a little more unsettling. They seem to take risks in the mountains that to me would be absolutely unacceptable. Much is sacrificed in the pursuit of climbing, and this seems to include relationships with others. While climbing is described as being a journey of self-exploration an ...more
Tyson Titensor
Fascinating memoir by one of the greatest alpinists of his generation. It's hard for me to even imagine the state of mind required for some of the ascents described in this book, but I loved getting a glimpse inside House's brain and enjoyed vicariously suffering through his climbs from the comfort of my couch.

I also loved House's comments on what constitutes good climbing style. The sport of climbing has developed a pretty strict ethos about what constitutes a true clean ascent and I think Hous
Brian Coble
Oct 29, 2012 Brian Coble rated it it was amazing
A great book and insight into the real world of an elite alpine climber. Steve house gives intimate details into what it takes to climb high and fast. He also speaks to the toll that this type of climbing gives on his life and relationships with others. A terrific adventure book about an amazing climber and man who struggles with his desires of climbing and desires to still have normal relationships.
Jan 06, 2011 Rob rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mountaineering
Steve House is at the top of his profession. A modern alpinist putting up ascents in the purest form. The book builds to the first alpine style ascent of the Rupal Face of Nanga Parbat herald as the greatest alpine climb of our time. House writes simply and with technical detail. The book felt very professional and shows great editing. The only sore spot was Messner's forward which felt contrived and just a regurgitation of the prologue.
Matic Sket
Aug 07, 2015 Matic Sket rated it liked it
Shelves: mountains, real-life
Starting in SLOVENIA Steve becomes one of the best climbers. We read about climbing in Alps, Canada, Alaska and the Himalaya, alone or with other climbers Steve shows us untamed majestic world of ice, rock, and death. Beyond the Mountain tells us about his feelings, ups & downs, his happiness, disappointment, loss of friends, hunger and thirst, being tired and still go on, backing down from mighty mountains and becoming one with them.
Sep 13, 2009 Tj rated it it was amazing
This book is a great read to get into the head of an elite mountaineer and how he came to his beliefs in the mountains. He also delves into his personal life a little and how the mountains effected he relationships and his persepctives in dealing with other people.
I also like the fact that Mister House was blunt in writing and telling of his feelings.
Nov 03, 2013 Pablo rated it really liked it
Shelves: nolimits
Hmmm - A story of obsession and the obsessed. Up close and personal look into the abyss of pure lust for risk, adrenaline, historic accomplishment and deep personal bonds. Gotta love,admire and detest the ego's represented here all at the same time. Living life on the edge most definitely - but living it most intensely. That I admire greatly!!Good book.
Dec 25, 2013 Maria rated it really liked it
A very raw, open, honest book. Very different from most climbing books I've read that simply celebrate the triumphs. This book asks a lot of questions, shows a side which is perhaps less inspiring, shows the reality. Wonderful to read. Must have been difficult to write. Highly recommended to anyone interested in the world of alpine climbing.
Feb 08, 2013 Sam rated it it was amazing
If you like reading about people pushing their limits and exploring themselves and the natural world this book will fulfill that with an overdose of mountaineering adventure.
Sep 30, 2009 Amy rated it liked it
Really enjoyed the stories of Steve's adventures in remote places. He shares them with a refreshing frankness and in a tone that I is fitting for his style of climbing. Highly recommend it.
Terri Schneider
Jun 06, 2014 Terri Schneider rated it really liked it
A refreshing gift that Steve wrote something so compelling and riveting. Huge success for a first publication from this phenomenal climber.
Ameet Singh
if you are a climber its a must read... if you are not, you will know why climbers live purer lives.
Jan 06, 2016 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Exhilarating read. Bad grammar and poor writing skills. Tons of stories about people dying for their ambitions conquering the useless.
Juan Cristóbal
Mar 27, 2011 Juan Cristóbal rated it liked it
Nice perspective from one of the best alpinists. Not so greatly written though.
May 06, 2011 Iqra rated it really liked it
Nice seeing him at this year's ice fest
Can't wait for Ice Fest 2011 :)
Apr 06, 2010 Kelly rated it liked it
I read this right after Kiss or Kill, some interesting insights on subject perception of objective events when read together. An excellent climber who isn't so good at life.
Ryan Read
Ryan Read rated it it was amazing
Jan 27, 2014
Scott rated it liked it
Jan 16, 2015
Joey Sweeney
Joey Sweeney rated it it was amazing
Dec 02, 2014
Tuukka Heikinheimo
Tuukka Heikinheimo rated it really liked it
Mar 16, 2016
James rated it really liked it
Mar 04, 2012
Patrick Briggs
Patrick Briggs rated it really liked it
Feb 08, 2017
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“The depth of any story is proportionate to the protagonist's commitment to their goal, the complexity of the problem, and the grace of the solution.” 1 likes
“An alpinist, I already know, is a climber of mountains by difficult routes, by technical routes: real climbing to summits like this one. The ice hammer itself is a key to the world of legends that I’ve dreamed of in my fading boyhood: the world of climbers like Reinhold Messner, Hermann Buhl, Riccardo Cassin, Walter Bonatti, and Yvon Chouinard.” 1 likes
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