Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills” as Want to Read:
Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills

4.57  ·  Rating Details ·  2,310 Ratings  ·  128 Reviews
"Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills" is the acclaimed bible for climbers all over the world, and the new edition marks the 50th anniversary of this seminal title.
Paperback, 50th Anniversary Edition, 592 pages
Published August 25th 2010 by The Mountaineers Books (first published April 1960)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Mountaineering, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Mountaineering

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Simeon Kohlman Rabbani
If you are not a climber and/or are not interested in ever being a climber, then, for the love of God, do NOT buy this book. You will be bored to tears! But if you love the outdoors and backpacking into the high country or would like to improve your skills climbing rocks/ice/glaciers/whatever, then this book is fantastic. Written by a team of professional climbers and continuously revised, this book covers every aspect of climbing, from setting up camp, choosing the right gear, advanced climbing ...more
William Long
Jan 15, 2014 William Long rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This reference book is to mountaineering (or just camping and hiking) as Joy of Cooking is to the cooking world. A must have for any outdoorsman (or woman).
Traian Stancescu
Sep 15, 2016 Traian Stancescu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The one and only bible of mountaineering. Reading this monster requires a huge investment of time, energy, and patience. It is not only long, but too fucking verbose and the intonation is boring.

Having said that, I am extremely happy that I went though it. I now have the theoretical basics to do about anything on the mountains on this planet. In practice, however, it's a different story. The book will open your eyes and make you aware of the many skills you need to not die out there. It takes se
Feb 18, 2015 Eric rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Freedom of the hills is packed with knowledge and skills that are helpful in order to survive in the mountains. As a mountaineer I am always pushing to increase my skills and knowledge in order to climb more difficult mountains. I initially started out with an older edition of this book and purchased the new one as soon as I saw it. The book covers anything from basic knowledge of gear to more advanced skills and techniques. I found that this book is very thorough and is very fair in what it tea ...more
Jim Morrison
Apr 04, 2013 Jim Morrison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What can you say about a book that is six decades in the making, evolving and written by a whole group of experts from various parts of the sport?
It is simply the best text book for mountaineers. It includes quite a bit of alpine climbing and very good basic rock climbing advice. Lots of excellent illustrations. I see the changes in the last 3 or so editions, but they are only modest improvements. I happen to have editions dating back to the original "Mountaineers Handbook" (Superior 1948). This
Scott P
Saying that this is the "Bible of Mountaineering" is an understatement.

A more accurate comparison would be to say that this is the Bible plus everything that has ever been written on religion since that time, neatly summarized into less than 600 pages.

Anyone willing to put in the time will benefit from reading this book.

If only textbooks were this insightful when I was in school -- 5 stars.
Jan 29, 2013 Jane is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I am seriously reading this book for my WTC course with the Sierra Club. Just started reading about navigation & how to use a compass. Besides supporting the Sierra Club I suggest supporting the Mountaineer's Books. My sister works there & they publish great hiking, mountaineering, & camping guides.
Tommy Porter
Aug 12, 2016 Tommy Porter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The essential mountaineering handbook. A concise (600+ pages!) text book for the basic knowledge necessary for backpacking and climbing mountains off the grid. Reading it once is not enough. Practicing the concepts in the field will be the only way to digest the material. You will use it as a reference guide again and again, countless times.
Oct 12, 2012 Carlos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: outdoors-sports
Great reference for hiking, backpacking, mountaineering, rock climbing, and winter camping.
Hexar Anderson
Dec 08, 2016 Hexar Anderson rated it it was amazing
Although long and a bit tedious, this book is THE bible on climbing and mountaineering knowledge, so if you're planning to summit Mount Rainier or engage in any other climbing, mountaineering, or hiking expedition, you might want to study this book. Keep in mind that the chapters do not necessarily need to be read in sequential order as they tend not to depend on reading previous chapters, so pick and choose the parts you'd like to read first =)
Oct 11, 2016 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Climbers Bible. A must have. Enough said.
Trey Howard
Mar 03, 2013 Trey Howard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've owned a copy of this book for several years now, and finally decided to give it a front to back read-through. At the moment I'm enrolled in a wilderness guide training program in Finland, and had recommended this book to several other students; so I felt I owed it to both them and myself to give it a look with a critical eye.

For the last 50 years, this book has been considered the bible of climbing and mountaineering, it covers all aspects of outdoor life, with an emphasis on mountaineering
Jan 18, 2010 Nathan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This tome is a mountaineering beast.

It eloquently breaks down all of the bookish, academic aspects of outdoor survival and navigation that you could possibly need prior to genuine outdoor experience -- but academics only take us so far. True absorption of its contents can only come in combination of a solid factual base (this book's contribution) with practice.

This is a book I'll be diving head-first into, casually perusing, and rereading for years. It's one that I'll probably never read every w
Sep 23, 2008 Trevis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'll be reading this one for years, looks like. I'm having one of those moments when I look around and realize I'm surrounded by the products of a single source, an author, an artist, or in this case, a publisher. The Mountaineers are a seattle based outdoors organization that, among many other things, published awesome books. This book is a long term loan from my climbing buddy, who is obviously trying to groom me into a competent climbing partner. The freedom of the hills is a bible of mountai ...more
Mar 02, 2013 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got my copy of Edition 3 in the mid 1970's, amid the "clean climbing" mountaineering revolution that swept Yosemite and other popular climbing centers. Having Mount Rainier in my backyard exert it's almost magnetic pull on me, I knew I needed to learn the state of the climbing art.

This book was it... Tools, technique, practical advice, the whole show, and it served me well. My copy as well as my ice tools from that time are now looking seriously antique (possibly myself as well) but this book
May 17, 2014 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My Dad used to say to me "Mountaineering is like backpacking with less margin for error". Of course the reality is that there are additional skills, concepts, and so on that you absolutely need to know before hauling yourself onto a rock face or summiting glaciers. This book contains all of that , the accumulated wealth of knowledge based on the experience of more than 40 of the world's best mountaineers.

Git ya'self several copies, sleep with one as a pillow in the hopes that the information wi
Aug 06, 2014 Dave rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book cover-to-cover when I was taking a mountaineers course a long time ago. Since then I've used it as a reference book and recommended it to anyone interested in the wide variety of mountain/backcountry interests. For me it's a must have and I continue to return and re-read sections. I recommend purchasing the latest edition - my edition is earlier and some techniques, technology, etc. have evolved. If you are not sure about buying it new - check it out from the library for a test ...more
Jul 07, 2012 Christine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, nature
This textbook is the Bible of basic mountaineering, written by the experienced climbers of the Seattle Mountaineers Club, a volunteer organization devoted to alpine exploration and stewardship of the pristine outdoors. This guide explains fundamentals of all types of basic alpine climbing (rock, snow, and ice), belaying, rappelling, safety, route finding, how to use equipment, how to tie knots, and rescue. (My comments are on the 5th edition, but I am certain that the 7th edition improves instru ...more
Feb 18, 2009 AnnMarie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
An excellent book that gives advice & a working knowledge of techniques that you should be aware of before venturing into the hills.

Starting with clothing & camping, working through knots, belays & general rope techniques to rescues, first aid and a section about geology & weather.

This is more than a ramblers guide, it is aimed at the climber & mountaineer but if more were aware of its contents, mountain rescue may not be as busy.

I whole heartedly recommend this book, its an
Amanda Edwards
Sep 01, 2011 Amanda Edwards rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you are an outdoors-enthusiast, this book should be your Bible. It covers everything from mammals you may encounter while on the trail, to coniditioning for your hike or climb and how to use gear such as crampons, ice axe, etc. As hikers, we all know that we should never go into the wilderness without carrying the 10 Essentials. Well, this book should also be in your pack. I recommend it to every hiker/climber I know.
Mar 13, 2013 Myka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A classic in the field, so to speak. The newest edition is the best, but any version that came out in the last ten years is a good score from a used bookstore as long as the reader keeps in mind that some of the gear will have changed (usually for the better). And bonus points for its being written in a style that makes you want to get outside immediately, without feeling intimidated by the technical stuff.
Sep 01, 2013 Judy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who hikes, especially those who go more in the back-country/wilderness areas
Everything you ever needed to know about hiking, climbing, scrambling, snow travel, navigation, avalanche assessments, ice ax handling, self-arrest, belaying, gear, fitness for climbing, and more are in this wonderful book. It contains many good illustrations which are very helpful. A beginner in these activities should really get this book first. It's the only book you really need to get started in exploring the back-country safely.
Sara W.
May 07, 2016 Sara W. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I like this book! I don’t have much experience and knowledge about mountaineering but I would like to explore more and have some adventures to cherish. Of course, before that, we should also set our mind and body to a place that we would like to climb on. This book is totally a great guide for the mountaineers. I hope I can read more about basics. Thanks for sharing!
Cory verner
Hands down the best book on Mountaineering I have read. The only other titles that rival it are the Mountaineers Outdoor Expert guides for the specific activity you are training for. Make sure you pick up a current edition. The first edition, published in 1961 is worth browsing for entertainment but maybe not for lifesaving tips on the mountain. I read the 7th edition.
Oct 01, 2007 Sam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Climbers, new and old
The best all-around encyclopedia for every aspect and form of climbing. It doesn't always offer the most detailed information about some of the more intricate things like aid climbing, but for general resource, it can't be beat. When it comes to alpine climbing, in all of its variations, this is the place to go for core principals of leading, protecting, and belaying on ice, snow or rock.
Dec 09, 2013 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's pretty much the Mountainer's & Climber's Bible.
Well written and organized, easy to understand.
I read it when I need a refresh on information before a climb. I read it in the bathroom for fun.
It's a multipurpose great piece of work that I keep a few copies of. One for the house/bathroom, one for the travel box.
Ben Wood
Jun 18, 2008 Ben Wood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ben by: Michael Layton
Shelves: mountaineering
The gold standard when it comes to mountaineering guidebooks. Reading the straightforward text and reviewing the frequent illustrations has vastly increased my knowledge of mountaineering best practices.

I made wiser decisions on a hike up to and beyond White Pine Lake in Little Cottonwood canyon having read up on snow travel and avalanches in this gem of a book the night before.
Jan 13, 2010 Unojoe2 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A good book for anybody who wants to learn just about anything about the outdoors and especially survival in harsh conditions with very limited resources. I havn't read it completely, but the ropes section is very useful for sailing, knots, understanding terms, types, .... I could keep going for a while. Worth owning even if you only read a chapter.
Jul 23, 2013 Jupp rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The bible of mountaineering. Comprehensive and concise, although some techniques are rarely seen anymore (hip belay for ice climbing?) Still good to know those tricks for times when improvisation is called for.
Dec 13, 2007 Dan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Known in the mountaineering world simply as 'The Bible,' Freedom of the Hills is a mandatory read. If the mountains are your playground and you haven't read this book, you better have luck on your side.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Climbing Anchors
  • Extreme Alpinism: Climbing Light, Fast, and High
  • Rock Climbing: Mastering Basic Skills
  • Training for the New Alpinism: A Manual for the Climber as Athlete
  • Colorado's Fourteeners: From Hikes to Climbs
  • Beyond Backpacking: Ray Jardine's Guide to Lightweight Hiking
  • The White Spider
  • Seven Summits
  • Epic: Stories of Survival from the World's Highest Peaks
  • Self-Coached Climber: The Guide to Movement, Training, Performance
  • Training for Climbing: The Definitive Guide to Improving Your Climbing Performance
  • The Complete Walker
  • The Beckoning Silence
  • The Rock Warrior's Way: Mental Training for Climbers
  • On the Ridge Between Life and Death: A Climbing Life Reexamined
  • No Shortcuts to the Top: Climbing the World's 14 Highest Peaks
  • Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain
  • Allen & Mike's Really Cool Backpackin' Book: Traveling & camping skills for a wilderness environment

Goodreads is hiring!

If you like books and love to build cool products, we may be looking for you.
Learn more »

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“mountaineering offers you a chance to learn about yourself by venturing beyond the confines of the modern world.” 1 likes
“You are a stakeholder in the political process, and your influence will be proportional to your level of involvement in that process.” 1 likes
More quotes…