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Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills

4.58  ·  Rating details ·  3,379 ratings  ·  151 reviews
The latest edition of the classic guide to mountaineering describes fundamental climbing skills; discusses rock, snow, and ice climbing techniques; recommends clothing and equipment; gives advice on safety and first aid; and includes a new section on waterfall ice and mixed climbing. Simultaneous.
Paperback, 575 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Mountaineers Books (first published April 1960)
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Average rating 4.58  · 
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Simeon Kohlman Rabbani
Jun 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Traian Stancescu
Sep 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
Laura Leaney
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I learned so much from this book that I hesitate in taking off a star. (I do admit to skipping the sections on belaying, et cetera, since I've no intention of advanced climbing). The only issue I had with reading the book relates to the textbookish language that made for some tedious reading. I'm not sure how one could make it more exciting, but there you have it.

The material on hiking and/or backpacking in harsh conditions was excellent, especially the chapter on traveling through snow and in a
Bryce Klingonsmith
When they say that this book is the bible of mountaineering, they sure aren't kidding. This book is filled above the brim with all kinds of information concerning numerous aspects of the sport. The detail is awesome, the illustrations are superb, and the whole thing is seriously well put together. I think the best things about this book is the breadth of the topics it covers.
When I bought the book, I thought I was going to learn about mountaineering in great detail, and perhaps a little about c
William Long
Jan 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
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).
Feb 18, 2015 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
Aishwarya Khaitan
Apr 18, 2017 rated it liked it
The latest edition of the classic guide to mountaineering describes fundamental climbing skills; discusses rock, snow, and ice climbing techniques; recommends clothing and equipment; gives advice on safety and first aid; and includes a new section on waterfall ice and mixed climbing. Simultaneous.
James Morrison
Apr 04, 2013 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.
Cory verner
Jun 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 29, 2013 is currently reading it
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. ...more
Apr 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
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 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: outdoors-sports
Great reference for hiking, backpacking, mountaineering, rock climbing, and winter camping.
Du Nguyen
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills is nothing else but a must for any mountaineer. It is rightly considered the Bible of mountaineering and contains all the information that you would ever want to know about mountain climbing.

The book is especially easy to read considering the subjects covered. The many pictures are definitely a help and while outdoors experience is really the only way to learn mountaineering, the book is really well written. I especially like the sections on planning trip
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the grand tradition of The Compleat Walker, this is a wide-ranging field guide to challenges and techniques for mountain travel. The book assumes that you're going climbing (and not just hiking), but if that's not you, you can skip the middle chapters on technical climbing. The chapters on equipment, shelter, navigation, snow travel, leadership, safety, and first aid were all practical and applicable, and the chapters on geology, snow, and weather were excellent introductions to the mountain ...more
Vaibhav Bhandari
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have studied the freedom of the hills before, I used this edition to train our group for Mt. Shasta climb. Lost of more details about the climb on my blog -, what really struck with me on this read is how to convey trail etiquettes. I print pages from this book and our group took turns reading it, substantially changed our group dynamics. This is a go to for any thing mountaineering. ...more
Juhi Singh
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The level of detail in this book is unbelievable. From insulating layers to pitching a tent to avalanche rescue, there is nothing that this book doesn't cover about mountaineering. If you're just getting into mountaineering, it would be easier to go on a guided trip and learn the ropes from a guide than try to remember everything in the book.
Angus Lawrence
Jun 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The classic text book for mountain-lovers that has been revised and up-dated a number of times (this is the 9th edition). I have the hard copy, but decided to buy the kindle edition for convenience. I use this book as a reference when writing risk assessments for particular activities ( and for learning different techniques. ...more
William Buchanan
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's pretty cool to have this book handy in ebook format while killing time in morraine camp at 5,000m and consulting the glacier! I wish it had more specific technical information, but I suppose that's why it lists other books as reference.
Logan Streondj
Jul 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very thorough covers everything you might like to know before going mountaineering. It is like having an expert explain all the basics and fundamentals you might need. Of course you will still need to train, have adequate preparatian etc but this book will get you started.
Sep 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The definitive text on the subject. If you want to get in the mountains, and do it safely, or are just curious about how it's done, this is how you start learning. Well illustrated, evolved over decades, excellent.
May 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
learned a lot. provides a good basis and support for all the nuances i'm learning in person
Curtis Penner
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this back in college. Covered the mountaineering basics of the late '60, early 70's. It is still a classic.
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Required: Must read, study, and keep close if you want to be a mountaineer.
Anne Bernadette
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: oppp
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are quite a few dead people who wish they had read this book. Don't be one of them!
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The number one mountaineering textbook, in my opinion. This book thoroughly explains almost everything a mountaineer needs to know or learn!
Arnab Das
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A Comprehensive guide meant for beginners as well as professionals, this book encompasses most of the areas of mountaineering. Punched with inspiring quotes it is an interesting read too.
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
THE guide to mountaineering. Got knots?
Nov 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Essential. The bible of mountain life [or the Dark Souls of ice climbing, whichever metaphor does it for you]
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