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Extreme Alpinism: Climbing Light, High, and Fast

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  255 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Covers character, psychological training, physical training, strength, endurance, nutrition, clothing, gear, wilderness skills, partnering, and bivouacs.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published August 31st 1999 by Mountaineers Books
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Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adventure
Worth reading even if you're not an alpinist :)
Logan Streondj
Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent primer on mindset, training, nutrition and the factors that lead to successfully surviving alpinist journeys. I definitely know a lot more about it all than I did before, and can prepare more appropriately.

He recommends 5 strength training exercises :
For power, focus on lat pulls, standing finger curls, bent-over dumbbell rows, leg presses, and, occasionally, standing calf raises. Though he says climbing is best training otherwise.

He also talks extensively about clothing and gear. One
Zachary Rudolph
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“Alpine climbing is unsafe and no rationalizations can change that. It’s a game of survival. Dying, or even getting hurt, means you lost. ... It is about your friends dying up in the clouds. Swept away by avalanches or cowering under a volley of stones. Perhaps freezing to death alone at the bottom of a deep, dark crevasse. Or just sitting down to take a rest and never getting up again—taking the longest fall, where the sky is rose and the mountains have never been as beautiful as they are today ...more
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another essential book for pushing the adventure envelope.
William Buchanan
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
With all this alpine knowledge i'm now a qualified wannabee. Maybe i'll just stock up on energy gels and be good to climb in Alaska, right?
Tony  McLean Brown
Apr 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Read this book before summiting Mt. Rainier. Damn that was hard. Tony McLean Brown
Mikey B
Mar 21, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone who fancies climbing and mountaineering
Mark Twight is a madman. Pure and simple. He spends half of this book detailing training and diet regimines and the other half of the book subtley spraying about all the insane "light & fast" style alpine ascents he's done. He writes with a bit of an "I'm way more bad-ass than you no matter what you've done" attitude that can get a little bit irritating until you realize that he's pretty much right. Once you get past the somewhat haughty delivery the book offers a lot of insights as to why Twigh ...more
Nov 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-reads
Though some of the gear suggestions are starting to become dated this book presents far more material around alpine climbing at the extreme end. There are plenty of pieces of information that can be applied to the amateur alpinist around training and being successful.

Some readers have commented that the book is about Twight's gnarly ascents, but I would say that each one he picked goes directly to a point he is making about gear or training. Often he would have to back out of a climb because of
May 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-from-ben
Obviously a mega-classic when it comes to extreme alpine climbing. Great handbook, packed full of good pro-tips, stories, and info. One tip in particular came in very handy soon after reading it - if you eat high-fat foods, your body turns up the heat right away, not only once it burns the food. This is useful when your morning pre-dawn bushwhack through fog gets cliffed out and you have to sit in your backpack on your rope to stay warm for a couple hours until it gets light...

Note that after re
Jun 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Full of good (if somewhat dated in some cases) tips regarding gear and strategies in pursuit of ever lighter and faster climbing at the limits of alpinism. Most climbers will find good take away pointers and ideas whether climbing at MFT's level or not.

A good starting point if you're into this particular form of self inflicted suffering.
Sep 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Awesome. It taught me to embrace my inner rage. Yay.

Serious discussions on preparation, technique and motivation. Good advice for those seeking to shave time or become more efficient in many facets of climbing; excellent starting point for those looking to do serious training. Again, it's a starting point; not the alpha and omega, but a great starting point nonetheless.
Ander Broadman
Apr 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Though dated, and superseded, in some respects this still contains the nuggets of how you should be going about alpinism in the 21st Century. I'd suggest you read this, and then read Steve House "Training for the New Alpinism" (in that order) if you're in anyway serious about trying to become a good alpinist.

A true classic.
Apr 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Great insight into what it takes to do single push alpine climbs. Most interesting were the sections on physical fitness, nutrition and how the body responds to stress, deprivation and being on the edge for days on end.
Jan 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
'Extreme Alpinism' is one of just a few how-to books out there written about alpine climbing. Its an intense, interesting, and informative read even if your climbing goals are more modest than free-soloing sheer ice walls as Twight has.
Feb 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
You can't beat Twight's blunt and honest advice if you have any interest in this sort of thing. It is a little dated with brand and product specific info that doesn't always apply anymore. Still a must have for light and fast alpine climbers.
Jun 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Climbers, mountain goats
Great and inspiring book for climbers, not really much in it for non-climbers.
Guido Freddi
Dec 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
very inspiring. Twighr extreme is THE exreme mountaineering. I never went that far but i strongly believe that extreme is a subjective word: each of us has her/his own extreme.
Feb 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A true classic of alpinist literature. A must-read for anyone who wants to become serious climber.
Jan 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mountaineering
Great book covering all you need to know about alpine climbing - training, gear, clothing, food etc. Well written and interesting to read.
Dec 29, 2007 rated it really liked it
again, focused on climbing, and if thats your gig, i trust these authors. if your just looking for a book on working out, there is alot of solid info on functional strength.
Jun 15, 2009 added it
If you want to learn how to really train to the peak of your performance this is the book for you.
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