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High Infatuation: A Climber's Guide to Love and Gravity
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High Infatuation: A Climber's Guide to Love and Gravity

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  627 ratings  ·  54 reviews

* A collection of vivid, intimate essays and prose poetry on the universal themes of life, love, friendship, personal empowerment, and more, told through a career in climbing
* 40 percent of these pieces debut here for the first time
* Davis has been profiled in publications including Outside, Men's Journal, W Magazine, and Sports Illustrated.
Throughout her life, Steph
Paperback, 189 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by Mountaineers Books (first published 2007)
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Average rating 4.02  · 
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 ·  627 ratings  ·  54 reviews

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Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! For such a short book it was a long read. Her writing is spacious, and every word counts. I was pausing a lot to take in her stories and reflections. She spoke to safety and the unknown really beautifully. As a female climber, a lot of the things people say to deter people from climbing "oh it's really dangerous" get augmented by how society places a lot of protection around women, protection that can be really limiting to our growth and new experiences. She talks honestly ...more
Dec 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Finished the book in 24 hours; a very fast read. I actually met and climbed with Steph at Carderock in MD when we were both students (new climbers and in colllege) at the U of MD, before she moved CO to pursue climbing and finish undergrad. That was a long time ago! She was super fun and I am still amazed by her especially after reading her book. She is so much fun, so smart, engaging, and is an absolute joy to climb with! I suppose I'm biased, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book and so did my ...more
Apr 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
I was in Pakistan in 2000 when I learned that Steph, Dean and Jimmy were climbing just a few valleys over. She wasn't married at the time so of course I wrote her a note, handed it to my porter who passed it along to her porter. That's as close as I ever got. haha.

The book is a good read. It's rare that I'll read a book in one day but I did with this one. It was differently paced, the flow was somewhat random, but in that it seemed poetic and a bit like a climber.

What I liked the most was the
Feb 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
This book doesn't much live up to its title and tag line. It's a disjointed collection of stories SD wrote for climbing magazines, with some vaguely-connection making biographical stories in there as well. The stories are interesting enough, but the whole thing has this pervading sense of superficiality. Things happen that seem to bear some serious reflection, and maybe that reflection happened in life, but the journey isn't on these pages. Overall it feels like a rushed job, collect the pieces, ...more
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Great writing. Dreamy, introspective, technical, straightforward, gritty, honest.
Jun 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
Although Davis's achievements are a triumph for white women in this male-dominated field, she fails to consider the anglo-centric and privileged position from which she views and comments on different cultures and people she encounters on her climbs. There are many instances where she projects her gaze onto or makes false assumptions about individuals and customs, and was not critical to correct these preconceived notions or to deliver to readers a balanced and ethical account of her experiences ...more
Sep 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Great read. I really liked that she didn't try to dumb down the language of climbing like so many climber-authors do to try to reach a wider audience. I really felt like this was written unapologetically for other climbers who will understand her emotions and actions.
Dec 26, 2019 rated it liked it
This read had some breathtaking adventures and great reflections on them, on climbing in general. A lot of inspiring material that met me where I’m at as a new climber. I did struggle a bit with the way she describes some of the cultures she engaged with while climbing around the world; I’m not sure some of these perceptions could still be featured in outdoor publications now what with today’s context of the momentum behind DEI representation and changing how adventure communities engage with ...more
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a thoroughly enjoyable, thought provoking read. It’s a short book, that I wanted to tear through because it was so fascinating to get an inside peak into a climbers life. But because I found it so interesting, I purposely reigned myself in, slowing down my reading pace, in order to savor and really consider the stories. Life lessons could be gleaned from many (well, actually most) of the passages. That, coupled by the laser focus, determination, physically strength and mental fortitude ...more
Sep 29, 2019 rated it liked it
This a collection of the author's essays on tough climbs around the world with many different partners including in Pakistan, Patagonia, Yosemite and Moab. She is very driven, committed and will do whatever it takes! Climbing and being on rock is her connection to the world and teaches her many lessons that range from going with the flow and not forcing an outcome to balancing this with the work ethic that makes a desired result. She is a role model for staying true to making success on one's ...more
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. It was refreshing reading an adventurous book from the perspective of a woman. But don't let that fool you either, Steph is a badass and her stories will leave you craving more. I also love her writing style. I totally feel like I am there. Beyond the amazing adventures, she also shares some valuable perspectives on life. I recommend this book to anyone seeking adventures (beyond your own), and to anyone looking to understand life a little better.
May 12, 2017 rated it liked it
The writing was good; I felt like I was in the author's head. I only gave the book three stars, because I found it more technical than thrilling. I imagine if you were a rock climber, the book would be more interesting because of familiarity with the different locales and climbs. For me, it was an interesting peek into the rock-climbing world, but it wasn't a suspenseful adventure story.
Dec 28, 2019 added it
(why do all climbing books have such philosophical titles?)
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: yoga
Lovely and down-to-earth... despite the subject matter! I flew through these essays that are more like snapshots of experiences than a linear autobiography.
Jakob Okkenhaug
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Inspiring and honest
Kassondra Mcgonegal
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
the Bible. This book is written beautifully. It inspires to get outside and chase your true passion. Break free from the high pressure society. Absolutely LOVE. I'll read this again and again.
Francis Hardy
Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Truly captured the infatuation all climbers to some extent fell pulling them towards the Mountains.
Anna Keating
Jun 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
A nice short book, that really gives an insight to the attitude of a dedicated climber/athlete. Although I am not a climber, I was comfortable with the technical terms used for climbs and climbing equipment. The book does seem to jump from one event to another, sometimes not appearing to have any connection in time or place at all. Overall, the real highlight for me was to hear the perspective of a committed climber - the mindset needed to achieve their success, and the reality of hard work, ...more
Chris Motta
Oct 25, 2007 added it
Recommends it for: climbers, poets
I really enjoyed the book. as a long time climber myself i could understand the challenging contrast of a climber's lifestyle to the formative expectations still embedded within given so lovingly by our parents. which is precisely what provides the appropriate amount of guilt, the loving part. a good read, it doesn't have an linear structure, which might be frustrating for some, but i find it most charming and appropriate, a wonderful parallel to the nature of life in general, in my experience ...more
Abby Lattu
Feb 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book really inspires me! Definitely a book for climbers and adventures because I'm not sure if people who don't can relate or understand all the lingo. The book is written as a series of short essays so if you don't like that style this may not be the book for you. I loved reading about the rewards and fallbacks of Steph's adventures and it was great because for me it is very relatable and it was nice to see some of the experiences that I've had from another. Steph Davis is great writer ...more
Nov 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
More than just an adventure, this is the story of a woman’s soul. Steph Davis takes risks, trusts her impulses, makes decisions based on what feels right, and never looks back. She is one of the most accomplished female climbers in the world, having made first ascents in Pakistan, Patagonia, Baffin Island, and Kyrgyzstan. Climb Nashville called High Infatuation “Interesting, well written, humble and sincere.”
Feb 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rock-climbing
A great book by Steph Davis. I wish I could put my life on hold for climbing the way she did but I can't live without the comforts of my very western lifestyle. I had no idea she had a masters degree and left her western lifestyle to completely emerge herself in the nomad life of a climber. The first half of the book was the most captivating for me. Her adventure after adventure traveling to different countries and meeting different people - wow. Truly enjoyable.
Nov 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Such an enjoyable read! Makes me want to get back into rock-climbing again. I love that Steph Davis is a local Utahan, I felt so connected to this book. Utah is an incredible State to live in and she reminded me that life is better spent in the outdoors. Enlightenment through passionate living. Thanks for the reminder!
Mar 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
A good book, with hard-core stories of determination, and the difference between and interplay among mental, physical and spiritual strength.

Possibly not as interesting to non-climbers, since you need to be able to understand climbing jargon and it helps to know the places the author talks about.
Jan 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I could not put this book down! I knew Steph Davis was an amazing climber but I did not know that she gave up a respectable career to become a dirt-bag climbing bum. It was interesting to learn that she'd never been involved in sports as a child and didn't climb until she was in college. She is also humble and spiritual and I can't wait for her next book which apparently she is working on.
Apr 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very honest look at the life of a hard climber. The story jumps around a bit to the more exciting parts of life, but these are the experiences that have shaped Steph Davis' life with regard to climbing and her personal philosophy. Overall, a beautiful story that climbers will love. Non-climbers may end up inspired or more confused by climbers than ever.
May 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: climbers
I worked with Steph a little during the time she was doing the climbs described in the book. Reading it was a little like going for a drink with her after the climb and hearing the story again for the first time. This is a book for climbers. Non-climbers will have a hard time understanding the jargon and following the stories. Climbers will relish the stories for what they are - simply inspiring!
Sep 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
I love Steph Davis - I love her heart and her energy. The book was good and interesting and full of soul, but it could've flowed better, IMO. I love all the stories of the climbs and loved the poetic journal entries. Just wish it was pieced together differently.

Anyway, she's an inspiration to me so she could write notes on napkins and I'd read them. :)
Prana Living
Feb 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Great Read from Steph Davis. You can learn more about Steph and her amazing lifestyle at You can also seee her amazing video series?
Sep 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Good stories from the life of a climber and it brings forward a lot of lessons not just for climbing but for life. I take points away due to 1/5 of the book is whining about the weather in patagonia several years in a row
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