Books by Members

A shelf of mountaineering books overlayed with the text "Books by Members"

The Alpine Club has a long literary history, with many members publishing not only books on mountaineering but also on mountain culture, ecology, science, geology and much more. This tradition of mountain writing continues to this day and you can see a list of recent member publications listed below.


'Fallen' - Mick Conefrey


Mick Conefrey

The latest title in Mick Conefrey's triptych of early Everest expeditions seeks to get under the skin of the man at the centre of the 1924 expedition: George Mallory. Using contemporary docuemnts, letters, memoirs and diaries, Conefrey seeks to unearth the man behind the mountaineering legend.

Allen & Unwin

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'The White Ladder' - Daniel Light

The White Ladder

Daniel Light

Daniel Light explores the history of mountaineering before the ascent of Everest, profiling the characters and cultures who made the first forrays into the world's highest mountains to make early attempts on now infamous peaks.

OneWorld Publications

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'Dry-Tooling Great Britain' - Lina Arthur

Dry-Tooling Great Britain

Lina Arthur

The first of its kind, this comprehensive guide covers 26 dry-tooling venues across Britain, from popular honeypot destinations to small, esoteric crags. The guide is filled with inspiring action photography, with each venue accompanied by a detailed map and photo topo.

Oxford Alpine Club

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'Mountain Guru' - Catherine Moorehead

Mountain Guru: The Life of Doug Scott

Catherine Moorehead

The result of years of painstaking research and hundreds of interviews, 'Mountain Guru' examines the life of one of mountaineering's most significant figures; Doug Scott. Moorehead's biography offers an insight into 'Scott the man' as well as 'Scott the climber' - covering his far-reaching charity work and occasionally tumultuous personal life alongside his many expeditions and first ascents.

Birlinn Ltd.

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'A Fine Line' - Graham Zimmerman

'A Fine Line'

Graham Zimmerman

In this biographical work, Graham Zimmerman shares his own coming-of-age tale, reflecting on the highs and lows of his chosen mountain life. In the face of the tragic deaths of his contemporaries and the looming threat of climate change, Zimmerman lays out how he has learned to find a careful balance between his personal ambitions and broader responsibilities.

Mountaineers Books

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'Autumn Passage to the Himalaya' - Harish Kapadia

'Autumn Passage to the Himalaya'

Harish Kapadia

Harish Kapadia’s first trip to the Himalaya took place almost 6 decades ago and stirred what was to become a lifelong fascination with the region. Harish has written extensively about the Himalaya, both in articles and books, and in his capacity as editor of The Himalayan Journal. In his latest book, he brings together a collection of essays, describing excursions from his younger years and delving into the stories of notable figures such as Sir Frances Younghusband.

Aryan Books

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'The Way Taken' by Dave Wynne-Jones

The front cover of 'The Way Taken' showing a group of people walking along The Great Wall of China as it snakes off towards the horizon at the top of the page.

'The Way Taken' by Dave Wynne-Jones

Dave Wynne-Jones

On his first expedition to China, Dave took a translation of The Selected Poems of Li Po by David Hinton and Ursula le Guin’s Tao te Ching. It was not an easy trip but his reading helped him come to terms with events in the poems that he wrote during that time. Years later, when writing a handbook on expedition organisation, he rediscovered these poems in his journal and revised and added to them, recalling discussions about Li Po with the expedition’s liaison person whilst exploring the way travellers and climbers relate to the very different cultures of China and its mountains. His publisher encouraged him to add a selection of his photographs to illustrate the text.

Delfryn Publications

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'A Geological Field Guide to the Himalaya' by Dr Daniel Clarke-Lowes

'A Geological Field Guide to the Himalaya'

Dr Daniel Clarke-Lowes

"The text of this guide follows the route of a ‘megatransect’ from the Indian Plate across the Himalayan Mountain Range to the Tibetan Plateau on the Eurasian Plate. The transect takes the reader through the Siwaliks of southern Nepal and then on to a section up the Kali Gandaki River of west central Nepal, a tributary of the Ganges River that marks the western side of the Annapurna Circuit trekking route. Here the metamorphic and sedimentary rocks of the Lesser, Greater and Tethyan Himalayan Series can be studied in turn, going northwards. ‘Diversions’ are taken to Mount Manaslu, in Nepal, and to Bhutan to provide better understanding of the leucogranites of the Greater Himalayan Series.

Next, a dogleg in the megatransect takes the reader to Ladakh where volcanic and deep-water sedimentary rocks of the Indus Tsangpo Suture Zone can be seen together with evidence of deep burial down a subduction zone. Onward then to look at Tibetan terranes on the Eurasian Plate, where granitic batholiths are well exposed. Syn- and post-collisional sandstones and conglomerates (molasse) can be studied in Ladakh’s Indus Basin, lying over the Indus Tsangpo Suture Zone.

A ‘leap’ south-eastwards to study comparable Oligo-Miocene conglomerates goes along the suture to the sacred Mount Kailas, thereby completing the megatransect. There is also a chapter on Quaternary sediments in the Kali Gandaki valley and another to look at the evolution of the four holy rivers: the Indus, the Yarlung-Tsangpo-Brahmaputra, the Sutlej and the Ganges. At each stage of the megatransect there is a brief explanation of the processes involved (e.g. metamorphism, plate tectonics) for non-specialists."

Published by The Geologists' Association

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'Closer to the Edge' by Leo Houlding

'Closer to the Edge'

Leo Houlding

"One of Great Britain's finest climbers and adventurers, Leo Houlding started out climbing at ten years of age in the Lake District literally learning the ropes tackling the many historic peaks and crags in the area. Honing his skills as he grew, at eighteen Leo became one of the very first to free climb the mighty El Capitan in the Yosemite Valley, California widely regarded as the most impressive rock face on the planet cementing his reputation as a world class climber. He has since gone on to not only summit the world's tallest walls and toughest peaks, but has become a twenty-first Century explorer, crossing continents to take extreme sports to the most remote corners of Earth - from the frozen mountains of Antarctica to the sweltering jungles of South America."


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'One Man's Legacy - Tom Patey' by Mike Dixon

The front cover of 'One Man's Legacy' showing a photo of Tom Patey taking a drag on a cigarette in front of a mountain landscape

'One Man's Legacy - Tom Patey'

Mike Dixon

His old friend chronicles the brief but brilliant life of Dr Tom Patey: bard, musician, and one of Scotland’s foremost climbers and mountaineers. Tom’s pioneering ascents, boundless enthusiasm, carefree approach and his ability to burn the candle at both ends remain legendary several decades after his untimely death. Drawing on his essays and verses, the narrative is imbued with dry wit and gentle satire, and brought to life by unseen images from John Cleare and the Patey family archive. With Mick Fowler’s foreword and first-hand insights from leading climbers of the last century, including Chris Bonington, Joe Brown and Paul Nunn, 'One Man’s Legacy' celebrates a complex, larger-than-life character who rightly deserves his place in mountaineering history.

Scottish Mountaineering Press

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