Why We Climb: The World’s Most Inspiring Climbers Book Review
I am reading Why We Climb: The World’s Most Inspiring Climbers by Chris Noble and forward by Conrad Anker. I have been in a climbing slump for a few months and when I was pitched to review this new book, I hoped it would help inspire me to get back to the gym and have some fun. I wasn’t expecting to get that spark during Chris’ introduction of the book, where he writes:
If you’re not a climber, be forewarned. If you choose to climb, everything will change. Your entire attitude toward life will shift. Where others drift aimlessly, you will move with purpose. Where others seek comfort and security, you will seek the opportunities that can only be found in challenge and adversity. You’ll learn to set lofty goals, then attain them, or fail heroically in the attempt.
You should know that Chris Noble is an amazing photographer and great writer. He wrote Women Who Dare: North America’s Most Inspiring Women Climbers and has his work featured in National Geographic, Rolling Stone, and Sports Illustrated in addition to more outdoor-specific publications like Rock & Ice, Adventure Journal, and Alpinist. He’s the real deal.
What is great about this book is that it tackles the question new climbers and seasoned veterans get on a regular basis: WHY?
Why do you go out into the desert and climb those giant boulders? Why do you leave your gear in the van and attempt to climb these massive walls without any safety? Why do you spend money on a specialty gym that also hosts kids birthday parties? Why do you do something that rips up your skin and leaves you with cuts and bruises? Why do you do something you know is dangerous? Why do you do it?
I love that Chris includes young climbers, older icons, women who crush, and international names in this book. A few of the names are new to me and I love that I am able to learn about them before I dive into following them on Instagram and seeing their inspiring posts on a daily basis. Getting that background information on how much they love this sport and lifestyle and aren’t just in it for the photo likes is inspiring.
If you’re looking for a book that gets deep into climbing, this may not be for you. This book is set up to be like short interviews with the different climbers, so the entries are not more than a few pages long. For example, if you want to learn a lot about Alex Honnold, you may be better off buying one of his books. The
Buy this book (in paperback or on Kindle) for those days you’re not able to head to the crag due to rain and buy this for your friend who wants to start climbing but is intimidated by the gym junkies at the climbing center. I imagine this would be a popular book to have around your local climbing gym, so when you’re done reading it, drop it off!
This book was provided to me for possible review by the publishers. Like other reviews on the site, I emphasized possible review because I don’t want to share anything with you that I don’t think will be helpful or worth your while. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. The links in this post are Amazon affiliate links, shopping through these links may result in a small commission for me at no extra cost for you. If you do not wish to use affiliate links, simple copy the title of the book you’re looking for in your favorite search engine and shop away. Thank you.