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317 Mountaineering, Freedom of the Hills 2010-12-08

Mountaineering Freedom of the Hills

In the late sixties I visited the library and checked out the book, "Mountaineering, Freedom of the Hills" for the first time. I re-upped my term of use several times before the library made me return it. As soon as possible I checked it out again! I wasn't a mountaineer, I was only a kid who had dabbled in adventure sports and wanted more. I studied each page and dreamed of the freedom of the hills - the skills to safely travel in the mountains.

I didn't buy a copy until a few years later. My first copy was the third edition. The newest book is the 50th year anniversary edition, the 8th issue. The book is so comprehensive it is considered by many to be the bible of adventure sports. I faithfully kept my copy by my bedside and read it each night before going to sleep!

The book is uniquely written as a collaboration. Editors work to keep the styles fluid, but each chapter is written and re-written by different writers - experts in the subject field and all writers are members of the Mountaineers Club. Once the chapters are written, they are reviewed my other climbers within the club. Finally, the book is published.

Has so much changed in 50 years to warrant 8 editions? New equipment and techniques are introduced with each volume. For example in the 8th edition there are major updates in the section on physical fitness, aid climbing, and alpine rescue - just to name a few. Minor changes are throughout the book. The changes help keep the book up to date.

Personally, I enjoy the new editions. I buy each one and then re-read the volume looking for changes. It is not like reading a gripping suspense novel; but it is easy to read and comprehend.

With Christmas coming, Freedom on the HIlls makes a great present for an aspiring mountain hiker or climber. It is also not a bad gift for your dog to buy you. The 50th anniversary edition is sure to be a collectors item but regardless is the text for obtaining the freedom of the hills!

Happy Freedom of the Hills trails.


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