As off-season rolls into summer, determined buds on branches unfurl into bright green leaves, and the river swells into a swirling chocolate-colored beast, reshaping its own channels and banks. We look longingly up at the mountains that surround us, already planning adventures that will take us down pine shaded trails, along shimmering turquoise lakes and to the tops of rugged peaks. But in the meantime, while we patiently wait for the alpine snow to recede and the puddles to dry out, we excitedly plan our upcoming mountain adventures.
Whether you’re curled up in your cabin at the foot of the Tetons, or miles away anticipating your own arrival in Jackson Hole, these are some of the Outpost crew’s favorite reads to get excited for summertime in the mountains. So kick back, let spring breathe green life back into the wilderness, and enjoy one of these page-turners that will get you excited to lace up your hiking boots.
If you’re looking for a true story packed with excitement, snag a copy of The White Spider by Heinrich Harrer.
Harrer’s account chronicles the first successful ascent of the Eiger’s rugged and brutal north face: one of Europe’s last undefeated routes. After multiple failed attempts by other teams, some ending in bitter tragedy, some still shrouded in mystery, Harrer’s team manages to puzzle out the challenges near the top of the peak. An astounding account of bravery, endurance and raw strength, The White Spider will have you eager to head out and bag a summit of your own – even if the ascent is a little easier.
If your crew on your next trip into the mountains has some younger members, Banner in the Sky by James Ramsey Ullman is a classic family read guaranteed to get everyone looking forward to stepping into their boots.
A novel filled filled with beautiful mountainscapes and climbers dedicated to adventure, Banner in the Sky follows young Rudi Matt as he dedicates himself unwaveringly to stand atop the last great summit of the Alps. He faces myriad challenges, and discovers the path of the only other man to approach the top of the peak and die in the attempt – his own father. This Newberry Award-winning book will have the whole family excited to spend some time among rugged peaks, and discover amazing things about themselves and one another on the way.
Have your sights set on standing atop the Grand Teton? Get to know the brave and colorful man who pioneered many routes among the Teton Range in Glenn Exum: Never a Bad Word or a Twisted Rope compiled by Charlie Craighead.
This fascinating collection of climbing stories by Glenn Exum himself provides a first-hand account of many thrilling first ascents in the Teton Range. Truly incredible photographs accompany these great stories, and paint a picture of a unique slice of Jackson Hole history. From the first person to climb the Grand Teton barefoot (ouch!), to the earliest successful canine ascents and more, this book is packed with wonderful gems. It’s a legacy you’ll be proud to be a part of when you hit the trail yourself.
If you’re already in Jackson Hole, head to one of our great local bookstores to get your own copy of Outpost’s favorite reads. Visit the Valley Bookstore or Jackson Hole Book Traders, and start looking forward to summer!