The Mountaineering Handbook

Review of The Mountaineering Handbook by Craig Connally There's old school and then there's Connally's school. As in Craig Connally, author of The Mountaineering Handbook: Modern Tools and Techniques That Will Take You to the Top. This book is the perfect balance to Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills. Between the two you'll get both sides of the story, and really they agree more often than not. Both books are inaugural members of GearFlogger's Backcountry Bookshelf.

Connally doesn't hesitate to heap scorn on gear and techniques that don't in his opinion measure up. He has little use for things like the figure eight knot (he prefers the Yosemite bowline), snow flukes ("aren't worth their weight on the pack") and high-tech fibers ("nylon is proving pretty hard to beat"). What sets his book apart from all the opinion out there is his dedication to evidence. Exhaustive discussions of fall forces, materials technology and other evidence are everywhere.

It's hard to overstate the amount of information in this book; you'll just have to read it – and re-read it – yourself. It's the book I go back to the most to review his tricks for tying various knots, opinions on fast and light methods, and prescriptions for training. Connally brings an engineer's mind to topics that are long overdue for such dissection, and if you don't always agree you still won't be disappointed with the passion he brings to mountaineering.

$12.89 at



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