As much as I love mountaineering, sometimes I like to just sit on my tush and read about it while stuffing my face with beer, guacamole and ice cream. It’s all part of my secret training regimen.
My picks for the top five essential mountaineering instructional books: Start with Mountaineering, The Freedom of the Hills 7th Edition by The Mountaineers Books, the classic one-volume treatment of all things mountainous. Then bulk up on the vital subject of anchors with the upcoming revised edition of Climbing Anchors by Bob Gaines and John Long.
For more specialized information and the great illustrations of Mike Clelland, check out Glacier Mountaineering and Allen & Mike’s Really Cool Backcountry Ski Book for glacier travel and backcountry skiing respectively. Finally, to prepare for your mixed-climbing project grab a copy of Will Gadd’s Ice & Mixed Climbing, Modern Technique. The last is part of the Mountaineers Outdoor Expert Series, which to date I have found to be top-notch.