Looking for the perfect gift for the outdoor adventurer in your life? Or a book to curl up with by the fire after a day on the slopes? Here are our picks for the best books on cold weather and mountain adventures -- we're talking snow, ice, wind, cliffs! And there's something for everyone from meditations on the wild to tales of extreme treks.
Nate Blakeslee tells the story of one wolf's struggle to survive in Yellowstone National Park in American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West. O-Six, an alpha female, is challenged on all fronts from hunters, ranchers, and other wolves as she fights to protect her pack in this compelling tale that represents a much bigger story of today's culture clashes in the American West.
In Arctic Dreams, a National Book Award-Winning study of the Arctic, Barry Lopez chronicles the Far North's terrain, peoples, and explorers in original and haunting prose. This book is much more than just a work of natural history. It's incredibly relevant as our planet is confronted with an ever-dwindling Arctic landscape.
Kit DesLauriers is the first person to ski from the summit of the highest mountain on each continent after climbing it first. She tells her remarkable story of true grit and self discovery that led to this incredible feat in Higher Love: Skiing the Seven Summits. Written in an accessible, "behind the scenes" style, this is a fast-paced read that will not only make you crave a little adrenaline in your life, but also make you reflect on your own personal "higher" calling and values.
The Living Mountain
Heralded as a "nature masterpiece," Nan Shephard's The Living Mountain: A Celebration of the Cairngorm Mountains of Scotland describes her journeys in the beautiful, but harsh mountains near her home in Scotland. It's a classic meditation on the majesty of mountains and our relationship to the wild from the often rare (in this genre) voice of a female writer.
The Snow LeopardAnother classic, Peter Matthiessen's The Snow Leopard is the story of the author's own spiritual journey while trekking in the Himalayas. Originally intended as a trek to study Himalayan blue sheep and spot an elusive snow leopard, it becomes a transformational internal climb toward self discovery. Not a quick read, this book is meant to ignite contemplation. Perfect for any "mountain intellectuals" out there.