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Fifty elite climbers. Fifty of their favorite routes.

One extraordinary book.

Mark Kroese knew that it would take all the marketing skills he developed as a former Microsoft executive to persuade fifty of this generation’s most accomplished climbers to participate in his latest ambitious project: a celebration in words and dramatic full color photography of each climber’s career and his or her all-time favorite route. It took 137 hours of interviews recorded on tape, 8,700 miles traveled by car, 37,000 miles traveled by air, and 11 crags climbed with his subjects during the interview process, but Kroese’s dream has been realized. The Mountaineers Books is proud to announce publication of FIFTY FAVORITE CLIMBS: The Ultimate North American Tick List

Kroese—a climber himself when not writing about the sport for publications including Climbing, Outside, and People—was inspired by Allen Steck and Steve Roper's seminal 1979 work, Fifty Classic Climbs of North America. Now Kroese, taking the “fifty classics” concept to the next level, offers a new book to inspire a new generation. This time, each of fifty climbers from Conrad Anker to Jeff Lowe to Tony Yaniro, from Roxanna Brock to Lynn Hill to Alison Osius, selects his or her own favorite rock or alpine route and tells the story behind it. Each chapter creates the complete climbing experience in four parts:

·         A revealing climber profile, including a summary of his or her greatest accomplishments,

      insights into training regimes and climbing philosophies, and personal anecdotes.

  • The story behind each climb and why it is that climber's favorite¾recounting some of the greatest moments and dramatic ascents of this generation.
  • A detailed route description provided by the climber, most including a personal topo map (many published here for the first time).
  • Beautiful full-color photos by Corey Rich, Galen Rowell, Bradford Washburn, Gordon Wiltsie, and others among the “who's who” of outdoor photographers.

The author will donate 25 percent of the proceeds from this book to the Access Fund, a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to keeping climbing areas open and conserving the climbing environment.              

Climbers speak out

More than a stunning coffee table book, more than a fully-detailed guidebook, FIFTY FAVORITE CLIMBS is also a window into the lives of those who have shaped the sport. Throughout fifty up-close-and-personal interviews, Kroese’s subjects discuss recurring themes, from why climbers climb, to the importance of style in climbing, to breakthrough experiences and rites of passage.

On the pursuit of climbing

“To me, [climbing] is an experience-oriented activity, not a goal-oriented activity. I don’t care what I climb, I just care about how it affects me.”

Mark Twight

 “To me, climbing is about adventure and exploring beautiful places with my friends.”

Lynn Hill

On the thrill of climbing

“Once you start doing these things, you get a knack for it and you get hooked. You want that thrill, that adrenaline rush of not knowing what’s ahead. It makes you want to get out there and just do it.”

Jared Ogden

On humility in the mountains

“I’m not conquering anything. The key to continued success is humility, you know, really admitting that there is a lot of luck involved and that nature is very powerful.”

            Alex Lowe

On the ideal of alpinism

“To me, it’s about climbing the biggest feature on the biggest mountains using as little gear and as much skill as possible.”

Steve House

“If we need rope ladders to ascend the peak, then we’ve climbed our ladders, not the mountain itself.”

 Todd Skinner

On being transformed by the sport 

“It was amazing. For the first time in my life, everything just clicked…I’m really happy I found climbing. It totally changed my life in many positive ways. It’s given me a lot of direction.”

Chris Sharma

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