by John Cleare

Kingfisher, $19.99, 64 pages

The full page color illustrations in John Cleare’s book Epic Climbs are stunning. Adventure enthusiasts and those who enjoy reading about mountaineers will find this coffee table book thrilling. John Cleare, both author and photographer, has climbed mountains all over the world. In his book he tells the tale of the expeditions that took men to the tops of the highest mountains. Cleare focuses on early climbs on the Eiger, one of the peaks of the Bernese Alps. It also has chapters about trekking the Karakoram Range’s K2, Mount Everest, Mount McKinley, and the Matterhorn. Each section follows the trials, tragedies, and successes of climbing attempts.

Although Cleare focuses the majority of his narration on early assents, he does devote a section to later climbs. He touches on female explorers and alpine guides who make a living helping mountaineers make the dangerous treks. A glossary defines essential terms. Fold-out pages show off photographs beautifully. Readers will learn about alpine weather and how to navigate rock and ice.

This book is part of the larger Epic Adventure series which includes Epic Voyages and the soon to be released Epic Treks and Epic Flights.

Elizabeth Franklin