Downward Bound

Downward Bound

Downward Bound: A Mad! Guide to Rock Climbing

Downward Bound is Warren Harding’s offbeat and inventive climbing classic. Harding gives readers an introduction to climbing and recounts his first ascents of the Nose and the Wall of the Early Morning Light on El Capitan in Yosemite Valley. The introduction to rock climbing and big walls is farcical. The tales of his ascents are vivid. And throughout he strives to return some of the fun to climbing through humorous storytelling of the climbing culture of the 60s and 70s.

Downward Bound is a testament to the rebellious and magnetic Batso.

Why do people climb? How the hell do I know? Answers to this perennial question range from Mallory’s rather facetious (I think) “Because it’s there” to (again) Mallory’s enigmatic “If you ask the question, there can be no answer.” Personally, I dig another version of Mallory’s statement. Like, “We climb because it’s there and we’re mad!” How else could you explain freezing your ass off, battling heat and thirst, scaring yourself to death just to get up some rock face or mountain peak. Rock climbing is especially questionable in this respect. In basic mountain climbing the object is to reach the summit by any or the easiest route possible. In rock climbing it’s not really necessary to reach a summit; the game seems to amount to finding the most difficult ways of getting nowhere.

Downward Bound
  • Print Length: 220 pages
  • Weight: 11.4 ounces
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches

Hardcover: $29.95 available at Amazon, the Book Depository, and on order at most independent bookstores.

Paperback: $16.95 available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and on order at most independent bookstores.