Summit Archaeology

Book cover for Summit Archaeology

Summit Archaeology: The Epic of Prehistoric Ascents in the High Mountains of the World

Summit Archaeology is chapter one in the history of world mountaineering. This is a history that has remained unwritten to the present day.

Today it is commonly accepted without further discussion that our great activity of ascending mountains began scientifically and sportively only a couple of centuries before our time.

These notions should be abandoned forever.

Summit Archaeology proves that thousands of years earlier prehistoric peoples had ascended at least 380 mountains across five continents. These peoples braved ice, snow, altitude, weather, and distances without proper garments and footgear. To mountaineers the world over, these beings were our true forerunners.

Summit Archaeology is mainly an inventory. The book seeks to list the hundreds of mountain peaks that ancients bravely ascended thousands of years ago—an era in the history of humankind that has received little mention, let alone a detailed listing.

Do you have a climbing history book to publish?! Let us know!

Summit Archaeology Book Details

  • Print length: 160
  • Weight: 9.3 ounces
  • Dimensions: 5.5 X 0.38 X 8.5 inches

Hardcover: $34.95 available at independent bookstores and Amazon.

Paperback: $19.95 available at independent bookstores and Amazon.

The Author

Evelio A. Echevarria, 1926-2020, was born in Santiago, Chile. He taught Spanish and Latin-American literature at Colorado State University in Fort Collins for 32 years, retiring in 1994 as professor emeritus. He performed mountaineering along the Andes and the Rocky Mountains for some 65 years and researched both ranges, chronicling their known-and unknown-activities from ancient times to present. His own sportive activities included exploratory mountaineering, climbing over 375 mountains, with 101 documented first ascents in the Andes Mountain range.

It was when he began to chronicle ascents on Chilean mountain peaks that he came upon the then wholly unknown peak ascents by the Andean Indians of the past, a topic that caught his interest. Over the years he expanded his research on this peculiar combination of mountaineering and archaeology until it finally reached what this present work attempts to cover: the very “Chapter One” of the history of world mountaineering, in which the ancient peoples appear as the protagonists of an unrecorded epic. Such is the purpose of this unusual book.


  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • A Survey of Prehistoric Ascents in the Mountains of the World
    • Europe
    • Africa
    • Asia
    • Australia
    • Americas
  • Conclusion
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Appendix 1: Basic Terminology of Summit Archaeology
  • Append 2: Statistics
  • The Author