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.

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

Half Dome

Half Dome: The History of Yosemite’s Iconic Mountain

Half Dome: The History of Yosemite’s Iconic Mountain traces this granite monolith’s story through the ages, from 500 million years ago to the present day. Learn about Half Dome’s fiery beginnings. Discover its unique summit ecology. Hear the origin story that the Native Americans knew. Feel the exhilaration of the first humans to climb its steep faces. Read the tragic tales of death that have befallen many on this dome. Tune in to the management of a mountain that belongs to all. Finally, find inspiration from the beauty that our planet holds.This book is an excellent resource for anyone visiting Yosemite, hikers and climbers who wish to reach the summit, lovers of mountains, and readers of history. Included are several maps of the area, numerous historical photos and drawings, a timeline of Half Dome, and an index.

Book Details:

  • Print Length: 174 pages
  • Weight: 9 ounces
  • Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 8 inches

Paperback: $13.95 available at most independent bookstores and Amazon.
eBook: $9.95 available at Amazon.
Wholesale: Wholesale copies for booksellers are available through Ingram or direct.


  1. Geological History
  2. Ecological History
  3. Native American History
  4. European Sightings and Naming a Mountain
  5. First Attempts to Scale the Dome
  6. First Ascents
  7. The Cables
  8. First Technical Rock Climb
  9. The Regular Northwest Face
  10. The South Face
  11. Managing a Mountain
  12. A Dangerous Mountain
  13. Half Dome Today

The Author:

Joe Reidhead lives in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. An avid outdoorsman and mountain climber, Reidhead worked in Yosemite’s wilderness for several years and was fortunate to live beneath Half Dome’s shadow during that time.

The Andes

The Andes: The Complete History of Mountaineering in High South America

The history of climbing in the Andes has more unanswered questions than that of any other mountain range in the world. This climbing history began in the late Stone Age and covers a span of more than 15,000 years. The Andes is a climbing history that spans the ages, documenting the ascents of thousands of adventurous souls of all epochs: from unknown cavemen, hunters, Indians, grave-diggers, and miners to explorers, scientists, surveyors, artists, and, of course, modern sportive climbers!

With a wealth of over 800 pages, 290 illustrations and 60 maps, The Andes: The Complete History of Mountaineering in High South America is unparalleled in its breadth and bravely faces these unanswered questions.

The Andes is the most detailed and complete history ever written about the range. The book also includes a list of over 3,000 first ascents in the range—an unparalleled resource for any mountaineer.

The American Alpine Journal

  • Print Length: 840 pages
  • Weight: 5.7 lbs
  • Dimensions: 8.5 x 2.3 x 11 inches

eBook: $19.99 available at Amazon and Apple iBookstore.

Paperback: $64.95 available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, the Book Depository, and on order at most independent bookstores.

Note on eBook: The iBook version is an enhanced eBook and we consider it the best value and the best format for enjoying this book. That said, it only works on the iPad and Apple computers.

Note for international buyers: The iBook and Kindle versions are available internationally. Purchasing one of these versions will have significant savings in shipping costs. The paperback is also available through some retailers outside the United States, including Amazon UK and Amazon EU, but we cannot control the retail price on these copies, and they could have a list price more than the recommended U.S. $64.95. If you have an issue, please contact us.

An Afterclap of Fate

An Afterclap of Fate: Mallory on Everest

Winner of the 2006 Boardman Tasker Prize for mountaineering literature.

In this epic narrative, Charles Lind creates a detailed, poetic, and convincing account of mountaineering’s greatest mystery – Mallory and Irvine’s last climb on Everest.

Mallory described a climb as a spiritual journey: “To struggle and to understand – never this last without the other.” An Afterclap of Fate is a profound recreation of that struggle, the journey to understand during the climb, set within a meticulously researched narrative. The reader is taken into the stream of Mallory’s consciousness. This vivid reliving of the detail of the climb leads the reader into the heart and soul of Mallory himself. The narrative stretches from Mallory’s earliest childhood memory to moving recollections of the First World War and finally to the realization of the dream – the summit of Mt. Everest.

An Afterclap of Fate is more than a meditation on the paths of glory and the changeling nicknamed Free Will, it is also about the why of climbing and its wild joy.

Stephen Venables called it “a magnificent poem … beautiful … and incredibly moving.” It is haunting and unforgettable – an elegy and a paean to the pioneers of the Golden and Silver Ages of mountaineering.

“This is a bold book; fact, fiction and fantasy rolled together in a refreshingly different approach. … the writing is powerful, superbly structured and Lind indeed casts the fine spell of words.”

– Ronald Faux, 2006 Boardman Tasker Prize chair of judges


  • Print Length: 186 pages
  • Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches

eBook: $9.99 available at Amazon.

Paperback: $18.95 available at Amazon and on order at most independent bookstores.

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.

Hazard’s Way



Hazard’s Way is the story of a young man’s development and his struggles to cope with strict 19th-century Edwardian family life, with conflicting attitudes toward the Boer War, and with the contradictory influences of the friends he makes in his life as a climber. It is a story of change, the inevitable conflicts between generations, and the young pushing the limits of impossible beyond those of their elders.

The novel is a marvelous evocation of the climbing lifestyle at Wastdale Head in England’s Lake District, and it is set among the company of actual climbers from the period – Oppenheimer, Collie, the Abrahams, and Montague. It culminates in a crisis that all climbers will recognize: a crossroads of intuition and ego.

hazards way

  • Print Length: 260 pages
  • Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches

eBook: $9.99 available at Amazon.

Paperback: $21.95 available at Amazon and on order at most independent bookstores.

My First Summer in the Sierra

In My First Summer in the Sierra John Muir recounts his early travels in the Sierra while working as a shepherd. In the summer of 1869, Muir set out from California’s Central Valley with a flock of 2,050 sheep and made his way to the headwaters of the Merced and Tuolumne Rivers. As one of America’s great philosopher naturalists, Muir captures the spirit of the Sierra Nevada and brings the reader along as a witness to his great journey. He explores in great detail the mountains, meadows, waterfalls, flora, and fauna of the rich landscape that captured his heart. My First Summer in the Sierra is an excellent introduction to the writings of John Muir. This edition contains 30 illustrations.

John Muir (1838 – 1914) was a Scottish-born American naturalist, author, and early advocate of preservation of wilderness in the United States.


  • Print Length: 182 pages
  • Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches

Paperback: $13.95 available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and on order at most independent bookstores.

Publisher’s Note

I remember my first summer in the Sierra. It was a good one. Yosemite Valley: the East Buttress of Middle Cathedral with Henrich; cragging with Lori, Jean, Sean, and crew; naps by the Merced; shenanigans with Rich. Tuolumne: Cathedral Peak; Matthes Crest; more shenanigans. Bishop: wanderings on Mt. Williamson with Dan; and deer antlers.

I believe it is near impossible for anyone to have a bad first summer in the Sierra. There is no bias or first-hand experience to influence the first timer. Instead, there are only first impressions and the imagination. And the Sierra does not disappoint. Fantasize all day; look at photos; read books. But in the end, when you finally arrive after all of that dreaming, the real deal will take first place.

As you journey toward the Range of Light, read about Muir’s first summer in the Sierra, for only when you arrive and see it with your own eyes will you truly understand—and feel—his manic passion.

~ Joe Reidhead

Gary Hemming

Gary Hemming: The Beatnik of the Alps

Gary Hemming—the enigmatic Californian who brought the modern American climbing spirit and technique to the Alps during the 1960s—was a cultural hero in Europe during an era of social upheaval. Launched into fame after a daring rescue of stranded climbers on the West Face of the Dru, Hemming became a star of the French media. Yet his fame in Europe—and anonymity in America—sat uneasily with his rebellious nature. Mirella Tenderini explores Hemming’s tumultuous life and spectacular climbs, creating a profound and tragic portrait of a man who sought a freedom—of love and climbing—that eluded him in this world. And perhaps in death Hemming became what the living cannot be—a legend and a myth.

Mirella Tenderini is an Italian mountaineering journalist and author. She lived among the Alps for fifteen years, running Alpine huts with her husband, a mountain guide. Tenderini has translated several books from English and French into Italian and has written a biography on the Duke of Abruzzi.

Hemming Small
  • Print Length: 200 pages
  • Weight: 11.4 ounces
  • Dimensions: 5.5 X 8.5 X 0.5 inches

eBook: $6.99 available at Amazon.

Paperback: $16.95 available at Amazon and on order at most independent bookstores.


Reviews from the French, Italian, Spanish, and first English editions.

“Hemming never behaved conventionally. A different man – fine mountaineer certainly, but also a poet and philosopher – he wrote, he loved, he hated and no one could hold him. He played with words, with people and with his own life. All that life is evoked by Mirella Tenderini.”

– Alain Roux in Le Dauphine Libere, Chamonix.

“The first time in years that we have a mountain book that is subtle, strong and intelligent. Here the mountain has its true place as the mirror of passion.”

– Jean-Michel Asselin in Vertical, Grenoble.

“The author’s great ability is revealed in this amalgam – she salvages both objective and subjective truths, giving to the life a wholeness denied it in the climbing chronicles and legends that flourished around the myth of Gary Hemming.”

– Andrea Gobetti in La Rivista della Montagna, Turin.

“Handsome, charismatic, with only poste restante for an address, Gary Hemming appeared as a rebel god when, in the summer of 1966, he rescued two Germans trapped on the west face of the Petit Dru. Fame overwhelmed him and he could never be the same lone Californian hippy able to achieve a synthesis of all his aspirations when climbing a big, Alpine wall. In 1969 his body was found in Wyoming. Suicide? Accident? LSD? We will never know, but some maintain it was merely a mise-en-scene: heroes never die.”

– Il Corriere della Sera, Milan.

“The image emerging from this story is that of a hero of his time … who was the very expression of the anxieties, contradictions and hopes of the young generation of the 60s.”

– Piero Spirito in Il Piccolo, Trieste.

“Gary Hemming belongs to that generation of American climbers which brought a purity of approach to the climbing of big Alpine routes.”

– Ignatio Cnado in Desnivel, Madrid.

“The portrait of Gary in Mirella’s account is of the Gary I remember, a  man who unfailingly tried to be as good a man as any he knew, a man who desperately needed to conceal his private self but who sometimes thought he wanted to be famous. The preponderance of Mirella’a evidence is overwhelmingly that Gary really wanted love more than fame or even privacy. He had that love. His tragedy was that he was damaged precisely in a way that prevented him from seeing that. “

– Pete Sinclair, American Alpine Journal, 1996

“In the early 1960s Gary Hemming rocked the Alps with the first ascents of the American Direct on the Dru, and the South Face of the Fou, then two of Chamonix’s most difficult routes. A daring rescue brightened the limelight. Before and after, he climbed extensively near the top standard for nearly two decades, with such illustrious partners as Royal Robbins, John Harlin, Tom Frost, and Barry Corbett, making very early ascents of testpieces from the Steck-Salathé (when it was the hardest route in Yosemite) to the Walker Spur of the Grandes Jorasses.”

– Jeff Achey, Climbing, 1996

Evening Light

The first Briton to climb all fourteen of the world’s 8000 meter summits, George Hazard long ago sacrificed wife and child to his ambitions as a mountaineer. Returning from a trekking trip to take up a commission from his publishers, his truck goes off the road. Emerging from a coma he is confronted by his daughter, Calon, who he abandoned many years before.

As father and daughter embark on a fraught relationship, Hazard discovers that Calon has found, in her in-laws, the family she needed. Drawn gradually, despite himself, into their domestic life he is forced to look on helplessly as they are caught up in a succession of personal calamities.

Meanwhile, as Hazard continues to struggle with his autobiography, he discovers that the story of his life is inextricable from that of other lives. Finally, overwhelmed by a scandal erupting out of his past, he is forced to recognize that a man is forever what he has been at any time for others. And might, at any time, be called upon to answer for it.

Evening Light asks those disturbing questions some mountaineers prefer to keep to themselves.

Roger Hubank is a prize-winning novelist whose work is largely devoted to exploring risk-taking in a wilderness of one kind or another.

A rock-climber and mountaineer since the 1960’s Roger Hubank has climbed extensively in Britain and the Alps. His work has been published in the United States, in Spain, and has appeared in various editions in the UK. A former Lecturer in English Literature at Loughborough University, he holds degrees from the Universities of Cambridge and Nottingham.

evening light
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Weight:  1.1 lbs
  • Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x .84 inches

Paperback: $21.95 available at Amazon and on order at most independent bookstores.

eBook: $9.99 available at Amazon.

Granite Climbs of Missouri

Granite Climbs of Missouri: The Silver Mines, Millstream Gardens, and Amidon

Granite Climbs of Missouri is the most extensive guidebook to the rock climbing routes and bouldering problems of Missouri’s granite heartland—the St. Francois Mountains. Only an hour and a half south of St. Louis, the Silver Mines, Millstream Gardens, and Amidon offer some of the best climbing in Missouri. The book contains over 420 documented routes, and over 275 of these are easy to moderate in difficulty. Color photos and maps help climbers locate routes with ease and speed.

  • Print Length: 212 pages
  • Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.4 inches

Paperback: $34.95 available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and on order at most independent bookstores.