Climbing and mountaineering have produced an inordinate amount of good writing over the years. Not to put too fine a point on it, but there is nothing like facing death to prepare one to write about life. The adrenaline-infused struggle of climbing the "big walls" or the world's greatest peaks does much to energize this great volume of literature, of course. But there are other reasons for its front-to-back interest. Climbing, like writing, is an individual pursuit demanding eloquence, discipline, strength, perseverance, a taste for irony perhaps, and an often poetic introspection. Sometimes even a sense of humor. Climber's Choice takes the time-honored tradition of collected writings to a new and inviting level: Select more than 20 of the world's best climbing writers, many of whom are among the world's best climbers and mountaineers, and ask them to submit their best short writing. No other anthology will have as many authors who have accomplished as much on the world's most forbidding mountains and rock faces or in the literature of the sport.
Equally divided between rock climbing and mountaineering, they include: Greg Child, Steven Venables, Kirk Diemberger, Joe Simpson, Paul Pritchard, Royal Roberts, Chuck Pratt, John Long, Walter Bonatti, Chris Bonington, Alison Osius, Amy Irvine, Susan Fox Rogers, and others. They include four Boardman Tasker mountain literature award winners, two Banff Mountain Literature award winners, one Wallace Stegner award winner, and one American Alpine Club winner. Climber's Choice, by prefacing each piece with the author's own reasons for choosing it, will give readers a rare glimpse inside the writers' minds. Why is this piece precious? At what cost was it written? What's the history behind it? Each piece will also be introduced by Ament and accompanied by a black-and-white photograph of the writer, many of them from Ament's acclaimed collection.