“Great things are done when men and mountains meet,” wrote English poet William Blake in 1808. A goodly share of those great things are annotated in Fred Wolfe’s labor of love of mountains. High Summits is a monumental effort, in which Wolfe covers an expanding universe of major moments of mountaineering history, seasoned by a rucksack full of fascinating miscellanea about the explorers and their sometimes curious ways.
Dr. Thomas Hornbein
First ascent of Mount Everest’s West Ridge in 1963
Author of Everest, The West Ridge
2011 Inductee to the American Alpine Club’s Hall of Mountaineering Excellence
“Wolfe has opened the door on a vast and intriguing history of international mountaineering and has done it well.”
Founder of Colorado’s Keystone Center
Past President of the American Alpine Club
Member of the 1953 American K2 Expedition
2010 Inductee to the American Alpine Club’s Hall of Mountaineering Excellence
“Fred Wolfe has given mountaineers, mountaineering aficionados, and mountain historians both an invaluable reference and a fascinating compendium of mountaineering activities. Included are not only well-known ascents of major peaks, but a unique and useful chronology of mountaineering miscellanea. A rare achievement.”
First ascents of Antarctica’s Mounts Vinson and Tyree
“Fred Wolfe has created the ultimate reference for climbers, for those who love the mountains, for history buffs, and for anyone with a curiosity about climbing, mountaineering and the events surrounding these adventures. The changes associated with mountaineering are all here: clothing, equipment, techniques, routes, new innovations, as well as important medical discoveries from the beginning of time. Researching and collating these facts must have been as arduous and thrilling as climbing an 8,000 meter peak successfully. What an achievement!”
Dr. Benjamin Honigman
Medical Director of the Altitude Medicine Clinic,
University of Colorado Hospital
“In High Summits, Fred Wolfe has scaled his own 8,000 meter peak. Tenaciously combing through detailed information, moving forward and upward through the vast accumulation of multiple ascents over time, Fred has produced a magnum opus for the mountaineering world. Truly a herculean effort, High Summits is an authoritative guide to first ascents of all kinds and to the rich history of one of the world’s most precious resources—it’s high peaks and alpine terrain.”
Donnell-Kay Foundation, Denver, Colorado
“Fred Wolfe has assembled and organized a mountaineering reference book like no other. He has gone beyond merely listing events on a timeline. He puts them into context and brings life to them with added bits of history. In addition to the history, Fred has included a huge number of maps and spreadsheets. This book is a keeper.”
Neptune Mountaineering and Ski Museum, Boulder, Colorado
Fred Wolfe’s exhaustive research teases out the details of mountaineering’s entire, worldwide history. High Summits is a reference I will always keep handy.”
Executive Director, American Alpine Club
“Mountaineers and writers are driven by passion and persistence and Fred Wolfe’ remarkable history of mountaineering, High Summits, has been driven by a passion for mountaineering and the persistence to spend years collecting the information for this amazing reference book. Not only is it a remarkable collection of valuable information, but it is fascinating reading. Every page contains a jewel of history that the reader did not know—a name, a climb, a date, perhaps a memory. This book should be bedside every climber’s reading chair. It will be in constant use.
Dr. Bruce Paton
Former Chairman-Board of Trustees, Colorado Outward Bound School and President of the Wilderness Medical Society
“High Summits is the result of Fred Wolfe’s interest and enthusiasm for mountaineering coupled with meticulous research and record keeping. This unique book is extremely readable and serves as a very useful reference book. High Summits is an invaluable addition to the library of every climber.”
Grand Teton mountain guide and member of the 1963 American Mount Everest Expedition
“Wolfe’s meticulous compilation of this much mountaineering history and lore into one volume is simply a stunning achievement that makes for an invaluable reference as well as an entertaining read.”
Walter R. Borneman
Historian and co-author of A Climbing Guide to Colorado Fourteeners and
100 Years Up High: Colorado Mountains and Mountaineers.
5.0 out of 5 stars - Superbly interesting and detailed
By Cheryl Shaw on May 17, 2014
Though I do not consider myself a serious mountaineer, I found the author's thorough detail and descriptions to be fascinating as an historical account. I cannot imagine the time and personal research that must have been done to compile this beautifully detailed account. Well done!
5.0 out of 5 stars - Triumph
By Jim Scott on October 8, 2013
This is the most comprehensive history book on mountaineering I have seen. A real triumph- the author's detail of each climb is amazing. Great addition to any climber's library.
5.0 out of 5 stars - Mountaineers must have
By Kwolfe on October 5, 2013
Wow. I have been climbing and hiking for a long time and am very passionate about my mountaineering book collection. For the true mountain enthusiast, this book is a must have. This book outlines the history of climbing continent by continent and peak by peak from BC. It is absolutely fascinating. And the book itself is beautifully put together. Every map and picture is hand drawn, making it a great gift even for those who are passionate at lower altitudes. I believe it took the author 10 years to compile all of the information and you can tell. His passion for the hills flows through the pages. It's a work of art and is definitely a collectors dream.