Book Review: Chris Noble’s Why We Climb

Why We ClimbFrom competition climbers to the most dedicated dirtbags on the planet—one way or another—we all come to realize that rock climbing is far more than a sport.

Aside from its obvious physical virtues felt from a simple visit to the climbing gym, climbing provides far more profound benefits to the mind that we only discover more deeply the longer we explore it.

Dictionaries define climbing as the ascension of mountains or cliffs … which alone signifies that as climbers, we voluntarily seek to challenge ourselves, to set and achieve lofty goals, and to explore beyond what we know.

But why?

In his newest book, Why We Climb, Chris Noble—author of the highly-acclaimed Women Who Dareexplores the minds of some of the greatest climbers in the world in an attempt to answer that very question.

Is it for the landscapes? Our innate human desire? A spiritual calling? Or just for pure joy?

Featuring an insightful foreword by Conrad Anker and a series of fascinating interviews with influential climbers such as Peter CroftAlex Honnold, Mayan Smith-Gobat, Chris Sharma, and Adam Ondra, to name a few—Noble takes climbers and non-climbers alike on an investigative journey into the human drive to embrace challenge, set objectives, and take on risk.

While each featured climber’s discipline, age, and experiences differ significantly, they all share a potent recognition of the exceptional experience this endeavor presents. For them, rock climbing is their purpose; their life’s true calling.

As you read the diverse array of perspectives from these devotees—ranging from veterans to those at the forefront of modern rock climbing—this book will consistently compel you to explore your own motivations for why you climb.

But know:

This is not a book of answers; it is a book of possibilites.

– Chris Noble

It offers you the tools to assess your own emotions, memories, and personal gravitation toward climbing—an activity that for many serves a spiritual practice and way of life.

Accompanied by beautiful photography and unique anecdotes untold elsewhere, Why We Climb serves as a perfect coffee table book that you can slowly indulge in, reading one interview at a time and taking a moment to reflect on your own relationship with climbing.

Whether you agree with every climber or not, you’ll at the very minimum feel inspired to get out and climb. And,

If you’re not a climber, be forewarned. If you choose to climb, everything will change. Your entire life will shift. Where others drift aimlessly, you will move with purpose.

– Chris Noble

Why We Climb

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