Art's Picks: Five Favorite Books

Mountaineers Books staff share favorite titles from the Mountaineers library.
Mountaineers Books Mountaineers Books
June 03, 2017
Art's Picks: Five Favorite Books
Professor Art on West McMillan Spire (Photo by Brett Dyson)

Mountaineers Books has about 700 titles in print, and many of them are wonderful. This month Art Freeman, the publisher’s Chief Financial Officer, recommends five of his all-time favorite titles. Art is an avid skier, hiker, sailor, and climber, who has completed the Washington Bulger List of 100 highest mountains in the state. When he’s not playing outside, he has a book in his hands.

Challenge of the North Cascades
Fred Beckey

This is Fred Beckey’s autobiography of his early years. What I enjoyed most about this book are the stories of the remote climbs Fred and his brother did in areas that are still very hard to access. I can read these adventures and imagine what it was like to be the first one there.

In the Zone: Epic Survival Stories from the Mountaineering World
Peter Potterfield

Truly unbelievable stories of survival.  The situations are so heart pounding that you’ll wonder how these climbers lived to tell their tales.

Northwest Trees: Identifying and Understanding the Region’s Native Trees, 2nd Ed.
Stephen Arno and Ramona Hammerly

I spend as much time as I can outside in the natural world, so I enjoy knowing about nature. Northwest Trees is one of Mountaineers Books’ longest continuously in-print titles. Thankfully, trees are not changing so the things you’ll learn about them in this book are as true as the day it was published.  In addition, Ramona Hammerly’s tree art makes this a real treat just to look at.

Field Guide to the Cascades & Olympics, 2nd Ed.
Stephen R. Whitney

I highly recommend this field guide if you have any interest in the plants and animals you are likely to encounter in the mountains of Washington.  It’s a rugged, all-color book, but I also keep a copy on my smartphone to identify mysterious flowers and such in the field.

Medicine for Mountaineering & Other Wilderness Activities, 6th Ed.
James Wilkerson, M.D.

This is the seminal reference on outdoor medicine, hence its six editions that have followed this practice over its entire evolution. Medicine for Mountaineering has you covered for just about anything that might go wrong when you’re too far away from everything for 911 to matter.  Definitely put this as an ebook on your device when you travel.