Chessler Books
Rock Climbing - Mountaineering - Exploration
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J K L M Mc N O P Q

Chessler Books 1984-2024
40 Years of Mountaineering Books
Over 600,000 climbing books sold since 1984

Latest News: July 2024

We are happy to say that we recently acquired some marvelous book collections. The theme of one collection is 300+ books mostly SIGNED by the authors, and sometimes by other climbers in the book. To find these, click on the red ''Autographed'  tab among all the green and red tabs at the top of every page on this website.

 Chessler Books, who we are and what we do.

Welcome to Chessler Mountaineering Books, 

Since 1984 we have been a complete bookshop and website specializing in books on Mountaineering.  We are probably the most complete bookshop for mountaineering books in the USA and even in the entire world.

If you read or collect books on rock or mountain climbing we are the answer to your dreams. Even spending just a short time browsing our titles will show you that this website is a labor of love. We don't limit our selection to only the most expensive and rare books, or just modern books or bargain books. We carry many of the in-print climbing books from both America and England, and many out-of-print titles as well. 

We have available thousands of books from the recent and ancient past. Most mountaineering books go out-of-print quickly, and only a few dozen new climbing titles get published each year. We usually have copies of most of the recent books, as well as  the old.  Many books of our books are not listed on Amazon!

We get in new stock continually and have excellent connections to replace rare items. We also stock back issues of most mountaineering magazines and journals.  

One of our best sources of books is acquiring collections from our older customers who sell us their books, which in many cases they bought from us 20 to 40 years ago. 

On the top of every page are 45 red and green subject tabs. The RED TABS are visited the most.  

Books are marked:
  • $20 & LESS, 
  • K2, 
  • SALE  

These subjects are bound to have interesting books for almost everybody.

For the last ten years we have been having an on-going SALE on almost everything we have. I am in my late seventies so it is time to put my house in order. To our surprise these last ten years have also been among the most successful we have ever had, even during the pandemic. We were able to empty our warehouse which filled a 24' x 8'  storage unit, plus our bursting bookstore shelves suddenly became 50% empty!

Five years ago we actually felt we were running low on books. So we started buying books again.  Since January 2020 we have purchased thousands of books, mostly in nice collections here in Colorado and all over the USA.  Despite the forces against doing this, such as the pandemic, we are having our best years this new century! 

Please enjoy browsing this website. If you do not find what you are looking for, phone or email us, and allow us to help you find anything not listed. 


Michael Chessler


Chessler Mountaineering Books
How to use this website:

If this is your first visit to Chessler Books, you can find books to look at by doing a SEARCH or BROWSE.

for a specific book, author, climber or mountain, simply type one or two words into the box labeled Simple Search, just to the left of the place you are reading this right now.  Use the fewest words, such as ''Messner Nanga Parbat''. That will bring you all the books that mention Messner and Nanga Parbat. Some books will be about Messner's climbs of Nanga Parbat, other books may mention him just in passing. 



Books are a great technology. Books existed before writing was invented. Books were spoken for centuries before paper and ink were invented. Books were already a genius technology when writing was invented. It was a genius technology 570** years ago and still is today. 

Books are very portable. They feed into a brilliant spatial organizational system known as the bookshelf. That really helps you with your brain. It helps you remember where things are. 

You remember where things are in the book. You remember where words are on the page. You remember where the page is in the book. You remember where the book is on the shelf. You remember where the shelf is in your house.

Books work without electricity. They survive most damage, and still work even if severely damaged. Even when burned they were often memorized. Digital technology does not make physical books unusable or obsolete. Books have value to you even when they stay on the shelf. 

*Mostly From Stephen Gaghan. Movie Director 'Syriana'
**1452: Gutenberg bible

120 Chessler Books Catalogs 1984 to 2004

There is a link to the listings of our old Chessler Books Catalogs in a green tab on top of every page in this website.  We still have a few issues you can buy for reading, reference or collecting.  

Please get on our mailing list!

We have a gigantic stock, thousands, of mountaineering books, used and new. Furthermore, hundreds of our books are autographed by the great names.  

Many of our best books are not on our website for long.

Every week or two we email our customers a list of our newly described books. Please sign up for our mailing list (see link below) as there is no other way to know what we currently have, or are putting on sale, or even when we are sending emails. Customer response has been terrific.

The only way to get many of the great books at bargain prices is to get our emails. Many books sell out within a few hours! Even if you check our website monthly, weekly, even daily, you may miss the rare moments of a rare 19th, 20th and 21st century mountaineering book.

We have hundreds of rock climbing and mountaineering guidebooks, both new and historical, back issues of climbing magazines and club journals, topographic maps of the world's mountains, rare collectible maps, older climbing hardware, old fashioned nailed boots, vintage wood handled ice axes, ephemera such as flyers and menus, climbing art, rare photographs, mountain posters, 19th century lithographs, climbers' and authors' signatures, plus old books on skiing, Arctic and Antarctic exploration, Tibet, adventure travel, California and American history and similar subjects. 

We are now offering this climbing book and collectibles bonanza at prices unseen since the 1960s. Please get on our Chessler Books mailing list!

If you click on the SALE buttons on top and lower left side of every page, almost every sale item will show. There is also a separate Sale category that is for titles priced at $20 or less.

If you need help or have a question, just e-mail or call us. Contacts are on the lower left of this page.

We Ship Orders on Tuesdays and Thursdays 


"How can we prove that the signatures on our Books are real?" 
Here is the evidence, with many of the culprits, caught on camera with PEN IN HAND!  The photos were all taken by Michael Chessler or an assistant. By 2024 fifteen of the climbers shown below have passed away. Photos are copyrighted by Michael Chessler.

The photo above is the first time I, Michael Chessler, met Sir Edmund Hillary. It was in the early 1990s and he actually came to our bookshop, then in Kittredge Colorado. We met with him many times for the next 20 years, when he would autograph books & ice axes for our bookshop. We also went to meet him, in NYC, LA, SF, Banff, and several times to Auckland. He was always very nice to us, and we are proud to have known him. And yes, we made contributions to the Sir Edmund Hillary Himalayan Trust every time we met him.

Above is Ed Hillary in Los Angeles in the early 1990s, just after New Zealand honored him by putting his image on the $5 NZ currency. Knowing that Hillary would be asked to autograph the bills the NZ Parliament passed a law allowing him to do so, because it was 'defacing the currency!' We bought our first lot of $5 bills at the best place to buy NZ money in LA, at the currency exchange window at Pre-TSA LAX of course! We still have a few of those very early $5 bills left!

The amazing Alex Honnold in November 2015.  Those pitons were all for sale, signed by Alex, on this website. Everything he signed that day has been sold. 
We asked if he ever hammered in a piton. Maybe twice he said. 

Babu Chirri Sherpa, who held the record for ten Everest ascents, and fastest climb from Bascamp to Summit, under 17 hours.

Hot Henry Barber. One of the very few climbers whose personal style and superb ability changed and upgraded how everybody after him climbed. I even adopted a delightful habit of his, that he must have picked up on his famous world tour in the seventies. Emulating Henry, I now sign my name with a British "Cheers. " 

Chris Bonington, signing books al fresco. His Everest expeditions were often 
done in a grand style that reminded one of the British Raj on Tiger safari.

The Man. Climbing's first billionaire. 

The Austria-Hungarian Empire. My wife Heinke Forfota was Hungarian, and Kurt Diemberger is Austrian. They loved to chat in German.

Heinrich Harrer, a climber who had the nose for finding the best unclimbed peaks and routes in the world. Also, can you believe, the Austrian golf champion too!

Tomaz Humar. A sweet person, this was in Snowbird 
in 2002 
the week before the Utah Winter Olympics.

Jamling Tenzing, showing me his father's (Tenzing Norgay) Porter Book. The book is signed by Tilman, Shipton, Ruttledge, Lambert, Denman, etc. I offered him a joking $100 for it.

Goran Kropp. On his one and only book tour. His slide 
show was the funniest performance I have ever seen!
Jeff Lowe. One of America's greatest ice climbers.  
Royal Robbins and Tom Frost. Nothing else needs to be said.
Pete Schoening. He and Andy Kauffman made the first ascent of Gasherbrum I, Hidden Peak. America's only time making a first ascent of an 8000 meter peak.  He also saved his whole team, seven lives in one belay, on K2 in 1953.

Madhav Lal Tabdar, Bradford and Barbara Washburn, Roger Bilham, Buddhi Narayan Shrestha. 
Brad was a legendary mountaineer, pioneer of Alaska climbing. Photo taken about 1989.
Barbara made the first female ascent of Denali in June 1947. 
Roger Bilham is Colorado University Professor Emeritus, and a Senior Research Scientist in Geological Sciences CIRES
The gentleman on the left, Madhav Lal Tabdar, was the Nepal Government Secretary, Ministry of Land Reform & Management.
The gentleman on the right next to Brad is Buddhi Narayan Shrestha, who was Director General of the Government Survey Department of Nepal.

The photograph was taken after their signing of the Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) between the Nepal government and the University of Colorado, Boulder, to launch the GPS survey in Nepal to strengthen the geodetic co-ordinate network of Nepal.
Jim Whittaker, with Michael Chessler. Jim's real accomplishment was being only the 10th person to summit Everest (he says he was 7th!).
Jim Wickwire, with Michael Chessler. Jim was one of the first Americans to climb K2, along with John Roskelley, Rick Ridgeway, and the strong and silent Louis Reichardt.
Reinhold Messner in our bookshop. More than anybody, he
created and nurtured high standard and ethical alpinism
in the high mountains of the world. Has anybody ever lived
their life so fully to the brim (and the edge) as he has?
David Breashears. A rock climber phenom who made the transition to Everest climber and film-maker. He sadly died young in 2024.
Conrad Anker. A great rock climber who learned how to use an ice axe and crampons.  It's so wonderful to see a self-effacing guy like Conrad become so successful in his business, avocation and private lives. 
Ed Hillary, in our bookshop in the 1990s. We met with him fifteen times in the 1990s and 2000s. For signing books and ice axes for our bookshop we made sizeable donations to Sir Edmund Hillary's Himalayan Trust.
Fred Beckey, whose very name symbolizes the freedom
of climbing
and the climbing life-style.

Jon Krakauer. His book Into Thin Air gave an unexpected boost to climbing. Another quiet, self effacing climber who made the big-time.
Maurice Herzog. See how he grips a pen with no fingers!
His handwriting was actually excellent and readable!
What a great life he lived!

All above photos, and all photos on this website, are copyright by Michael Chessler.

There are more photos of authors and climbers signing books for us, just click on the link   Are Your Signed Books Authentic?  above and to the left of this section. 


Check Out These Great Titles:
(Click On Image Or Title To View Details)
THE LAST STEP: THE AMERICAN ASCENT OF K2 1980 1st ed Hardcover DJ Fine SIGNED by Rick Ridgeway, Jim Whittaker and Diane Roberts
By: Ridgeway, Rick   
Price $75.00 ~ List Price $195.00, You Save $120.00
GHOSTS OF EVEREST: THE SEARCH FOR MALLORY AND IRVINE Jochen Hemmleb Eric Simonson 1999 1st ed Hardcover DJ Fine Multiple Copies Available
By: Hemmleb, Jochen, Eric Simonson, Larry Johnson   
Price $9.99 ~ List Price $29.95, You Save $19.96
BEST SPORT CLIMBS OF THE NEW RIVER GORGE FEATURING THE CIRQUE [West Virginia] Brock and McCay 1997 Softcover Near Fine
By: Brock, Roxanna and Brian McCray   
Price $9.99 ~ List Price $20.00, You Save $10.01
A TOURIST GUIDE TO MOUNT MCKINLEY 1974 2nd ed Paperback Near Fine SIGNED by Bradford Washburn
By: Washburn, Bradford   
Price $39.95 ~ List Price $45.00, You Save $5.05
LA CONQUISTA DEL K2: SECONDA CIMA DEL MONDO [Ascent of K2] Ardito Desio 1st Italian Edition Hardcover DJ Fine
By: Desio, Ardito   
Price $20.00
THE MOUNTAINS OF AMERICA: FROM ALASKA TO THE GREAT SMOKIES Franklin Russell 1975 1st ed Hardcover DJ Fine 2 copies available
By: Russell, Franklin   
Price $9.95 ~ List Price $99.95, You Save $90.00
MONTANA: ENERO-JUNIO 1975 [MONTANA: JAN-JUNE 1975] Softcover Near Fine
By: Colegio San Gabriel   
Price $10.00 ~ List Price $40.00, You Save $30.00
BEYOND POSSIBLE: ONE SOLDIER, FOURTEEN PEAKS: MY LIFE IN THE DEATH ZINE Nirmal Purja 2020 UK ed New Hardcover DJ SIGNED by Nimsdai Purja 2 copies available
By: Purja, Nirmal "Nims"   
Price $45.00
By: Vallcaneras, Lluis   
Price $9.99 ~ List Price $25.00, You Save $15.01
AN HISTORICAL GUIDE TO KABUL Nancy Hatch Wolfe 1965 Softcover Near Fine
By: Wolfe, Nancy Hatch and Ahman Ali Kohzad   
Price $40.00 ~ List Price $50.00, You Save $10.00
WINTER 8000: CLIMBING THE WORLD'S 14 HIGHEST MOUNTAINS IN THE COLDEST SEASON Bernadette McDonald 2020 1st ed Trade Paperback New Multiple copies available
By: McDonald, Bernadette   
Price $14.99 ~ List Price $21.95, You Save $6.96
THE WILDEST DREAM: THE BIOGRAPHY OF GEORGE MALLORY Peter and Leni Gillman 2000 Hardcover DJ Fine Multiple Copies Available WINNER of the Boardman Tasker Prize in year 2000.
By: Gillman, Peter and Leni   
Price $7.99 ~ List Price $27.95, You Save $19.96
THREE NEW ZEALAND $5 BILLS SIGNED BY SIR EDMUND HILLARY. SET OF 3 CONSECUTIVELY NUMBERED! New & Unissued Condition First Issue 1992 Only 1 set available
By: Hillary, Edmund   
Price $1495.00
CIRCUIT HIKES IN THE SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK Michael Barreda 1996 14th ed Softcover Fine
By: Barreda, Michael   
Price $6.99 ~ List Price $10.00, You Save $3.01
By: Bartle, Jim   
Price $45.00
A WINDOW TO HEAVEN: THE FIRST ASCENT OF DENALI: AMERICA'S WILDEST PEAK Patrick Dean 2021 1st ed New Hardcover DJ Multiple copies available
By: Dean, Patrick   
Price $19.95 ~ List Price $27.95, You Save $8.00
TOUCHING THE VOID Joe Simpson 1988 1st US ed Hardcover DJ Near Fine-Fine Multiple Copies Available Winner of the Boardman Tasker Prize
By: Simpson, Joe   
Price $9.99 ~ List Price $29.95, You Save $19.96
ROCK CLIMBING IN BRITAIN David Jones 1984 1st ed Hardcover DJ Fine
By: Jones, David   
Price $9.99 ~ List Price $50.00, You Save $40.01
BRIEF HISTORY OF POLAR EXPLORATION SINCE THE INTRODUCTION OF FLYING W.L.G. Joerg 1930 1st ed Softcover Pamphlet and Maps in Slipcase Near Fine
By: Joerg, W.L.G.   
Price $9.99 ~ List Price $50.00, You Save $40.01
By: Samivel [Paul Gayet-Trancrede]   
Price $150.00 ~ List Price $300.00, You Save $150.00
MINUS 148 : THE WINTER ASCENT OF MOUNT MCKINLEY Art Davidson 1969 Hardcover DJ Fine [Not signed]
By: Davidson, Art   
Price $55.00
TENZING NORGAY AND THE THE SHERPAS OF EVEREST Tashi Tenzing 2001 1st ed Hardcover DJ Near Fine
By: Tenzing, Tashi and Judy   
Price $19.99 ~ List Price $30.00, You Save $10.01
THINGS SEEN IN MOROCCO L.E. Bickerstaffe 1929 1st ed Hardcover DJ Near Fine
By: Bickerstaffe, L.E.   
Price $35.00 ~ List Price $40.00, You Save $5.00
By: New York, New Jersey Trail Conference   
Price $5.00 ~ List Price $20.00, You Save $15.00
By: Stroud, Mike   
Price $2.99 ~ List Price $12.95, You Save $9.96
THE PRIMAL ALLIANCE: EARTH AND OCEAN Kauffman, Hay and Brower 1971 1st ed Hardcover DJ Fine
By: Kauffman, Richard, John Hay, and Kenneth Brower   
Price $1.99 ~ List Price $35.00, You Save $33.01
A SURVEY OF EARLY AMERICAN ASCENTS IN THE ALPS IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY J. Monroe Thorington 1943 1st ed Hardcover Near Fine-Fine Multiple Copies Available
By: Thorington, J. Monroe   
Price $19.99 ~ List Price $75.00, You Save $55.01
ADVENTURING IN THE PACIFIC Susanna Margolis 1988 Softcover Near Fine
By: Margolis, Susanna   
Price $12.95
TIBET'S SECRET MOUNTAIN: THE TRIUMPH OF SEPU KANGRI 1999 1st UK ed Hardcover DJ Multiple Copies Available SIGNED by Chris Bonington
By: Bonington, Chris and Charles Clarke   
Price $44.95 ~ List Price $50.00, You Save $5.05
GUIDE TO THE COLORADO MOUNTAINS [Ormes Guide] Robert Ormes 1970 6th ed Hardcover Very Good
By: Ormes, Robert   
Price $4.99 ~ List Price $25.00, You Save $20.01