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



 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 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, that 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, 
  • AUTOGRAPHED, 
  • K2, 
  • EVEREST, 
  • GUIDEBOOKS, 
  • RARE & USED
  • 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. 

Cheers,

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.

HOW TO SEARCH or BROWSE OUR INVENTORY 
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. 




BOOK WISDOM: WHY BOOKS ARE SO IMPORTANT

BOOKS ARE A GREAT TECHNOLOGY


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 of mountaineering books, used and new as well. 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 momentses of 20th and 21st century mountaineering.

We also 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 
Michael 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 
 

 
ARE THE SIGNATURES IN THE
BOOKS WE OFFER AUTHENTIC?  

"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 2023 twelve of the climbers shown below have passed away. Photos are copyright 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 Austro-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 man on the left, Madhav Lal Tabdar, was the Nepal Government Secretary, Ministry of Land Reform & Management.
The gentleman man next to Brad is Buddhi Narayan Shrestha, who was Director General of the Government Survey Department of Nepal.

The photograph was taken after the 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.
 
 
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.
 
 
 
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)
LAND OF MOUNTAINS: HIKING AND CLIMBING IN NEW ZEALAND Peter Radcliffe 1979 1st ed Hardcover DJ Fine 2 Copies Available
By: Radcliffe, Peter   
Price $9.99 ~ List Price $45.00, You Save $35.01
SOLE SURVIVOR CATALOG 1988 [Fire Boots] Softcover Fine 2 Copies Available
By: Sole Survivor   
Price $25.00 ~ List Price $40.00, You Save $15.00
JAPANESE ALPINE NEWS VOLUME 13, 2012 In English
By: Japanese Alpine Club Journal   
Price $9.95 ~ List Price $34.95, You Save $25.00
THE ARCTIC Quark Expeditions c. 1995 Softcover Fine
By: Quark Expeditions   
Price $5.00 ~ List Price $9.95, You Save $4.95
DOWNLAND MAN H.J. Massingham 1927 2nd Imp Hardcover Very Good Stongehenge
By: Massingham, H.J.   
Price $1.99 ~ List Price $65.00, You Save $63.01
CENTURY ATLAS HEMISPHERES SHOWING HEIGHT OF LAND, DEPTH OF WATER HAND COLORED 1887-1911 Original (Not a modern copy) Very Good-Near Fine Multiple Copies Available
By: Antiquarian Maps and Charts   
Price $149.99 ~ List Price $275.00, You Save $125.01
EVEREST: THE MOUNTAINEERING HISTORY Walt Unsworth 2000 3rd ed Hardcover DJ Fine SIGNED by Chris Bonington
By: Unsworth, Walt   
Price $49.95
ERUPTIONS OF MOUNT ST. HELENS: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE Tilling, Topinka, Swanson 1993 reprint Softcover Near Fine
By: Tilling, Robert, Lyn Topinka and Donald Swanson   
Price $4.99 ~ List Price $25.00, You Save $20.01
ANNAPURNA SOUTH FACE 1971 2nd UK prtg Hardcover Near Fine SIGNED by Chris Bonington
By: Bonington, Chris   
Price $29.99 ~ List Price $50.00, You Save $20.01
RETURN TO THE ALPS Max Knight and Gerhard Klammet 1971 1st ed Hardcover DJ Fine
By: Knight, Max, Photos by Gerhard Klammet   
Price $2.99 ~ List Price $45.00, You Save $42.01
NEPAL HIMALAYA H. W. Tilman 1952 1st UK ed Hardcover Near Fine
By: Tilman, H. W.   
Price $29.99 ~ List Price $70.00, You Save $40.01
HIGH PROFILE: A HOW TO BOOK FOR BUILDING, BELAYING AND USE OF INDOOR CLIMBING WALLS AND SELECTED ROPES COURSE ELEMENTS Karl Rohnke 1981 Softcover Near Fine
By: Rohnke, Karl, Rohnke, Karl   
Price $2.99 ~ List Price $30.00, You Save $27.01
IN THE ZONE: EPIC SURVIVAL STORIES FROM THE MOUNTAINEERING WORLD Peter Potterfield 1996 2nd prtg Hardcover DJ Fine
By: Potterfield, Peter   
Price $19.00 ~ List Price $22.95, You Save $3.95
MOUNT McKINLEY: THE CONQUEST OF DENALI 1991 1st ed Hardcover DJ Fine SIGNED by Bradford and Barbara Washburn and INSCRIBED David Roberts
By: Washburn, Bradford and David Roberts   
Price $250.00 ~ List Price $300.00, You Save $50.00
SAMIVEL OBJECTIVES OF THE KATHMANDU DECLARATION POSTER c. 1980 Multiple Copies Available
By: Samivel [Paul Gayet-Trancrede]   
Price $150.00 ~ List Price $300.00, You Save $150.00
EDGE OF THE MAP: THE MOUNTAIN LIFE OF CHRISTINE BOSKOFF & CHARLIE FOWLER 2020 1st edition SIGNED by author Johanna Garton Multiple Copies Available
By: Garton, Johanna   
Price $18.95 ~ List Price $19.95, You Save $1.00
LE NOSTRE FELCI [OUR FERNS] c. 1988 Paperback Fine INSCRIBED by Mario Soster
By: Soster, Mario   
Price $1.99 ~ List Price $99.95, You Save $97.96
MOUNT HOOD 19th CENTURY STEEL ENGRAVING HAND COLORED Original (Not a modern copy) Near Fine-Fine 2 Copies Available
By: Mount Hood Steel Engraving   
Price $150.00 ~ List Price $200.00, You Save $50.00
EVEREST A MONTAINEERING HISTORY Walt Unsworth 1981 1st US ed Hardcover DJ Fine 3 Copies Available SIGNED by Kurt Diemberger
By: Unsworth, Walt   
Price $9.99 ~ List Price $60.00, You Save $50.01
SIERRA CLUB BULLETIN VOL. XLVI NO. 8 October 1961 Softcover Near Fine-Fine Multiple Copies Available
By: Sierra Club   
Price $5.00 ~ List Price $10.00, You Save $5.00
LONELY PLANET ARGENTINA: A TRAVEL SURVIVAL KIT Alan Samagalski 1989 1st ed Softcover Very Good SIGNED by John Middendorf
By: Samgalski, Alan   
Price $14.99 ~ List Price $20.00, You Save $5.01
ACCIDENTS IN AMERICAN MOUNTAINEERING 1948: EARLY HISTORY: VOLUME NO 1. (Rare: Only one copy available)
By: American Alpine Club Accidents 1948   
Price $150.00
ON THE LOOSE Terry and Renny Russell 1967 1st ed Hardcover in Slipcase Fine
By: Russell, Terry and Renny   
Price $9.99 ~ List Price $69.95, You Save $59.96
THE MOUNTAIN WEEPS [Scotland] Ian Mitchell 1997 1st ed Softcover Fine 3 Copies Available
By: Mitchell, Ian   
Price $9.99 ~ List Price $30.00, You Save $20.01
A CENTURY OF AMERICAN ALPINISM 2002 William Putnam 2002 1st ed Softcover Near Fine-Fine 3 Copies Available
By: Putnam, Fay, Bent, Palmer, Thorington, Kauffman, American Alpine Club   
Price $9.99 ~ List Price $19.95, You Save $9.96
MY LIFE AS A MOUNTAINEER Anderl Heckmair 1975 1st ed Hardcover DJ Fine
By: Heckmair, Anderl   
Price $35.00 ~ List Price $100.00, You Save $65.00
IN MONTE VISO'S HORIZON: CLIMBING ALL THE ALPINE 4000 METER PEAKS Will McLewin 1991 1st ed Hardcover DJ Near Fine-Fine Multiple Copies Available Winner of the Boardman Tasker Prize
By: McLewin, Will   
Price $39.99 ~ List Price $45.00, You Save $5.01
THE GROWTH OF THE GLACIER CRYSTAL: GLACIER ICE CRYSTAL MEASUREMENTS AT KEBNEKAJSE, SWEDEN Seligman 1949 Softcover Very Good In English
By: Seligman, G., H. W: son Ahlmann and E.G. Droessler   
Price $1.99 ~ List Price $15.00, You Save $13.01
CANADIAN ALPINE JOURNAL 2001 3 copies available
By: Alpine Club of Canada   
Price $9.99 ~ List Price $35.00, You Save $25.01
THE LOVE OF MOUNTAINS Michael Crawford Poole 1980 1st US ed Hardcover DJ Very Good-Near Fine 2 copies available
By: Poole, Michael Crawford   
Price $1.99 ~ List Price $35.95, You Save $33.96