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Chessler Books 1984-2022
38 Years of Mountaineering Books
Over 600,000 climbing books sold since 1984

Our 1994 Profile in Climbing Magazine





Proof that Michael Chessler was a Climber!

A climber we know was doing some research in Boston in March 2022. He was reading a log from the Harvard cabin in Huntington Ravine on Mount Washington in NH. He spotted my name in a dated entry on March 8, 1969. That was exactly 53 years to the day before he found it and sent me a copy.  I remember the day, although I don't remember writing in the book. What is not mentioned is we ran into two climbers at the cabin, Bruce Beck and David Seidman. Just a month later David was killed in the devastating avalanche that wiped out 7 climbers on Dhaulagiri, including notable Alaskan climber Vin Hoeman, and team leader Boyd Everett.  





A Gold Mine of Chessler Books Catalogs From 1984 to 2004




I always liked to save things. When I was growing up in Brooklyn in the 1950s and 60s I had a collection of all the New York Times issues that had a banner headline across the top of Page One. I had the November 1963 issues with the Kennedy assassination; The Cuban Missile Crisis; Vietnam War issues. Of course the day came when my parents sold our house, and I knew it would be decades before I would have my own home, so I tossed it all. There was no ebay yet. 

When we started selling mountaineering books in July 1984 there was no internet, no websites, no computers. I typed all the book descriptions on an IBM Wheelwriter typewriter. We didn't use  a computer until Catalog Ten in 1987. I loved Wordperfect, the magic program for lousy typists. It could alphabetize, spell check, and I loved using those wonderful macros that were shortcuts for lengthy repetitive actions.  

We saved about a dozen each of all 120 Catalogs that we published and are now selling them as souvenirs, or as reference books. Almost every climbing book since the Mont Blanc first ascent in 1786 has passed through our bookshop in our first twenty years.  

I always hoped that an enlarged third edition of the Neate Bibliography of Mountaineering Books would appear. I was going to donate a set of our catalogs to the author as we documented hundreds of titles that were not in the Neate. Many smaller errors like editions and proper page counts not seen by Neate had been corrected in the Chessler Catalogs. Never believe what Amazon or the publishers say is the page or photo count of a new book. Publisher's announcements of new titles always has the wrong page and picture count. 

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.   



New Memoir of Everest, Annapurna, Seven Summits
          HIGHEST AND HARDEST: 
A MOUNTAIN CLIMBER'S ODYSSEY TO THE TOP OF THE WORLD. 
SIGNED by Chris Kopczynski


 
The delightful story of a strong climber, friend, 
partner and neighbor of John Roskelley, is now in stock. 
Our copies are SIGNED by Chris Kopczynski.




 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 most 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 are out-of-print, as only a few dozen new titles get published each year. We usually have copies of many of the old books.   We get in new stock continually and have excellent connections to replace many 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 are visited the most.  Books marked $20 & LESS, AUTOGRAPHED, K2, EVEREST, GUIDEBOOKS, RARE & USED, and SALE  are bound to have interesting books for almost everybody.

For the last eight years we have been having an on-going SALE on almost everything we have. I am  in my seventies so it is time to put my house in order. To our surprise these last eight years have been among the most successful we have ever had. We were able to empty our warehouse which filled a 24' x 8'  storage unit, plus our bursting bookstore shelves suddenly became 75% empty!

Three 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 century! I have rented so many U-Haul Trailers that when I pull in, it's all ready for me. Chasing books up in Alaska helped me get closer to completing one bucket list item for me. I want to visit all 50 states. Now I have just Hawaii and North Dakota left. 

So 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



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 the great books at bargain prices is to get our emails. Many books sell out within 12 hours!

Please get on our mailing list!

We have a gigantic stock of mountaineering books, mostly used, and many new as well. Also, thousands of our books are autographed by the great names of 20th 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, climber's and author's signatures, plus older books on skiing, Polar Exploration, Tibet, adventure travel, California History and similar subjects. 

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

Michael Chessler



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 AND ICE AXES WE OFFER AUTHENTIC?  

"How can we prove that the signatures on our Books and Ice Axes 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.
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!


 
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.
 
 
 

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 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 foir 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)
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
JOHNSON'S AUSTRALIA AND EAST INDIES COLOR MAP 1887 LARGE Original (Not a modern copy) Very Good
By: Antiquarian Maps and Charts   
Price $39.99 ~ List Price $125.00, You Save $85.01
BRENVA [MONT BLANC] T. Graham Brown 1945 2nd prtg Hardcover DJ Fine
By: Brown, T. Graham   
Price $25.00 ~ List Price $50.00, You Save $25.00
SCHNEELAUF AUSBILDUNG [SNOW RUN TRAINING] Carl J. Luther 1925 Softcover Near Fine
By: Luther, Carl J. (Editor)   
Price $19.99 ~ List Price $39.95, You Save $19.96
EXPEDITIONS TO NOWHERE Paddy Sherman 1981 1st ed Hardcover DJ Fine 3 Copies Available
By: Sherman, Paddy   
Price $4.99 ~ List Price $35.00, You Save $30.01
ROCK CLIMBING Peter Livesey 1978 1st US ed Hardcover Fine
By: Livesey, Peter   
Price $9.95 ~ List Price $21.95, You Save $12.00
EVEREST THE TESTING PLACE John West 1985 1st ed Hardcover DJ Fine Multiple Copies Available
By: West, John   
Price $5.99 ~ List Price $35.00, You Save $29.01
EVEREST THE WEST RIDGE Hornbein 1998 Softcover Fine [Not Signed]
By: Hornbein, Tom   
Price $19.95
ACROSS THE ROOF OF THE WORLD Wilfred Skrede 1954 TBC ed Hardcover No DJ Near Fine
By: Skrede, Wilfred   
Price $9.99 ~ List Price $20.00, You Save $10.01
IN HIGH PLACES Dougal Haston 1973 1st UK ed 2nd imp Hardcover DJ Fine [Not Signed]
By: Haston, Dougal   
Price $19.99 ~ List Price $50.00, You Save $30.01
SKISCHULE VON A BIS Z [SKI SCHOOL FROM A TO Z] Hellmut Lantschner, Hermann Harster 1939 1st ed Softcover Near Fine
By: Lantschner, Hellmut and Hermann Harster   
Price $19.99 ~ List Price $29.95, You Save $9.96
IN THE KINGDOM OF ICE: THE GRAND AND TERRIBLE POLAR VOYAGE OF THE USS JEANNETTE Hampton Sides 2014 1st ed Hardcover DJ Fine
By: Sides, Hampton   
Price $12.95 ~ List Price $28.95, You Save $16.00
SELECTED ALPINE CLIMBS IN THE CANADIAN ROCKIES Sean Dougherty 1991 & 1996 Softcover Near Fine 2 copies available
By: Dougherty, Sean   
Price $9.95 ~ List Price $29.95, You Save $20.00
IN MONTE VISO'S HORIZON: CLIMBING ALL THE ALPINE 4000 METER PEAKS Will McLewin 1991 1st ed Hardcover DJ Near Fine-Fine Winner of the Boardman Tasker Prize 2 Copies Available
By: McLewin, Will   
Price $39.99 ~ List Price $45.00, You Save $5.01
MUSTANG: THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM: EXPLORING A LOST HIMALAYAN LAND Michel Peissel 1967 2nd prtg Hardcover DJ Near Fine
By: Peissel, Michel   
Price $20.00 ~ List Price $35.00, You Save $15.00
EVEREST A MOUNTAINEERING HISTORY Walt Unsworth 1981 1st US ed Hardcover DJ Fine 3 Copies Available SIGNED by Kurt Diemberger
By: Unsworth, Walt   
Price $14.99 ~ List Price $60.00, You Save $45.01
CLIMB NORWAY: A NATIONAL CLIMBING GUIDE Carlsen and Wagelid 2010 1st ed Softcover Fine
By: Carlsen, Runar and Lin Veronica Wagelid   
Price $29.99 ~ List Price $49.95, You Save $19.96
MOUNTAIN SEARCH AND RESCUE OPERATIONS: A HANDBOOK FOR FOR PROTECTION PERSONNEL 1960 3rd or 1972 7th prtg Softcover Fine 3 Copies Available
By: Grand Teton Natural History Association   
Price $4.99 ~ List Price $12.95, You Save $7.96
ENDLESS KNOT: K2: MOUNTAIN OF DREAMS AND DESTINY Kurt Diemberger 1991 1st US ed Hardcover DJ Fine 3 Copies Available [Not Signed]
By: Diemberger, Kurt   
Price $17.99 ~ List Price $32.00, You Save $14.01
MAPS AND DESCRIPTIONS OF ROUTES OF EXPLORATION IN ALASKA IN 1898 1899 Hardcover Very Good
By: US Department of the Interior, US Geological Survey   
Price $295.00 ~ List Price $500.00, You Save $205.00
NAWOK! THE NEW ZEALAND EXPEDITION TO NEW GUINEA'S HIGHEST MOUNTAINS Philip Temple 1962 1st ed Hardcover DJ Near Fine
By: Temple, Philip   
Price $24.99 ~ List Price $30.00, You Save $5.01
A SURVEY OF ANDEAN ASCENTS 1961-1970 PART I: VENEZUELA, COLOMBIA, ECUADOR, PERU 1973 Softcover Fine INSCRIBED by Evelio Echevarria
By: Echevarria, Evelio C.   
Price $30.00 ~ List Price $45.00, You Save $15.00
MASTERING THE MOUNTAIN: THE NEW AMERICAN TEACHING METHOD TO DOWNHILL SKIING Walt Snellman 1980 1st ed Softcover Near Fine
By: Snellman, Walt   
Price $4.99 ~ List Price $20.00, You Save $15.01
HIGHEST ANDES: A RECORD OF THE FIRST ASCENT OF ACONCAGUA AND TUPUNGATO IN ARGENTINA, AND THE SURROUNDING VALLEYS Edward A. Fitzgerald 1899 1st UK ed Hardcover Near Fine
By: Fitzgerald, Edward A.   
Price $250.00 ~ List Price $500.00, You Save $250.00
SATURDAY EVENING POST JANUARY 31, 1959 WE CONQUERED HIDDEN PEAK [GASHERBRUM I] Nick Clinch
By: Saturday Evening Post, Nick Clinch   
Price $39.95
REINHOLD MESSNER FREE SPIRIT: A CLIMBER'S LIFE Reinhold Messner 1991 1st ed Hardcover DJ Fine [Not Signed] 2 Copies Available
By: Messner, Reinhold   
Price $19.95 ~ List Price $150.00, You Save $130.05
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 $7.99 ~ List Price $35.00, You Save $27.01
HIGH CONQUEST THE STORY OF MOUNTAINEERING James Ramsey Ullman 1941 1st ed Hardcover DJ Near Fine 2 Copies Available
By: Ullman, James Ramsey   
Price $65.00 ~ List Price $100.00, You Save $35.00
FAR OFF OR ASIA DESCRIBED: WITH ANECDOTES AND NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS Favell Lee Mortimer 1879 Hardcover Very Good
By: Mortimer, Favell Lee   
Price $19.99 ~ List Price $99.95, You Save $79.96
ONCE IN THE EASTERN ALPS J. Monroe Thorington 1948 Softcover Reprint Appalachia Article Near Fine
By: Thorington, J. Monroe   
Price $10.00 ~ List Price $15.00, You Save $5.00


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