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Mountain

A lifelong mountaineer takes up the relationship between man and mountain in a gorgeous new book

by Graham Hiemstra in Travel on 30 September 2011

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Sandy Hill's book Mountain is a meditation on what many consider the last real frontier. A lifelong mountaineer, Hill's experience—she was among the first to climb the highest peaks on all seven continents—makes for an insightful look at the colossal entities and how humans coexist within their foreboding landscapes.

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With 350 images by more than 160 photographers, Mountain starts out like any other coffee-table book, full of stunning landscape images by such renowned photographers as Ansel Adams and Eadweard Muybridge. This expansive section of awe-inspiring imagery transitions, without skipping a beat, to documents of humans in the mountainous environment. Ant-like mountain dwellers as the focal point brings the enormity of the natural surroundings into perspective.

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The final portion of the book shifts again to study man-made creations in contrast to the mountains nearby where they're built. A testament to human ingenuity, these intricate architectural and agricultural feats still seem out of place nestled on lowland flats or perched atop craggy peaks.

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Peppered among the vivid imagery, numerous brief autobiographical tales detail the familiar love-hate struggle between man and mountain. These short stories demand a deeper look, as each brings the reader closer to comprehending the tempestuous relationship that most climbers share.

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All of the proceeds from the book's sales will be donated to the American Alpine Club Library. With a suggested price of $85, Mountain will be available 11 October 2011. You can pre-order now through Amazon.

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