A Fine Line: Searching for Balance Among Mountains

Mountaineers Bks. Oct. 2023. 225p. ISBN 9781680515909. pap. $19.95. MEMOIR
Award-winning alpinist Zimmerman shares stories about his 15 years as a professional climber on more than 30 major expeditions from Alaska to New Zealand to Pakistan. The author says he was first drawn to alpine-style climbing, which means no fixed ropes or guides, as a teenager, finding a rush in pushing his limits in high mountain terrain. His first career as a geophysicist provided time, money, and access to remote locations, but he sought work that would have a positive effect on the communities he encountered. This book describes his mentors and the lessons he learned in the field. Zimmerman reflects on the training, motivation and relationships that have sustained him in a dangerous sport. Seeing firsthand the effect of climate change on mountain landscapes, the author works with scientists and other athletes to use storytelling to advocate for policy change.
VERDICT Vivid descriptions of climbs and conditions are thoughtfully paired with the author’s growth as a sportsman and a person. Highly recommended for readers of memoirs, sports narratives, and outdoor adventures.
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