Letters from Chamonix – David Stevenson

International climbing tales from by‐gone eras to the present that speak of the essence of mountain adventure and hint at those things that prowl just outside of our consciousness, how we deal with falls from great heights, and the sublime difference between an accident and revenge.

2014-02-17 Letters from Chamonix Front COVER

Specs

Author Website: David Stevenson’s Blog
ISBN: 978-0-9918076-3-5
Dimensions: 8.25 in. by 5.25 in.
Page Count: 232
Awards: Winner of the
2014 Banff Mountain Book Festival
Fiction Award

“Stevenson plays his stories like a rope taut with the weight of his character’s lives. You sense every subtle slackening and sudden pull. Like any good climb, his narratives become mysterious, ghostly. Out of solid rock comes magic.”

— Craig Childs, author most recently of
Apocalyptic Planet, Field Guide to the Everending Earth

 

“These carefully observed narratives reveal the elusive, ineluctable truths of climbing: resonant with colorful, yet authentic characters, startling pathos, otherworldly imagination, and page-turning action.”

— Jonathan Waterman, author most recently of
Northern Exposures: An Adventuring Career in Stories and Images

 

“With Letters from Chamonix, David Stevenson demonstrates his ability as one of the great prose stylists of modern climbing literature. His words reflect that shift in vision that arrives at the most intense and quiet moments high on a mountain or a cliff wall; like shafts of winter sunlight mirroring off ice and stone, that sense of transmutation from the everyday to the transcendent flickers beneath these tales with a pale and fiery light.”

— Katie Ives Editor-in-Chief, Alpinist Magazine

Stories:


At the Eigergletscher
Alps (2009)
What motivates a climber to get up one of the most difficult and notorious North Faces in the Alps? What powerful influences are created to drive us upward?

A Short Climb with Z-man
California (1991)
Ignoring the abuse of a respected but reviled dirt-bag climber, a young woman finds her limits – will she be able to push through, or succumb?

Backtracks
Cordillera Blanca (1990)
Looking back on the inter-personal conflicts of a successful ascent party, the leader wonders what was worth it.

Letters from Chamonix
Alps (1992)
An old rivalry. And old love. And older friendship. When a vacationing couple chances upon an past climbing companion and the husband insists on a hard route, do the letters of confession that are sent afterwards reveal a regretful accident or a determined revenge?

After the Expedición
Cordillera Blanca (1985)
A burnt-out guide in Peru’s cordillera brings his clients back down but searches for his own place in the landscape.

The Bear Outside the Door
Alaska Range (2011)
A Japanese alpinist returns to Alaska, and Denali – the site of an earlier accident that claimed the lives of two of his partners – with his young wife to try and move past the shame and the truth of what really happened. And there, under the aurora, and in the dark of the Talkeetna winter, a sleep-walking ice bear stalks their circumscribed emotions.

Steinway
Sierra Nevada (1995)
How big is that rock that just came loose in your hands? How many piano’s worth? And what do you think of as you fall with it?

The Orbit of Celestial Bodies
Sierra Nevada (1984)
A climbing prodigy is both haunted by an unfinished route and inspired by a long-ago German climber who still needs to succeed.