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The Art of Climbing

Simon Carter, Adam Ondra


A dramatic collection of photographs revealing the world’s most beautiful climbing locations, from Tsaranoro in Madagascar and Teplicke in the Czech Republic to Mount Huashan in China

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The popularity of rock climbing is burgeoning across the globe, with dedicated communities practising everything from bouldering to sport climbing, top-roping to free soloing, in beautiful locations around the world. This stunning collection of climbing photography reveals the beauty of the sport from behind the lens, where patterned rock faces, vertical spires, honeycomb holds and sweeping landscapes of ochre, slate and snow all provide breath-taking visual drama. Capturing the beauty, theatre and emotions of a climb in a single shuttered moment invites the viewer to reflect, and meditative texts, written by the world’s premier climbers and focusing on themes from intensity to environment, lines to roofs, trace the experience of being out on the rock face. A reference section includes practical details such as a glossary, grading table and list of selected routes.

From the beauty of movement to the bounds of human endeavour, the splendour of landscapes and the allure of otherworldly formations, the art of rock climbing is shown in all its glories.


'A fascinating journey through time in the world of climbing, but also the life’s work of Simon Carter, one of the world’s leading climbing photographers. The outstanding pictures in this book provide a vision for why we climb. Simply put, climbing is sport, adventure and the joy of life – all at the same time'
Alexander Huber

'Simon’s photography captures his love for the sport, showcasing why climbing is among the most awesome activities on Earth'
Adam Ondra

'The Art of Climbing fully justifies the implicit claim of its title, revealing that photography has not only offered a spectacular record of achievement on rock but, as a form, has reached the elevated heights of art'
The Conversation

'An incredible look at a genre of photography that doesn't often reach the mainstream spotlight'
Digital Camera World

'The best climbers in the world conquering more than 2000 ft drops and sheer faces with crevices the eye can’t see, you can marvel in the artistry of this book. Turning mountains and cliffs into monuments of power and skill, Carter’s book is a natural formation to behold'
Daily Mail

'It is important to have books like The Art of Climbing in today’s digital world … These books create passionate climbers — and passion is what gets us to the top'

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 27.0 x 22.0 cm

Extent: 256 pp

Illustrations: 229

Publication date: 18 April 2024

ISBN: 9780500025970

About the Author

Simon Carter is an Australian rock climber and photographer. He began working as a professional photographer, and established Onsight Photography in 1994. Since then, he has travelled widely and built up an extensive body of work encompassing many of the world’s best climbing destinations. Carter is the recipient of several photography accolades and the author of four previous coffee-table books, including Images from the Edge (2005), which won the Mountain Image award at the Banff Mountain Book Festival.

List of Contributors

Steve McClure, Greg Child, Alison Osius, Amity Warme, Liv Sansoz, Daila Ojeda, Adam Ondra, Tim Emmett