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The Alps: Hiking the Haute Route

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

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Enrich your travels with reading! Here's a hand-picked list prepared for your journey in conjunction with the book experts at Longitude.

Essential Reading

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Solo Faces

Solo Faces

by James Salter

  • LITERATURE
  • 1998
  • PAPER
  • 218 PAGES

The story of an American climber who, dissatisfied with his everyday life, travels to the Alps of southern France to tackle mountain peaks. The prose is glorious and the mountain-climbing scenes are as vivid as they get. Much of the action takes place in and around Chamonix. (ALP14, $15.00)

Killing Dragons, The Conquest of the Alps

Killing Dragons, The Conquest of the Alps

by Fergus Fleming

  • EXPLORATION
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 398 PAGES

Fleming spins lively tales of man against nature in this entertaining history of the eccentrics, adventurers and publicity-hounds who sought to conquer the Alps, including Whymper and his first ascent of the Matterhorn (where four of the seven-man team perished). (ALP16, $14.00)

Chamonix to Zermatt, The Walker's Haute Route

Chamonix to Zermatt, The Walker's Haute Route

by Kev Reynolds

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 187 PAGES

A practical guide to the classic Haute Route, covering each segment of the long-distance walk, and including an introduction to the region. (ALP21, $19.95)

The Alps Adventure Map

The Alps Adventure Map

by National Geographic Maps

  • 2013
  • MAP

A waterproof, tear-resistant map of the Alps at a scale of 1:400,000. Includes detailed elevations and the locations of natural attractions. (ALP43, $11.95)

 
Switzerland Southwest 552 Map

Switzerland Southwest 552 Map


by Michelin

  • 2003
  • MAP

A detailed travelers map at a scale 1:200,000, covering from Zurich south to Zermatt and Aosta and across to Geneva. (SWZ34, $11.95)

Insight Guide Switzerland

Insight Guide Switzerland


by Insight Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 368 PAGES
  • CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE

This handsome guide gives a profusely illustrated overview of Switzerland, featuring concise essays by well-regarded authors on history, politics and culture, as well as hundreds of photos and maps and other practical information. (SWZ15, $24.99)

La Place de la Concorde Suisse

La Place de la Concorde Suisse


by John McPhee

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 1994
  • PAPER
  • 150 PAGES

McPhee deploys his usual insight and wonderful prose on the phenomenon of the Switzerland army to present an irreverent portrait of Switzerland and the Swiss mindset. (SWZ14, $16.00)

Swiss Watching, Inside Europe's Landlocked Island

Swiss Watching, Inside Europe's Landlocked Island


by Diccon Bewes

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 324 PAGES

An international bestseller. Diccon Bewees, a neutral Brit, covers cheese, chocolate, William Tell, bureaucracy and banks, all with humor and thorough research. His cultural portrait of the one-of-a-kind nation includes tips on local customs, greetings and etiquette. Second edition. (SWZ73, $19.95)

The Alps, A Cultural History

The Alps, A Cultural History


by Andrew Beattie

  • HISTORY
  • 2006
  • HARD COVER
  • 256 PAGES

Beattie explores the turbulent past and vibrant present of the Alps, where early pioneers of tourism, mountaineering and scientific research have all left their mark. (ALP30, $36.95)

Why Switzerland?

Why Switzerland?


by Jonathan Steinberg

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 300 PAGES

A masterly overview of the idiosyncrasies of Switzerland, its history, language, politics and identity as a naysayer at the center of Europe. (SWZ04, $39.99)

Eiger Dreams, Ventures Among Men and Mountains

Eiger Dreams, Ventures Among Men and Mountains


by Jon Krakauer

  • EXPLORATION
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 192 PAGES

A collection of some of Krakauer's (Into Thin Air) best journalism, these stories and essays focus on the mindset and determination of world-class mountaineers, including Alpine and Himalayan climbers. (ALP10, $14.95)

Mountain

Mountain


by Sandy Hill

  • ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2011
  • HARD COVER
  • 351 PAGES

This stunning celebration of the allure of climbing and grandeur of the great peaks features images by nature photographers and adventurers spanning two centuries, Ansel Adams, Edmund Hillary, Bradford Washburn and Galen Rowell among them. Sandy Hill, one of the first women to reach all seven summits, and others provide concise essays but it is the 350 oversized, sumptuously produced black-and-white and color photographs that entrance. (EXP97, $85.00)

Scrambles Amongst the Alps: In the Years 1860-69

Scrambles Amongst the Alps: In the Years 1860-69


by Edward Whymper

  • EXPLORATION
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 320 PAGES

Edward Wymper's classic account of Victorian-era mountaineering captures the geography, beauty and allure of the Alps. (ALP02, $16.00)

A Tramp Abroad

A Tramp Abroad


by Mark Twain | David Eggers | Kerry Driscoll

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 400 PAGES

Written 11 years after Innocents Abroad, this is Twain's second foray into European travel. Filled with his characteristic wit and humorous observations, it documents his journeys through Germany, Switzerland, France and Italy. Now with an introduction by Dave Eggers. (EUR78, $16.00)

Coming Out Swiss, In Search of Heidi, Chocolate and My Other Life

Coming Out Swiss, In Search of Heidi, Chocolate and My Other Life


by Anne Herrmann

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2014
  • HARD COVER
  • 264 PAGES

Part memoir, part history, part travelogue, Anne Hermann's passionate celebration of what it means to be Swiss intertwines personal revelation with cultural fact. (SWZ82, $26.95)

Near Death in the Mountains, True Stories of Disaster and Survival

Near Death in the Mountains, True Stories of Disaster and Survival


by Ceci Kuhne

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 528 PAGES

These choice selections from the classics of mountaineering span five continents. (GEN451, $16.00)

There & Then, Travel Writings of James Salter

There & Then, Travel Writings of James Salter


by James Salter

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 296 PAGES

These sketches and essays cover 20 years of novelist Salter's peripatetic life, particularly his extended time hiking and skiing in the Alps of Switzerland, Austria and France. (ALP28, $16.95)

A Farewell to Arms

A Farewell to Arms


by Ernest Hemingway

  • LITERATURE
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 330 PAGES

Set in snowy Switzerland and the rainy Italian Lake Country during WWI, this semi-autobiographical novel chronicles the romance between a British nurse and an American ambulance driver. This edition collects all of the alternate endings, along with early drafts of other essential passages (ITL384, $17.00)

Cham


by Jonathan Trigell

  • LITERATURE
  • 2009
  • PAPER

A young British author who lives in Chamonix, Trigell captures the beauty of the region, the allure of the slopes and the decadent vibe of the ski bum sub-culture in this edgy thriller. (ALP39, $16.95)

Homestead

Homestead


by Rosini Lippi

  • LITERATURE
  • 1999
  • PAPER
  • 210 PAGES

Set firmly in a small village in the Austrian Alps, these 12 interlinking stories are almost ethnographic in their rich detail of small town life. The stories range from the turn-of-the-century to the present, accurately charting change in the remote village. (ALP11, $13.95)

Hotel du Lac

Hotel du Lac


by Anita Brookner

  • LITERATURE
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 184 PAGES

Funny, stylish and spellbinding, Brookner's novel tracks the story of a romance novelist seeking evasive peace and quiet at the luxurious Hotel du Lac in Switzerland. (SWZ05, $14.95)

The Magic Mountain

The Magic Mountain


by Thomas Mann

  • LITERATURE
  • 1996
  • PAPER
  • 755 PAGES

In this classic novel of ill health in a sanatorium in the Swiss mountains, the author explores disease as a symbol of the sick, capitalistic society of pre-World War I Europe. (SWZ07, $19.00)

Mountain Light, In Search of the Dynamic Landscape

Mountain Light, In Search of the Dynamic Landscape


by Galen Rowell

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 2011
  • PAPER
  • 224 PAGES

The 25th anniversary edition of Rowell's landmark book, featuring 80 spectacular images, divided according to visual content. Each chapter illustrates a theme or technique, supplemented by a short personal essay. (PHT06, $29.95)

Birds of Europe

Birds of Europe


by Lars Svensson

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 416 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

Featuring 3,500 glorious paintings by Killian Mullarney and Dan Zetterstrom, the second edition of this exquisite guide features updated text and maps. (FG47, $29.95)

Wild Flowers of Britain & Northern Europe

Wild Flowers of Britain & Northern Europe


by Andrew Cleave

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 160 PAGES

A colorful field guide featuring commonly encountered species of the fields and gardens of Europe. (EUR371, $14.95)

More Recommendations

Here are some other groups of books that might be of interest

Longitude provides recommended reading for travelers in partnership with the leading tour operators and travel programs for hundreds of destinations worldwide. We've got the classic, new and hard-to-find books and maps to help you get the most out of your adventures.