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Warnings against MyselfWarnings against Myself

Meditations on a Life in Climbing

David Stevenson

Narrated by Chaz Allen

Available from Audible

Book published by University of Washington Press

From his youthful second ascent of the north ridge of Mount Kennedy in the Yukon’s Saint Elias Range, an in-and-out on skis for which he had not entirely learned how to ski, to a recent excursion across the Harding Icefield conceived under the influence of rain and whiskey, David Stevenson chronicles several decades of a life unified by a preoccupation with climbing. Reflective and literary, and also entertaining and funny, his accounts move across the great climbing locations of the western United States, with forays into the spires of the Alps, and slip freely in time from the author’s childhood, when he could not wait to head west, to his adulthood, with a wife and two sons, in which he still feels compelled by a longing to be on the heights.

David Stevenson is the director of the Creative Writing and Literary Arts Department at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He is the author of the short fiction collection Letters from Chamonix, winner of the Banff Mountain Festival Fiction Prize.


“This collection of essays provides an evocative look into the somewhat exclusive climbing world. Stevenson’s prose is lively, and his references to other prominent climbers and climber-authors may serve as a jumping-off point for further research in the field.”

Pacific Northwest Quarterly

“With this book, Stevenson has joined the ranks of that rare breed: an excellent mountaineering writer. With remarkable insight he gives us stories that demonstrate that one doesn't have to be a full-time committed climber to enjoy wild adventures. As a professor and a dedicated family man, he has somehow found the time to explore all facets of the mountain trade, from surviving Alaskan peaks to struggling up scary rock climbs. His essays show a remarkable awareness not only of the physical world but of the innermost turmoil that can occur during moments of stress.”

—Steve Roper, author of Camp 4: Recollections of a Yosemite Rockclimber

“Beginners or seasoned hardmen alike will pump their fists to the honesty, humility, and thoughtfulness of Warnings against Myself. Whether vying to free the Nose or march up Mt. Washington, we all experience ill-definable moments of enrichment—artfully tilled, under Stevenson’s scrutiny, to show what climbing means to our lives.”

—Jonathan Waterman, author of In the Shadow of Denali: Life and Death on Alaska's Mt. McKinley

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University Press Audiobooks
an imprint of Redwood Audiobooks

University Press Audiobooks