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Looking at the moon shadow below Landscape Arch, it occurred to me that, while I would never be able to walk on top of the great span, I could at least walk across the desert in its shadow. Rising, I moved beneath the arch, turned south, and walked along in the shadow toward the basin’s wall. It was rough going in spots, but I did not leave the shadow. When I reached the wall, I looked up at a steep sweep of impossible looking sandstone, then, looking back, I saw the arch’s shadow extending completely across the basin in a graceful arc of its own. If the basin itself was sacred, then I somehow knew that my motion here would add to the arch spirit–and thus honor it. Touching the basin’s south wall, I turned and hiked north in the shadow, this time going all the way to the basin’s north wall. En route, the true length of Landscape Arch surprised me, and I realized that merely looking at it had not been enough to understand its power. When I touched the far wall, I felt the arch spirit enter me. With my shadow journey complete, I struck out across the dark desert toward camp.

– Gerry Roach - from Transcendent Summits - Landscape Arch - 1957

Transcendent Summits

– One Climber’s Route to Self-Discovery

Transcendent Summits - One Climber's Route to Self-Discovery Click the cover for a larger image

To read excerpts and reviews, visit Transcendent Summits.
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This is Gerry’s first narrative. Autobiographical in nature, it examines his roots as a mountaineer during his youth and first decade of serious mountaineering. More than reflective, it looks for the inner motivation as felt by a young, headstrong lad. The concept of a Transcendent Summit matured over time as the lad grew into a boy, and later, as boy became man.
 
Often taking a humorous turn, this tome plies the routes and peaks of Gerry’s youth: the Third Flatiron, T2 in Eldorado Canyon, Longs Peak, the Grand Teton, the Mexican Volcanoes, the highest peaks in Hawaii and Norway, Rainier, and Denali. It is rare that a climber looks back across so many years with such a keen perspective, but Gerry has done just that.

 

As we approached the crater rim, the bulimic cloud still towered over our heads, and a deep roar accompanied the seething eruption. It was almost a blackout in the fierce pumice rain, but we had escaped Bombs. The crater rim was only a few feet above us now, but the rim looked fragile. I visualized the rim collapsing under our weight and flicking us into the abyss. Were we being drawn into the fire like insects? Was this Bonded Climb our final sacrifice to the gods? Our answers were on the summit, so I crawled to the rotten rim on all fours and peered into the volcano’s soul.

– Gerry Roach - from Ride the Breath - Ngauruhoe - 1973

Ride the Breath

– Classic Climbs Around the World

Ride the Breath - Classic Climbs Around the World Click the cover for a larger image

To read excerpts and reviews, visit Transcendent Summits.
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In part two of his gripping autobiography, world-class climber Gerry Roach continues his action-packed tales of mountaineering around the world. His stories are laced with a hard-edged reality that is tempered by his spiritual growth. Ride the Breath follows his continuing quests, picking up where his first book Transcendent Summits ends. This book has been redone and now contains 166 fine photographs.
 
This candid memoir takes you to some of Earth’s most captivating peaks and lands: the Tetons, the North Cascades, the Canadian Rockies and Yukon, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, the Antarctic, Rainier, Iceland, Norway, the Alps, Africa’s fabled Kilimanjaro, the Australian outback, Tasmania, New Zealand, and Hawaii. In each of these stories Gerry better defines the edges between risk and reward, lust and loss, dreamtime and terrortime, and perhaps most importantly, transcendence and transgression. Gerry has a unique ability to take his readers into the mountains with him and hold them on multiple belays. In the end, the life lessons learned transcend his climbs, allowing Gerry to include his readers on his climb for peace, which becomes an every-growing Odyssean exploration.
Copyright © 2001-2014 by Gerry Roach. All Rights Reserved.
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