As in previous editions, Freedom provides sound, clear, and current coverage of the concepts, techniques, and problems involved in the pursuit of mountain climbing. Individual topics, such as rock climbing technique or aid climbing, are detailed enough to be useful to readers with specific interests in those topics. The book provides a fundamental understanding of each topic. It is not intended, however, to be exhaustive or encyclopedic. In addition to presenting information for the novice, much of the material in this book can help experienced climbers review and improve their skills.
Mountaineering cannot be learned just by studying a book. Freedom was originally written as a textbook for students and instructors participating in organized climbing courses. The context of learning that is provided in a course of instruction, given either individually or in groups, and by competent instructors, is essential for beginning climbers.
Traditionally, climbing has been a thinking person's sport. The individual climber and climbing team bring their knowledge, skills, and experience to the problem at hand and apply their own solutions. In this fifth edition, Freedom presents widely used techniques and practices outlining both their advantages and limitations. It is pre sented not as dogma or the final word hut as the basis for making sound judgments. This problem-solving approach is especially important in mountaineering because of the potential dangers that exist. Such dangers are inherently magnified by harsh conditions, insufficient skill, inexperience, and poor judgment.
Freedom characteristically describes not just simple climbing but wilderness mountaineering. Any person who becomes a wilderness mountaineer has a deep and abiding responsibility to help preserve the wilderness environment for present and future generations. Walking softly is a fair start. The mountain regions throughout the world constitute the domain of mountaineering. This dwindling and finite resource depends on the wilderness traveler for its future preservation.
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