Introduction by Stacy Allison, the first American woman to successfully climb Mt. Everest. This wondrous large-format book, full of dramatic full-color spreads and in-depth text, takes armchair adventurers as well as experienced climbers to their heavens--the peaks of the 50 most awe-inspiring mountains in the world. Moving stories of staggering altitudes, the sheer will to survive and the quest for the summits inspire readers with the adventurer's spirit that has put mountain climbing at the height of its popularity. Organized geographically by continent, each chapter covers a different mountain: its history, physical characteristics, route descriptions and famous ascents. Excerpts from detailed accounts of legendary expeditions will thrill and shock readers including Jon Krakauer on the tragic 1996 season on Everest. Includes biographies of Sir Edmund Hillary, Stacy Allison, Chris Bonington and other noted climbers. From Mt. Everest and K2 in the Himalayas to Denali in Alaska, Mt. Rainier in Washington and Mt. Eiger in the Alps, mountains all over the world are captured in vivid color photos from expeditions new and old.