Books - Climbing Letters

Stoic Climbing: Finding Wisdom on the Rock

Climbing goes beyond simply being a physical activity. When climbing we are exposed to situations where we have to confront difficulty, discomfort, fear, frustration, decision making, among other things. Through these trials and tribulations, we are given the opportunity to surmount many life’s struggles which will deepen in our ability to develop our mental strength and the ability to maintain serenity.

In order to have serenity in our lives we need to efficiently manage the challenges and difficulties we face and the emotions they generate. Many situations will provoke negative emotions, we must develop the strength to manage them, to objectively observe them, to take action when necessary and to avoid making decisions based on erroneous impressions. All the while continuously learning and enjoying the whole process, leaving all unnecessary tension behind.

The Stoics have been writing about these issues for over two millennia. In this book you will find the practical application of philosophical concepts that are brought to us in a clear and simple way through climbing. Wisdom not only to climb better, but to live better as well.


Climbing and Tao: The Way of the Route

Sending a route or climbing a peak requires balance and harmony between your abilities and the requirements of the wall or mountain. If you think about it, the same is truth for any aspect of your life. Any tension can be dissolved if we are able to align ourselves with it.

The Tao Te King, the mysterious pillar book of Taoism, contains teachings on learning how to flow, to adapt efficiently to the different situations that arise, without forcing our way. This book presents this profound millenary philosophy with a different approach, using climbing as a medium to explore and experiment, going beyond intellectual understanding. This is not a book of techniques or how to climb better, but rather an invitation to experience the wisdom of the Tao.

Yin-Yang and its balance, the void or Wu Wei (non-action or effortless action) are some of the Taoist concepts that you will find in this book, described in a clear and simple way through the experiences that anyone who approaches the activity of climbing can live.


Climbing is the New Yoga

This is not a book about techniques for improving strength or flexibility, performing complicated postures, or climbing huge walls. While both climbing and yoga have undeniable physical benefits, both contribute to a greater purpose: mastery of the mind.

A mastery that ultimately serves to achieve and maintain peace of mind. Yoga is a path toward peace of mind that passes through the dissolution of the various layers of the ego that hinder it. It is a path of return, since this peace of mind —it can also be called happiness— is the natural state of the mind, its purest state, free from the alterations that agitate, disturb and pollute it.

This path can also be traversed through climbing. Although climbing does not have a philosophical tradition like yoga, in this book you will discover how you can apply several of the precepts of yoga to your work on the rock, turning climbing into a new form of yoga, another path that leads to the same summit.