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NOLS Wilderness Mountaineering

NOLS Wilderness Mountaineering. Phil Powers. Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, PA. 241 pages, many drawings, glossary and index.

NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) has taught wild country camping, mountaineering and skiing for thirty years following this excellent guide for teachers and students, written by a senior instructor. In ten chapters Powers discusses climbing techniques, hazards, safety, mountain clothing and equipment, environmental philosophy and ethics. He stresses safety and accident prevention on rock, snow and ice, as well as rescue techniques and improvisation. This isn’t a rucksack book but a highly readable text, not medically sophisticated (like Auerbach and Geehr Management of Wilderness and Environmental Emergencies), nor as focused as Warren Bowman’s National Ski patrol manual Outdoor Emergency Care. The material is less medical than Wilkerson’s Medicine for Mountaineering but it’s more diverse. Highly recommended for the general mountaineering community.

Charles S. Houston, M.D.