Psyche Book

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California-based photographer Jim Thornburg estimates he has spent 23,000 hours over the past 20 years capturing images of climbers, and his extraordinary effort has produced a prodigious body of inspirational work. Now Thornburg has selected the best of his uncounted images to produce Stone Mountains: North America’s Best Crags ($60, jimthornburg.com), a 320-page celebration of 35 crags spanning the continent, from Squamish to the Gunks. Each area is introduced by a local climber or frequent visitor and is illuminated by up to 24 pages of pure inspiration. Don’t expect a guidebook, Thornburg warns in his intro—it’s a psyche book, pure and simple. And once you pore over these pages, I defy you not to start dreaming of road trips: Chattanooga? Zion? Maple? El Portrero? Gas up the car! —Dougald MacDonald