[Climbing Book Club] Winter 8000: Climbing the World’s Highest Mountains

Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.

The next book we’ll be discussing at the Climbing Book Club Facebook group is Winter 8000: Climbing the World’s Highest Mountains in the Coldest Season, by Bernadette McDonald. Join the Facebook group to find a 25-percent off coupon code for this or any other books from Mountaineers Books. Then check back in early November when we’ll start the group discussion.


About the book:

No one claims that climbing 8000-meter peaks is easy, but tackling these mountains in the depths of winter takes the challenge to a whole new level. Facing temperatures of 40 below, relentless winds, less oxygen in the air due to low barometric pressure, and more, these extraordinary alpinists strive for a feat few can achieve.

What pushes people to subject themselves to such extreme conditions— and what is that experience like? The stories here range from the French climber Elisabeth Revol’s solo winter attempt of Makalu, to American Cory Richards and his dramatic effort on Gasherbrum II with famed Italian alpinist Simone Moro and Kazakh hard man Denis Urubko. 

Award-winning author Bernadette McDonald traveled extensively to interview many of the climbers featured in this book—including Revol, the climbing partner of Tomek Mackiewicz, and Anna Mackiewicz, his widow, meeting them just a few months after Mackiewicz’s death on Nanga Parbat. McDonald’s many personal relationships with profiled climbers and her ability to tap into emotions and family histories lend Winter 8000 an intimacy not often found in mountaineering histories. 

Author Bernadette McDonaldPhoto: John Coefield

Bernadette McDonald was the founder of The Banff Centre for Mountain Culture and has authored eleven books on mountain culture and mountaineering. Her work has been published in sixteen countries and has received many awards, including the American Alpine Club Award, the Banff Grand Prize, the Boardman Tasker, the National Outdoor Book Award, and the Kekoo Naoroji Award. She is an honorary member of the Himalayan Club and the Polish Mountaineering Association, and has been appointed a Fellow of the Explorers Club. When not writing, Bernadette climbs, hikes, skis, paddles, and grows grapes. 

About Mountaineers Books

An independent, nonprofit publisher based in Seattle, WA, Mountaineers Books has crafted award-winning books on outdoor recreation, sustainable lifestyle, and conservation since 1960 with the publication of Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills, now in its 9th edition. Including imprints Skipstone and Braided River, the press has more than 650 books in print and/or e-book. New titles out this season include: Dragons in the Snow: Avalanche Detectives and the Race to Beat Death in the Mountains by Edward Power, This Land of Snow: A Journey Across the North in Winter by Anders Morley, and more. Learn more at