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Title image - BAI takes you to: Mt. Everest

Suggested Reading List for Everst Expedition

There are perhaps more books written about Mount Everest than any other mountain in the world. Choosing a few worthwhile books to read before you travel to Nepal or while you are there can be an overwhelming task. While there are many captivating reads about Everest, we’ve provided a list of the ones that stand out to us. In addition to books about the mighty mountain herself, you’ll find some about the Sherpa people and culture, a few biographies about notable Himalayan figures and even a trekking guide or two. Don’t be surprised if you sail through this list and find yourself wanting more – Nepal tends to have that effect on people.

Some of these books are available in Kindle versions. Electronic readers can be ideal way to carry travel books as they save weight and space.

Annapurna: First Conquest of an 8,000-Meter Peak

By Maurice Herzog

BAI comment: An inspirational first person account of the 1950 summit of Annapurna and the long journey to reach it. A classic piece of mountaineering literature.


Eric Shipton: Everest & Beyond

By Peter M.D. Steele and Sir Edmund Hillary

BAI comment: A biography about one of the world’s most iconic mountaineers and explorers, Eric Shipton.



By Walt Unsworth

BAI comment: A chronicle of Everest’s mountaineering history from attempts to successes, and disasters to glories.


Everest: The Best Writing and Pictures from EightyYears of Human Endeavour

By Peter Gillman (Editor)

BAI comment: A compilation of firsthand accounts from notable and sometimes controversial events in Everest’s history. Contains many illustrations and stunning photographs.


Everest: The Mountaineers Anthology Series

Peter Potterfield (Editor), Thomas F. Hornbein (Foreword)

BAI comment: Published for the 50th anniversary of Sir Edmund Hillary’s summit success. It includes stories about some of Everest’s most significant moments.


Everest: The West Ridge

By Thomas F. Hornbein

BAI comment: The story of Everest’s first summit success via the West Ridge route and the first American team to summit. A classic from the early days of Everest Expeditions.


Gaiety of Spirit: The Sherpas of Everest

By Frances Klatzel


I’ll Call You in Kathmandu: The Elizabeth Hawley Story

By Bernadette McDonald

BAI comment: A biography of Everest’s meticulous archivist Elizabeth Hawley. Now in her 80s, Hawley visited Kathmandu on assignment as a journalist in the 1960 and never left. A unique look at Himalayan mountaineering history. Read a review of this book here.


People of Nepal

By Dor Bahadur Bista


Stories and Customs of the Sherpas

As told by Ngawang Tenzin Zangbu. Frances Klatzel (Editor)


Tenzing Norgay and the Sherpas of Everest

By Tashi Tenzing

BAI comment: A story about Tenzing Norgay written by his grandson. Addressing how Tenzing’s summit of Everest changed his life and the life of the Sherpa people.


Through a Sherpa Window: Illustrated Guide to Traditional Sherpa Culture

By Lhakpa Norbu Sherpa


Tigers of the Snow and Other Virtual Sherpas: An Ethnography of Himalayan Encounters

By Vincanne Adams

BAI comment: An anthropological examination of how the Sherpa people are viewed by the world.


Trekking in Nepal: A Traveler’s Guide

By Stephen Bezruchka

BAI comment: A comprehensive guide to trekking in Nepal including plenty of useful information about culture, religion, geology and history.


Trekking in the Everest Region

By Jamie McGuiness

BAI comment: Everything you need to know about trekking in the Everest Region.


Triumph on Everest: A Tribute from the Sherpas of Nepal

By Ang Rita Shpra and Susan Hoivik (Editor)


View from the Summit

By Sir Edmund Hilary

BAI comment: A thoughtful autobiography by a man who spent his life exploring and inspiring others to do the same. Read a review of this book here.


High Adventure

By Sir Edmund Hilary

BAI comment: Sir Edmund Hillary’s writing debut gives a matter-of-fact account of the 1953 Everest expedition which succeeded in putting he and Tenzing Norgay on the mountain’s summit, making them the first individuals to stand on the highest point on earth. Read a review of this book here.