The best books for improving your climbing and bouldering

January 18, 2021 3 min read

If you’re looking to climb harder then have a look at this recommended collection of climbing books for expert advice, tips and skills to improve and get the best performance from your rock climbing.

We have instructional books for Alpine climbing, Himalayan mountaineering, rock climbing, gym or climbing wall climbing and bouldering. Contained in our books is advice from many of the world’s best climbers including Adam Ondra, Alex Honnold, Barbara Zangerl, Alex Megos, Margo Hayes, Jerry Moffatt, Chris Sharma, Magnus Midtbø, Pete Whittaker and Andy Kirkpatrick.

Norwegian climber Magnus Midtbø in Santa Linya, Spain, trying to redpoint the route Neanderthal (F9b) © Chris Holter/Norrøna

Magnus Midtbø in Santa Linya, Spain, trying to redpoint the route Neanderthal (F9b) © Chris Holter/Norrøna

Do you want to just climb harder routes or boulder problems too? If you want to be a better climber, improve your skills, push your grade and do a series of exercises and have a training plan to get stronger then The Climbing Bible is the best book to read for that, especially for gym/wall-trained climbers looking to improve their grade and ultimately climb hard boulder problems and routes. It includes advice on climbing technique, footwork, core, arm and finger strength, tricks to improve your power and endurance, climbing injuries as well as skincare for climbers. It is also an invaluable guide to training for young climbers and climbers returning from injury. Among the contributors are Magnus Midtbø, Tom Randall from Lattice Training and Eva Lopez. It is the UK and Europe’s bestselling climbing instruction book. 

Boost your grade with The Climbing Bible and save an extra 5% with code CLIMBMORE at checkout!

Ttips 811–813 from Andy Kirkpatrick's 1001 Climbing TipsThe book every climber should own is 1001 Climbing Tips by Andy Kirkpatrick. This is the essential book for every climber and mountaineer. It covers everything from ropes, active and passive protection, karabiners, equipment, rescue, big-wall climbing, including hauling. It has useful information for ice climbing, mixed climbing and mountain climbing. There is even information about gear repair, first aid and general mountain craft. 

Left: tips 811–813 from 1001 Climbing Tips

Learn all the tricks from Mr Psychovertical's 1001 Climbing Tips and save an extra 5% with code CLIMBMORE at checkout!

For a deeper understanding of how climbers become the world’s greatest then further reading here should focus on Jerry Moffatt’s Revelations, Steve McClure’s sport climbing autobiography Beyond Limits and Ben Moon’s Statement. Contained within the pages are many training tips to improve as a climber, especially where they talk about breaking into the next grade, whether it be 7a, 8a or 9a. 
Pete Whittaker, one of the best UK climbers and a world-class trad climber wrote Crack Climbing. Wildly regarded as the ultimate climbing training or how-to book, focused on trad climbing cracks, but with an approach and series of climbing techniques, making it essential reading for all climbers seeking to move to improve their overall skills on real rock. With contributions from many of the world’s best climbers like Nico Favresse, Hazel Findlay, Lynn Hill, Ron Fawcett, Alex Honnold and Will Stanhope. 

Climb cracks like a pro with Pete Whittaker's Crack Climbing and save an extra 5% with code CLIMBMORE at checkout!

Alex Honnold on Leviticus (5.12d)-at-Murrin-Park-in-Squamish, Canada  © Andrew BurrLeft: Alex Honnold on Leviticus (5.12d)-at-Murrin-Park-in-Squamish, Canada © Andrew Burr

The most important aspect of climbing training is mental fitness and being strong mentally will often make the difference between success and failure on a climb. Mental training for climbing and mountaineering is the difference between top climbers and average climbers. Jerry Moffatt’s Mastermind gives away all the secret climbing preparation tips from the world’s very best climbers, including Jerry Moffatt himself, Adam Ondra, Alex Megos, Ben Moon and Margo Hayes. It also includes training tips from British climbers like Pete Whittaker, Leo Houlding and Steve McClure. 

Train your mind with Jerry Moffatt's Mastermind and save an extra 5% with code CLIMBMORE at checkout!

For an all-round approach to becoming a better and more importantly a safer climber the best beginner’s book is Mountain Training’s Rock Climbing. It will teach you proper rope work for climbing and mountaineering, the best knots to use for climbing and how to use them and techniques to climb and to belay, whether lead climbing, seconding or bouldering.

For those venturing into the mountains, especially in winter, then more advanced mountaineering skills are needed, and in which case we recommend Winter Skills, the official Mountain Training handbook. This books covers avalanche knowledge, snow conditions, ice axe and crampon techniques and mountain weather.

Below: top climbing advice from the Mastermind experts.

Climbing tips from Margo Hayes, Jerry Moffatt, Tommy Caldwell, Adam Ondra, Mayan Smith-Gobat, as featured in Jerry Moffatt's Mastermind.

Improve your climbing and bouldering with these great Vertebrate Publishing climbing books and save an extra 5% with code CLIMBMORE at checkout!