The Riesenstein Hoax and Other Mountain Dreams
By Katie Ives
Signed by author Katie Ives
Publisher: Mountaineers Books
Published: Sep 14, 2021
"A cat-footed exploration of the vaporous fantasies, deceptions, and obsessions of the climbing world, this book is a noble successor to Macfarlane’s Mountains of the Mind, but also, in a way, to Calvino’s Invisible Cities. It is, in every sense of the word, dreamy." -- Robert Moor, best-selling author of On Trails: An Exploration
- The story of a 1960s hoax that inspired a quest for a North American Shangri-La
- Tales of other fabled mountains from across the world
Using an infamous deception about a fake mountain range in British Columbia as her jumping-off point, Katie Ives, the editor-in-chief of Alpinist, examines the lure of blank spaces on the map and the role of the imagination in climbing. In Imaginary Peaks she recounts the creation and the debunking of the Riesenstein Hoax within a larger history of alpine fictions and mythologies, cartographic errors and exploration hoaxes, as well as colonialism and decolonizing movements. The result is a book that combines vivid adventure narratives and mystery writing—while reexamining the past, present and potential futures of mapmaking and mountaineering.
KATIE IVES is editor in chief at Alpinist magazine, and her writing has appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times, Outside, The Rumpus, Adventure Journal, LitHub and Atlas Obscura, as well as the anthologies Rock, Paper, Fire: The Best of Mountain and Wilderness Writing and Waymaking: An Anthology of Women’s Adventure Writing, Poetry, and Art. In 2016 she received the H. Adams Carter Literary Award from the American Alpine Club. She has participated in the Banff Mountain and Wilderness Writing Program and served as a judge for the Boardman-Tasker Award, and a jury member, panelist, and panel moderator at the Banff Mountain Book Festival. She lives in Cambridge, Vermont. Imaginary Peaks is her first book.