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Staff Pick
A Fine Line: Searching for Balance Among Mountains

A Fine Line: Searching for Balance Among Mountains

Current price: $19.95
Publication Date: September 20th, 2023
Mountaineers Books
Usually Ships in 1 to 5 Days

Staff Reviews

A World-class alpinist struggles to resolve the conflicts of his highly risky sport with his concerns about relationship, climate change, vulnerable communities and lore of remote peaks. ~Mary Kay

— Mary Kay

This young, Edmonds-raised writer is one of the world’s most accomplished alpinists. He’s scaled numerous vertical granite and ice-covered walls with just a couple of partners and the climbing supplies he can carry on his back. Along the way he comes to many self-realizations and finds love and purpose. I’m optimistic about what his (and the girls’) generation can do. ~David

— David


"A Fine Line is more than just a recounting of remarkable expeditions, summit views, and thin air. It's a story of resilience, loss, and the quest for a balanced and meaningful life in the unforgiving realm of high-risk mountain sports. --Men's Journal

  • Honestly portrays the highs and lows of a life dedicated to the outdoors
  • Shares the author's development as an outspoken conservation advocate
  • Story is rooted in the peaks of the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, and Pakistan

How do we reconcile our love of outdoor adventure with the inevitability of loss in high-risk sports? Still in his thirties, Graham Zimmerman has made first ascents from Alaska to Pakistan, and in 2020 he received the Piolet d'Or for his climb on Pakistan's Link Sar with Steve Swenson. A sponsored athlete who is sought out as a climbing partner, Zimmerman knows that he must find a balance between his ambitions as an alpinist and his social responsibilities--as a husband, climate advocate, and community leader.

His generation has faced devastating grief in the mountains, including the deaths of Kyle Dempster, Hayden Kennedy, and Inge Perkins, and his cohort has witnessed firsthand the effects of climate change in the form of disappearing glaciers and increasingly erratic weather. Zimmerman writes of the exhilaration he feels while climbing but also the painful realization that summiting at all costs is an outdated model. As A Fine Line traces Graham's journey, mountain lovers everywhere will see themselves in this coming-of-age story of adventure and personal reckoning.