Stone Mountains: North America’s Best Crags
The lofty—320 oversized pages and weighing the same as a small climbing rack—Stone Mountains: North America’s Best Crags (2011, Potlicker Press) by Jim Thornburg is the result of one man’s 20-year obsession with climbing and photography.

Stone Mountains covers 35 crags with captions telling the story of each route, including introductions written by other locals. That said, it is far from a guidebook. It’s designed to get you psyched to visit each crag, dip your hands in your chalkbag and take a journey up the stone.

Many images in Stone Mountains are of rock superstars on the most difficult routes, as well as on everyman climbs. (Some are also of Thornburg’s irresistible dog, Mojo.) It’s a book about the rock, the striations, the cracks and the formations themselves. It’s also about the people who grace these pages. Dozens of these shots have become the covers of various climbing magazines.

Thornburg estimates he spent “23,000 hours” hanging in his harness to get the images. It shows. If you’re a lover of climbing photography this is the book for you.
$60, jimthornburg.com
—Chris Van Leuven

Stone Nudes
For a different perspective, check out Stone Nudes: Art in Motion by Dean Fidelman. Edited by and with an introduction by John Long, the book contains 108 pages and 88 duotone nude climbing images. Locations range from the US, to farther-flung destinations like Thailand and Patagonia. Essays by the subjects alternate images. Ships with complimentary Stone Nudes 2011 calendar.
$40; stonemasterpress.com

—C.V.L.