Climbing the 14 highest peaks in the world is a daunting task that many of us will likely never complete.

Yet lucky for us, someone else already has, and they wrote about the experience with such clarity that you can easily imagine yourself trying to brave an oncoming storm just to reach the peak of Mt. Everest.

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Here are some great books to read whether you're a climber, surfer, runner or just hoping to get started.

No Shortcuts to the Top: Climbing the World’s 14 Highest Peaks

Climber Ed Viesturs writes about his experience summiting the 14 highest peaks in the world without using bottled oxygen.

He’s clearly had plenty of time on mountaintops to hone his story telling since he presents a gripping narrative fraught with danger, and unfortunately death.

It’s also packed with wisdom like his personal motto, “getting to the top is optional, getting down is mandatory.”

Born To Run

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If Christopher McDougall’s book doesn’t make you want to run, little else likely will.

McDougall traveled into dangerous drug-cartel territory to study running amongst the isolated Tarahumara Indians, who can run hundreds of miles without rest or injury.

This book spurred the resurgence of running without shoes and popularized chia seeds.

Saltwater Buddah: A Surfer’s Quest to Find Zen on the Sea

Anyone who has ever been barreled will liken it to a spiritual experience.

Jaimal Yogis is one of those people. He fled to Hawaii in his teens from the Bay Area.

His quest led him to find good surf and spiritual awakenings.

His travels take him throughout the world, from a monastery to an icy fishing boat in the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a coming-of-age story that all surfers can relate to in one way or another.