Books by Dick Dorworth

Dick has blended a lifelong commitment to writing, writing as a calling not just a job, fiercely personal writing, with a parallel life of mountain adventures: skiing, ski racing, speed skiing, rock climbing and mountaineering. To date Dorworth has published 4 books, Climbing to Freedom, Night Driving, The Perfect Turn and The Straight Course . . . .

Climbing-to-Freedom-COVER-300Climbing to Freedom, Dick Dorworth’s latest book is an intensely personal exploration of the world of extreme rock climbing and mountaineering. Dorworth has condensed a lifetime of adventures on the heights into a series of gripping tales. These are the stories of Dick’s most demanding climbs, from the vertical cliffs of Yosemite Valley to the  ice shrouded peaks of Alaska and Patagonia—a climber’s round-the-world tour. Plus an engaging series of portraits and profiles of some of the best known and most remarkable climbers and mountaineers of our times—all of them close friends of the author. And the book ends with two imaginative works of climbing fiction—a rare genre, beautifully realized. Dick Dorworth takes us inside the private worlds, the fears and ambitions, the thoughts and above all, the passions of that rare tribe of contemporary adventurers—climbers. Climbing to Freedom is available as a handsome trade paperback from the publisher ( or from

Night-Driving-cover-300Night Driving is an action-packed memoir and meditation on a life in perpetual motion, across the West, down the length of South America. Driving as discovery, of self and the world. Dorworth goes beyond the open road as metaphor, and treats it as a grand stage for energetic action and thoughtful introspection . First published as a special edition of Mountain Gazette, Night Driving appeared in book form in a hardback published by First Ascent Press in 2007, But this volume is hard to find today. Already a cult classic, Night Driving is now newly available as a handsome trade paperback from, or from And also as  an eBook, either in a Kindle edition from or as an iBook from Apple’s iBookstore online.

The Perfect Turn is a collection of short pieces that taken together paint a rich and intimate picture of skiing. This book won the US Ski History Association Prize in 2011. In The Perfect Turn ski history meets ski adventure in stories of great ski races and great ski racers, of the pursuit of the World Speed Record on skis, in memoirs of colorful, important, and simply remarkable skiers, in tales of winter backcountry expeditions through the remotest of snowy ranges. Author Dick Dorworth blends action with reflection in the most thoughtful and literary ski writing to come along in ages. This is a book by a skier who has lived it all, skied it all, and then thought about his sport in fresh and surprising terms. This collection brings together 19 essays that probe and reveal the very soul of skiing, and ends with a poetic piece of short fiction that gives this collection its title. Published in 2010 by Western Eye Press, The Perfect Turn is available as a handsome trade paperback from the publisher ( or from And also an eBook, either in a Kindle edition from or as an iBook from Apple’s iBookstore online.

The Straight Course takes us back to the early days of competitive speed skiing, the i960s. First in Portillo Chile, and then in Cervinia, high in the Italian Alps as Dorworth and his companions and contemporaries struggled to break the world record for speed on skis—and sometimes did exactly that.. The Straight Course offers us an insider’s look at some little known, and incredibly exciting pages of ski history. But it’s a lot more than just a retelling of the skiing feats of an earlier generation. This book is an intensely personal exploration of how and why a skier, and maybe anyone, can put themselves on the line, make commitments and keep them, balance fear and fearlessness, and ultimately explore skiing as a metaphor for life. A good read, and a genuine adventure.

The Straight Course is also available as a trade paperback and in electronic editions, Kindle and ePub, from all the usual places. It was published in 2011 by Western Eye Press.