Kiss Or Kill: Confessions of a Serial Climber

Just finished reading one of the weirdest and wildest outdoors books.

Not sure whether his prose pieces are the insane ramblings of an arrogant egomaniac. Or genius insight.


Sit back and join the ride with this collection of edge-of-your-seat climbing stories by Mark Twight aka Dr. Doom. “Somewhere out there somebody understands these words and knows they matter. They were written in blood, learned by heart.” –Mark Twight
– BANFF award-winner

Extreme climber. Extreme writer. Extreme personality. No matter what he’s doing, Mark Twight takes a definite, and often controversial, stand. Anyone who knows climbing knows Twight’s name, and anyone who knows Twight’s name will want to read this book. Each story is told in Twight’s taut, in-your-face style. Brand-new epilogues bring each piece full circle , providing updated information and fresh, hindsight perspectives.


about Mark Twight

Born on November 2, 1961 in Yosemite National Park, California, Mark Twight rose to prominence in the world Alpine mountaineering community in the late 1980s and early 1990s with a well-documented series of difficult, dangerous alpine climbs in various ranges around the world.

He made the first ascent of “The Reality Bath” on the White Pyramid with Randy Rackliff, which is unrepeated and described by Canadian Rockies guidebook author, Albi Sole as “so dangerous as to be of little value except to those suicidally inclined.”

… Twight was nominated for the Piolet d’Or twice during his career, in 1993 for “Beyond Good and Evil” and 1995 for “Deprivation”.

Reality Bath is somewhere centre on this wall
Reality Bath is somewhere centre on this wall

Publishers Weekly:

From Chamonix to the Himalayas to Peak Communism in the Pamirs, extreme climbing has been Twight’s response to “stupidity and mediocrity” and at times it is even “a tool to forestall suicide.”

Following Extreme Alpinism, this volume collects more than 12 years of Twight’s extreme outdoor journalism for such magazines as Climbing, Outside and Men’s Journal.

Punk rock lyrics pepper these essays, providing context and form for his rage, cynicism and obsessive, masculine drive.

Avalanches, rotten ice, the deaths of fellow climbers, the rescue of others, dwindling food supplies, lost tents at 18,000 feet Twight survives mortal dangers and tragedies, writing, “No matter what I did, the suffering I experienced did not satisfy me. I had to have more.”

Twight’s in-your-face style is both his strength and his weakness fans of Henry Rollins or Charles Bukowski may find a sport nut analogue in Twight. Deeply personal, arrogant, grandiose, thrilling and unapologetic, this record of his 15-year career will gratify and repel extreme athletes, their admirers and their detractors.

Andrew Pleavin
Andrew Pleavin

Mark Twight is the founder of Gym Jones, where he trains athletes, military personnel, and others for whom fitness goes beyond appearance. At Gym Jones Twight and fellow trainers and coaches work with everyone from NFL players to MMA fighters, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitors (a half-dozen Pedro Sauer black belts work and train there), bike racers, rock and mountain climbers, and a variety of ultra-endurance athletes. …

In 2005 Twight trained the cast and stunt crew for the movie 300. … The training was difficult, Twight pulled no punches, refusing to differentiate between actors, stuntmen, or athletes. After being told the details of a day’s workout Andrew Pleavin said, “It feels like you just killed my dog.”

One training regimen that his crew underwent in the movie came to be known as the 300 Workout, spawning many variations by other fitness personalities and trainers.

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