Panamerican Peaks iBook now on sale in Apple Bookstore

My book is now available for sale in Apple’s bookstore. It looks great on your iPad. Suitable both for real outdoor and vicarious armchair adventurers. Just in time for Father’s Day!

Head on over to the Book page for more details and videos.


4 #FathersDay get him #adventure #travel iBook cycling climbing Panamerican Peaks. First 20 to RT 1000+ FF get it free http://t.co/Rcg5JXqb
@tlausser
Thomas Laussermair

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Looking back two and three years

I’ll always remember fondly today’s date, June 1st, in the context of my Panamerican Peaks project. Two years ago, on June 1st, 2010, we stood on the summit of Nevado Pisco (5752m). It was the acclimatization climb for Huascaran (6768m), highest mountain of Peru. In this photo looking North one can see the range of the Cordillera Blanca with the famous Peruvian peaks Alpamayo (5957m, under ice-axe) and Artesonraju (5999m, behind my head).

On the summit of Nevado Pisco, Peru. Date: June 1st, 2010.

We went on to climb Huascaran a week after Pisco and reached its summit on June 7th. It was the second to last peak of this adventure, followed by Chimborazo later that June in Ecuador.

Three years ago, on June 1st, 2009, we reached the summit of the first peak in this adventure, Canada’s Mount Logan. It remains to this day one of the greatest highlights in my life.

On the summit of Mount Logan, Canada. Date: June 1st, 2009.

As I write this, the Canada West Mountain School is again on Mount Logan. I wish them well with this year’s expedition to the highest mountain in Canada.

Not all memories around this date are happy ones. On that same day, three years ago, as we reached Mount Logan’s summit, commercial flight Air France 447 fell out of the sky and plunged into the Atlantic, killing all 216 passengers and 12 crew on board. It was the deadliest accident in the history of Air France and the worst accident in French aviation history.

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eBook for the iPad

I had contemplated in which form to publish my book about the Panamerican Peaks adventure. As an avid Kindle reader I was naturally drawn to the notion of an electronic book: Much easier to (self-)publish, no risky first edition print volumes, ability to update the book without creating out-of-date hardcopies, more seamless linking to online content on my Blog, Picasa albums and YouTube playlists, to name just a few.

One hope I had was that it would be possible to publish in a format suitable for the iPad. With the many color photos and videos it felt like the most natural way to see the adventure and retrace the journey. After all, I had done some presentations from both a laptop and also just the iPad, both in private settings as well as a few public audiences:

Presenting at REI store in Seattle, August-2011

The iPad works particularly well to share this kind of story, as you can quickly show it to someone at a coffee shop or connect it via HDMI to a flatscreen TV, which conveys not just the visual but also the audio. It just makes for a much more immersive experience.

Flatscreen HD presentation from iPad

Just a few months ago Apple announced its free eBook publishing software called iBooks Author. This tool comes at the perfect time for me, as I’m writing and editing my book and materials on my MacBook anyway. The software allows me to mix and match text, photos, animations, video, and keynote materials all into one eBook. Here are some preview screen-shots:

Chapter 'WIND' Header Page of eBook

One additional benefit of this eBook format is that one can include links to online content, which can more easily be kept up-to-date and provide additional information and materials (such as more photos). Here is an example of how the eBook could link to the companion website (this Blog):

Navigation page to all rides and climbs by country flag

While this eBook format is proprietary to Apple and reduces the reading devices to iPads only, I feel that it gives the best viewing experience possible. I just can’t see anywhere near the same impact on the original black-&-white Kindle readers…

I’d be curious to hear your thoughts as to what you think would be the right price for such an eBook?

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New Year – New Look – New Book

Happy New Year 2012!

Time has come for a new look here at the Panamerican Peaks project.
Here is a list of the improvements to the site design:

  • Cleaner look with the modern ‘Twenty Ten’ theme
  • Easier navigation with the top-level menu
  • Aggregated various media in one menu and subset of pages
  • Included links to various peripheral sites in Page footer
  • Revolving set of photos in animated header

    Even more importantly, though, the work on my new book is making good progress. As you can see from the book page, there are now several chapters ready for review and proof-reading. I intend to use this set of pages to facilitate the proofing and review process.

    Introduction Wind Rain Hills Cold Heat Fire Ice Coast RedWoods Pampa Tropics Salt Thin Air Volcano Epilogue
    Book Chapters

    Chapters of the Book

    Click on any of the icons or select the subpages from the Book menu.

    Happy Browsing and Enjoy Reading!

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    View of Journey from Space

    Here is a wonderful time lapse movie made from Hi-Def images aboard the International Space Station. During the 1 min video the space station flew at night along the Pacific Coast of North America and Central America, then across the Pacific to the Coasts of Ecuador and Peru and on over the altiplano of Peru and Bolivia into the sunrise.

    One can observe the many coastal cities from their lights, as well as the big cities in Central Mexico. (Select HD if your bandwidth supports it!) I found it amazing that the route paralleled so much of the Panamerican Highway and went right over so much familiar territory such as the Baja California and later the atiplano with Lake Titicaca and the Salar de Uyuni very clearly visible (at ~55 sec).

    Cycling and Climbing this 10,000+ mile journey took a bit more than 1 year. The Space-Station flies it in under 1 hour (orbital speed 17,500 mph). This time-lapse shows it in 1 minute.

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