The Spirit of the Mountains' presents the best photographs submitted to the International Mountain Summit (IMS) photography contest from 2011 to 2016. More than 130 stunning images display mountains around the world in their many manifestations from the violent spectacle of a volcanic eruption to a flower-painted valley. Above them all lies the eternal universe, now clouds, now stars, in darkness and light, embellished with northern lights, rainbows, slashes of lightning. But more than all of that, 'The Spirit of the Mountains' is a heart-stopping reminder that we humans are absurdly insignificant in nature's design. The photographs are organized into the contest's four categories: Mountain Nature, Mountain Action, Mountain Faces, and Mountain Aerial, which in 2016 allowed the use of drones for the first time. There are mountains in the book from every continent - Half Dome, Yosemite; K2, second only to Everest; Kangchendzonga, Nepal-India; Kirkjufell, Iceland; Mitre Peak, New Zealand; Koryaksky, Russia; Sassolungo, Italy; the very active volcano, Mount Slamet, Indonesia; Tepuy Roraima, Venezuela - and many more.
'The Spirit of the Mountains' is the English edition of the German-language 'Der Atem der Berge', which in 2016 won the ITB Book Award as 'best illustrated travel book of the year' at the ITB Berlin Travel Trade Show, the world's largest tourism convention. The International Mountain Summit (IMS) is an independent and international festival of mountaineers, alpinists, climbers and other mountain enthusiasts and photographers established in 2009 by Markus Gaiser and Alex Ploner. The annual IMS Photo Contest draws participation from more than 12,000 photographers in nearly 100 countries.