Vertical Aid

Vertical Aid: Essential Wilderness Medicine for Climbers, Trekkers, and Mountaineers

In 2016, the founders of Vertical Medicine Resources identified a need in the climbing community for a text that detailed the most common acute and chronic climbing injuries. We found no definitive evidence-based resource available and began the process of writing and having published Vertical Aid: Essential Wilderness Medicine for Climbers, Trekkers, and Mountaineers.

In Vertical Aid, we have produced the most complete guide available for managing both emergencies and chronic injuries sustained while climbing. The book includes helpful illustrations of common procedures and best practices, making it a practical and indispensable companion on any climbing, trekking, or alpine trip. It is replete with real-world-tested strategies, evidence-based medicine, and proven techniques. We brought our experience from the mountains, the hospital, and the classroom to create this unique combination of authoritative medical information and specific attention to the climbing environment. The text includes 50 illustrations and well over 400 references.

Praise for Vertical Aid

"Even if nothing ever goes wrong, it pays for weekend warriors, guides, and outdoor educators alike to be fluent in wilderness-first-responder skills. The thorough, must-have Vertical Aid gets you there by covering medical emergencies, environmental illnesses (altitude sickness, hypothermia, etc.), and rescue scenarios. Its authors, themselves all medical professionals and climbers, bring their deep field knowledge to life on the page." - Climbing magazine

"The love of the authors for their topic really shines through, leading to an upbeat text. Where medical terms have been used they are clearly explained, and there is an extensive glossary provided. What most impressed me is the excellent way the authors deal with recent changes to various traditional rescue protocols-bringing them into line with current, evidence-based medicine. I know of no other wilderness medicine book that is recent enough to contain these crucial modernizations, and as such it fills a really important gap in the market... throughout these examples the authors explain the science behind these new recommendations and also the strengths and weaknesses of each of the various recommendations, enabling the reader to make an informed decision... In summary, this book provides essential, up to date, emergency care information that will be a useful reference book for climbers, trekkers and mountaineers and well as outdoor guides and first responders." - Dr. Malin Zachau, Climber magazine (New Zealand)

"Vertical Aid is as indispensable to climbers today as the belay and rope. The practical approach, the quality of the information, and the easy to use format will appeal to anyone working in the field. The problem with wilderness medicine is that the usual medical interventions frequently do not apply. The order of operations needs to flex and stretch to fit unique environmental challenges, lack of resources and delays in transit. The authors of this text deftly identify the obstacles climbers or trekkers encounter and offer simple, problem focused ways to manage them. Vertical Aid is one of the most illuminating and unique books I have seen on the subject. Even better-this text is small enough to carry in your backpack!" - Alexandra Godfrey, BS PT, MS PA-C, New England Journal of Medicine columnist

The "climbing and wilderness first aid guidebook Vertical Aid has quickly become a standard of excellence in the climbing industry." - Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine

Vertical Aid is available in 'the Cache', at, and at local bookstores and climbing shops around the country.