David Roberts is a climber, mountaineer, and author of books and articles about climbing. He is particularly noted for his books "The Mountain of My Fear" and "Deborah: A Wilderness Narrative," chronicling major ascents in Alaska in the 1960s, which had a major impact on mountaineering literature. In thirteen seasons spent in the Alaskan wilderness, Roberts is well known for many first ascents, including the Wickersham Wall on Mount McKinley, the West rib of Mount Huntington, climbing in the Western Brooks Range and the Kichatna Spires, and on the East Face of Mount Dickey. His recent book "Limits of the Known" reflects on why some people feel compelled to risk their lives for adventure.
David Roberts attended Harvard University, where he received a mathematics degree in 1965. He was a member of and former president of the Harvard Mountaineering Club. He also received a Ph.D. in English from the University of Denver in 1970.
Roberts was a mentor to Jon Krakauer. He is often acknowledged as the "dean" of American climbing literature.