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A Climber’s Guide to the High Sierra (1954), edited by Hervey H. Voge

Warning: This guidebook is for historical reference only. Routes and terrain may have changed since this guide was written in 1954. Bring and use a up-to-date guidebook instead, such as R. J. Secor's The High Sierra: Peaks, Passes, and Trails (2009). From the original guide book:
A guidebook is not a substitute for mountaineering skill, nor can it make climbing safe for those who do not practice the principles of safety. It is urged that inexperienced climbers avail themselves of the instruction and training given by the Sierra Club or other organizations before attempting difficult ascents.

About the Editor

Hervey Voge
Hervey Voge (from
Steve Roper, Camp 4)
Hervey Harper Voge was born June 29, 1910. He earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from University of California, then received a chemistry fellowship in 1935 from the National Academy of Sciences. Voge was a Sierra Club member and mountaineer and started climbing in the early 1930s while he was a student at Berkeley, California. Voge made first ascents of multiple peaks, including Washington Column from below. He climbed with other well-known area climbers of the day, including David Brower, Norman Clyde, Bestor Robinson, Dick Leonard, and Jules Eichorn. Fellow student David Brower joined the Sierra Club in 1933 at the suggestion of Voge. In 1934, Voge and Brower traversed the High Sierra from Kearsarge Pass area to Yosemite, climbing 59 peaks in 69 days. Voge named two peaks, Norman Clyde Peak and Muriel Peak. While climbing peaks, he made a effort to preserve peak registers and record first ascents.

Dr. Voge lived in Berkeley and Sebastapol, California. Professionally, Voge was a chemical engineer for Shell Development. His work includes heading a team that developed a rocket fuel for use in the vacuum of outer space.

Hervey Voge died 20 June 1990 at his home in Sebastopol. From his obituary (Santa Rosa The Press Democrat, 28 June 1990, p. 14):

After his retirement in 1972, Voge taught chemistry in Mexico and Chile. For the last 15 years, he and his wife, Rhea, operated a small fruit orchard in Sebastopol. He worked actively with Sonoma County Farm Trails in the production of their annual map.
Voge's passion was the Sierra Nevada where he made 35 first ascents. He was auth or of “Climber's Guide to the High Sierra.”
Voge was born in Zurich, Switzerland to American parents. After receiving his B.S. and Phd. from University of California at Berkeley, he was a National Research Fellow at Harvard University.
During his 34 years as a research chemist in the field of catalysis at Shell Development Co. in Emeryville, he wrote 40 scientific papers, held 28 patents in his name, was chairman of the Gordon Conference on Catalysis and received the Chemical Pioneer Award from the American Institue of Chemists.

Bibliographical Information

Hervey Harper Voge, editor (1910-1990), A Climber’s Guide to the High Sierra 1st ed. (Sierra Club, 1954), Copyright 1954 by the Sierra Club. LCCN 54014261. 301 pages. Illustrated. 20 cm. Bound in dark blue board with silver lettering. Library of Congress call number F868.S5 S47 1954.

Other editions. This book first appeared in serial form in the Sierra Club Bulletin for 1937-1942. A “preliminary edition,” edited by David Brower, appeared in 1949 (118pp., paper wrappers). The first complete edition in book form, used here, appeared in 1954. Voge also edited a revised 1965 edition. In 1972, another edition appeared (with the title changed to Mountaineer’s Guide), but it was not edited or authorized by Voge, although he’s listed as a co-author (Am. Alpine J. 22:530).

Book review: Sierra Club Bulletin 39:28 (1954).

Converted to HTML by Dan Anderson, April 2009, from a copy in my personal library. These files may be used for any non-commercial purpose, provided this notice is left intact.
    —Dan Anderson, www.yosemite.ca.us

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