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


Cover and jacket

Cover, Climber's Guide to the High Sierra

[From inside jacket cover]

Climbing in California’s High Sierra offers a combination of satisfactions. Here are cliffs difficult enough to challenge the most intrepid sixth-class climber; lofty, isolated peaks that stimulate the spirit of exploration and ad venture; and a timberline wilderness country with off-trail beauty spots seldom visited and completely unspoiled. Those who wish to try the climbs or visit the peaks will find this book useful, for it describes routes worked out by several generations of climbers and explorers. These who wish to seek out unknown climbs or peaks will also find the book helpful, for it tells what has already been done and some of what remains to be tried.

The Guide covers the High Sierra Region from Bond Pass on the northern boundary of Yosemite National Park to Army Pass south of Mount Whitney. Included are rock climbs of the famous Yosemite Valley, which has attracted devotees for over twenty years. Most of the Yosemite climbs are of fifth and sixth class difficulty and require special equipment and careful training. But many peaks of the High Sierra can be climbed by hikers without technical skill, and the Guide has not neglected the interests of these.

Routes on some 450 named peaks and over 300 unnamed summits are described, together with dates of first ascent and the names of the first climbers, when known. This material, along with early history, advice on approaches and camping, and some description of topography, is organized on the basis of seventeen different climbing areas.

Trails, passes, and cross-country routes are also discussed — information of real value to those who desire to see the Sierra from somewhat lower elevations than the summits of the peaks. Knapsackers who wish to set off across country with supplies on their backs will find material here for many trips.

Authors of the Guide are twenty-two climbers of varied experience. Compilation of the Guide started in 1937 when Richard M. Leonard, later president of the Sierra Club, collected all records for High Sierra Peaks. Since then numerous well-known climbers have participated. The present Guide was edited by Hervey Voge, who has known the Sierra for the past twenty years. Once he spent ten weeks in the mountains with David R. Brower, now executive director of the Club, during the course of which they personally inspected some 90 routes. He and the other authors have visited many parts of the world, but have always found variety, challenge, or inspiration in the Sierra.



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