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


Introduction

MOUNTAINEERING in the Sierra Nevada of California is a sport that offers an especially attractive combination of satisfactions. There arc many precipitous cliffs and jagged peaks to challenge the climber, including many possible routes that have not yet been attempted. There is the High Sierra timberline country, an area unexcelled in natural beauty, with thousands of streams and lakes, and a parklike quality that often permits the climber to go cross country without need of a trail. There is a summer climate seldom rivaled in mountainous areas, which nearly guarantees fair weather for both camping and climbing. There is an unspoiled wilderness, yet any peak can be reached in two days from the nearest roadhead. Lower down, in Yosemite Valley and elsewhere, there are readily accessible granite cliffs where rock climbers can find routes as difficult and demanding as any that have yet been ascended. Some idea of the Sierra terrain is given by the photographs included in this volume, but the climber will have to go out into the real mountains to experience the special Sierra charm.

It is the purpose of this guidebook to supply brief descriptions of the routes of ascent for the High Sierra peaks and for certain cliffs in Yosemite Valley and Kings Canyon. An attempt has been made to include all novel ascents, and thus the guide is also a compilation of mountain records. In this introduction something is said about the area covered, the general nature of Sierra climbing, the classification system used, the method of describing routes, and necessary safety precautions. For other information the reader may wish to consult some of the books listed in the References and maps section at the end of this volume.



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