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what do you want to know about the Sierra?

A place to explore the natural setting (geology, flora & fauna), people, constructed infrastructure and historical events that play and have played a part in shaping the Sierra Nevada as we know it today.
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Re: what do you want to know about the Sierra?

Postby Timberline » Sun May 06, 2012 3:33 pm

Hiya, schmalz,
Have you looked at Clarence Kings' "Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada" or pursued anything by Norman Clyde? Great stuff there. Also, look into early issues of the Sierra Club Bulletin for some great first hand accounts of early b'pking and mountaineering when only a handful of folks were out there doing it. More great history stuff in "Sierra Crossing: First Roads in California" by Thomas F. Howard, and "Sierra Nevada Lakes" by George Henry Hinkle. Yep, these mtns have awesome stories!
Let 'er Buck! Back in Oregon again!



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Re: what do you want to know about the Sierra?

Postby TehipiteTom » Mon May 07, 2012 8:24 am

Timberline wrote:Hiya, schmalz,
Have you looked at Clarence Kings' "Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada"...?

This ties in to Up and Down California: King was on the California Geological Survey team in 1864, and the heart of "Mountaineering..." is the story of him and Cotter splitting off from the main group to try to climb Mt. Whitney (there are other pieces in there, but IIRC that's the longest and best-known).

I've always preferred Brewer's style to King's; Brewer is low-key and factually reliable, while King is self-consciously 'literary' and prone to dramatic embellishment. Both are worth reading, though, and ideally both should be read at the same time (since they're really part of the same story).
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Re: what do you want to know about the Sierra?

Postby gdurkee » Mon May 07, 2012 11:48 am

2nd that. Brewer is definitely the more trustworthy writer as far as that goes. King's drama was for an eastern audience -- the wild and wooly west described to the effete easterner that still persists today.Also, there's a high probability that some of his events just never happened (Kaweah's ride is suspect).

Still, he contributed one of the greatest lines in mountaineering literature in their climb returning from Tyndall:

“...but to coolly seat one's self in the door of death, and silently listen for the fatal summons, and this all for a friend,— for he might easily have cast loose the lasso and saved himself,—requires as sublime a type of courage as I know.”
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Re: what do you want to know about the Sierra?

Postby vandman » Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:16 am

On my Sierra journey this August, I carried a copy of Assembling California by John McPhee. Finally a book that can explain the geology of the twisted Sierra Nevada! It was exciting to read about roof pendants and look up and actually see it around Mt. Goddard. Check it out! Now I understand, it's all about plate tectonics.
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Re: what do you want to know about the Sierra?

Postby frozenintime » Sat Nov 05, 2016 2:06 pm

tom, did you ever manage to scan some of that NPS booklet about the various proposed-but-thwarted developments? sounds amazing! :)
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