This is a reprint of the 1872 edition of Clarence King’s classic work, which some have described as the first real literature of the Sierra. It is adventure writing at its best. King’s mountain climbing descriptions are spine-tingling (and more than a little exaggerated) but they still provide strong impressions and colorful descriptions of the Sierra Nevada following the gold rush.
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"A fine book . . . [that] will please the mountain climber and allow him to enjoy his precarious pastime within the safe confines of his armchair."--"New York Times"
"Mountaineering is the first real literature of the Sierra, and, as a book of familiar travels in unfamiliar places in America, it brooks no equal."--"Pacific Historian"
"Scientifically accurate as well as charmingly descriptive of the region."--James D. Hart, "The Oxford Companion to American Literature" -- James D. Hart "The Oxford Companion to American Literature"
A bona fide classic, originally published in 1872, Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada is still exciting reading. It describes the perils and pleasures experienced by Clarence King (1842-1901) while conducting the first geological survey of California in the 1860s. His language was equal to the marvels he found, and here with unfading brilliance are his accounts of scaling such mountains as Tyndall, Shasta, and Whitney. The chapters on the Yosemite Valley and surrounding High Sierras were written while he was surveying the boundaries of a newly designated national park. There are also delightful vignettes of western characters, including a Sierra artist and a family of Pike County hog farmers. King, who in 1879 became the first director of the United States Geological Survey, will always be remembered for Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada, which was praised by Wallace Stegner, Van Wyck Brooks, and Henry Seidel Canby as a watermark of frontier literature.
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