Post subject: "Roof of the Rockies" by William M. Bueler
Posted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:01 pm
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:19 am Posts: 541 Location: Capitol Hill, Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
By random chance, I stumbled across this book that the Colorado Mountain Club was practically giving away as "overstock" at the Banff Film Fest tour stop in Denver. It claims to be "A History of Colorado Mountaineering" and it definitely backs up the claim.
In chronological order, the book starts out with historical data gathered from various Indian tribes of first ascents of mountains like Long's Peak and Blanca Peak. Then it has a quite exciting and somewhat hilarious account of Zebulon Pike's expedition, and some of their antics, including getting lost in the Arkansas Valley and thinking they were on the Red River heading towards Texas, and attempting to climb Pikes Peak in one day, and freezing and hungry three days later nowhere near the summit.
Through accounts from survey expeditions, and stories of colorful characters like Edwin James, Albert Ellingwood, Enos Mills, and the Stettner Brothers: two Germans from Chicago that rode their motorcycles across the great plains to climb the east face of The Diamond, and on the way back to have one bike break down in Sterling Colorado and they used the climbing rope to tow the bike and rider across the dirt roads of Nebraska! The author dives into each and every mountain range in the state, discussing the events that resulted in first attempts on the 14ers and 13ers therein.
It is a great book not just for a fanatic of American history like myself, but for anyone who has climbed these summits and wondered who the first ones were to do it, and how. I strongly recommend it.
_________________ Riding a '06 Voile Split Decision Freeride 173, '07 Salomon Malamutes, Spark Ignition I bindings.
This one is kinda similar for the Sierra, or rather I should say California. (But not really)
It's not really a dense history of peak exploration, like the above book is for Colorado. First and foremost, the dude took a lot of amazing pics of California's highest moutains from a lot of interesting vantage points. He mentioned that taking on this project brought him back to the Sierra and he really looked forward to reconnecting with the mountains and the friends he shares them with. Then he figured out that most of California's big peaks photograph best in the Eastern alpenglow of sunrise. So basically he camped on top of these high peaks solo. (Not so many people were up for joining him.)
The book is divided into I think 4 sections... The Whitney Group, the Palisades, White Mountain, and Shasta. Each section has a ton of gorgeous pics of all the high peaks nearby. The most inspirational are the ones of the Whitney Group and the Palisades from every concievable angle. They will make you salivate. Each section is precede by 5 or 6 pages of the climbing and exploration history of the mountain group. It is not detailed like the one for Colorado, but a good & well researched jumping off point for further reading.