Early days in the range of light Encounters with legendary mountaineers

Daniel Arnold, 1979-

Book - 2009

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Subjects
Published
Berkeley, CA : Counterpoint : Distributed by Publishers Group West c2009.
Language
English
Physical Description
ix, 421 p. : ill., map ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN
9781582435190
1582435197
Main Author
Daniel Arnold, 1979- (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

John Muir, the famed conservationist, thought that the California mountain range known as the Sierra Nevada should properly be called The Range of Light, for its beauty and its shifting appearance. Muir was an early explorer of the mountain range, and Arnold, in this splendidly written book, introduces others of those early climbers, focusing on the period from 1864 to 1931, when "such innovations as the use of rope as a climbing tool" ushered in the modern age of climbing. Before that, though, a man would venture into the mountains by himself, as Muir did, with a notebook, some bread crusts, and a knife. Arnold, who re-created these early climbers' experiences with as much historical accuracy as possible (no tent, no sleeping bag), profiles both groundbreaking adventurers (Muir, Norman Clyde, Clarence King) and the Sierra Nevada itself. Fans of mountaineering books, especially those whose climbing isn't confined to the armchair, will love this beautifully written journey back through time. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A mountaineer explores the paths of his climbing forefathers through the Sierra Nevada mountains, in a book that both relates the history of mountaineers on the range from 1864 to 1931 and recounts the author's efforts to climb the Sierra Nevadas with the same lack of gear that a nineteenth-century climber had to contend with.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Portland, Oregon native Arnold began climbing the Pacific Rim volcanoes as a teenager and has since scaled peaks throughout North and South America. He spent much of the past decade researching the early mountaineers of California's Sierra Nevada mountains--dubbed "The Range of Light" by John Muir--and retracing their footsteps, using the same equipment and techniques as they would have used. Arnold combines history, biography, nature, and adventure writing in a fascinating account of 15 climbs originally conducted between 1864 and 1931, and describes his own recent climbing experiences along those same routes. Illustrated with b&w photographs. No subject index. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Review by Publisher Summary 3

“A splendid chronicle of early climbing in the Sierra Nevada.” —Royal RobbinsIt’s 1873. Gore-Tex shells and aluminum climbing gear are a century away, but the high mountains still call to those with a spirit of adventure. Imagine the stone in your hands and thousands of feet of open air below you, with only a wool jacket to weather a storm and no rope to catch a fall.Daniel Arnold did more than imagine—he spent three years retracing the steps of his climbing forefathers, and in Early Days in the Range of Light, he tells their riveting stories. From 1864 to 1931, the Sierra Nevada witnessed some of the most audacious climbing of all time. In the spirit of his predecessors, Arnold carried only rudimentary equipment: no ropes, no harness, no specialized climbing shoes. Sometimes he left his backpack and sleeping bag behind as well, and, like John Muir, traveled for days with only a few pounds of food rolled into a sack slung over his shoulder. In an artful blend of history, biography, nature, and adventure writing, Arnold brings to life the journeys and the terrain traveled. In the process he uncovers the motivations that drove an extraordinary group of individuals to risk so much for airy summits and close contact with bare stone and snow.“Ever wish you could travel back to climbing’s early days and follow the earliest first-ascent visionaries? This fantasy comes to life . . . in this elegant narrative.” —Climbing Magazine

Review by Publisher Summary 4

It's 1873. Gore-Tex shells and aluminum climbing gear are a century away, but the high mountains still demand your attention. Imagine the stone in your hands and thousands of feet of open air below you, with only a wool jacket to weather a storm and no rope to catch a fall.Daniel Arnold did more than imagine ? he spent three years retracing the steps of his climbing forefathers, and in Early Days in the Range of Light, he tells their riveting stories. From 1864 to 1931, the Sierra Nevada witnessed some of the most audacious climbing of all time. In the spirit of his predecessors, Arnold carried only rudimentary equipment ? no ropes, no harness, no specialized climbing shoes. Sometimes he left his backpack and sleeping bag behind as well, and, like John Muir, traveled for days with only a few pounds of food rolled into a sack slung over his shoulder.In an artful blend of history, biography, nature, and adventure writing, Arnold brings to life the journeys and the terrain traveled. In the process he uncovers the motivations that drove an extraordinary group of individuals to risk so much for airy summits and close contact with bare stone and snow.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

It's 1873. Gore-Tex shells and aluminum climbing gear are a century away, but the high mountains still demand your attention. Imagine the stone in your hands and thousands of feet of open air below you, with only a wool jacket to weather a storm and no rope to catch a fall.Daniel Arnold did more than imagine — he spent three years retracing the steps of his climbing forefathers, and in Early Days in the Range of Light, he tells their riveting stories. From 1864 to 1931, the Sierra Nevada witnessed some of the most audacious climbing of all time. In the spirit of his predecessors, Arnold carried only rudimentary equipment — no ropes, no harness, no specialized climbing shoes. Sometimes he left his backpack and sleeping bag behind as well, and, like John Muir, traveled for days with only a few pounds of food rolled into a sack slung over his shoulder.In an artful blend of history, biography, nature, and adventure writing, Arnold brings to life the journeys and the terrain traveled. In the process he uncovers the motivations that drove an extraordinary group of individuals to risk so much for airy summits and close contact with bare stone and snow.

Review by Publisher Summary 6

“A splendid chronicle of early climbing in the Sierra Nevada.” —Royal Robbins

It’s 1873. Gore–Tex shells and aluminum climbing gear are a century away, but the high mountains still call to those with a spirit of adventure. Imagine the stone in your hands and thousands of feet of open air below you, with only a wool jacket to weather a storm and no rope to catch a fall.

Daniel Arnold did more than imagine—he spent three years retracing the steps of his climbing forefathers, and in Early Days in the Range of Light, he tells their riveting stories. From 1864 to 1931, the Sierra Nevada witnessed some of the most audacious climbing of all time. In the spirit of his predecessors, Arnold carried only rudimentary equipment: no ropes, no harness, no specialized climbing shoes. Sometimes he left his backpack and sleeping bag behind as well, and, like John Muir, traveled for days with only a few pounds of food rolled into a sack slung over his shoulder. In an artful blend of history, biography, nature, and adventure writing, Arnold brings to life the journeys and the terrain traveled. In the process he uncovers the motivations that drove an extraordinary group of individuals to risk so much for airy summits and close contact with bare stone and snow.

“Ever wish you could travel back to climbing’s early days and follow the earliest first–ascent visionaries? This fantasy comes to life . . . in this elegant narrative.” —Climbing Magazine