Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada (Google eBook)

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Scribner, 1902 - Mountaineering - 378 pages
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Review: Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada

User Review  - Lois Bujold - Goodreads

I read a slightly different edition... I came to this book via a reference in The Life of a Fossil Hunter, another fascinating 19th C. science memoir. These men seem to stand on some strange sliding ... Read full review

Review: Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada

User Review  - Tristy - Goodreads

Pulp travel writing from 1872. Historically interesting and yet painful to read - the author travels the Sierra Nevada, simultaneously being in awe of the natural beauty of the wilderness, while mocking the people who actually live in the wilderness and survive. Read full review

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Page 92 - ... great icicle-column frozen in a niche of the bluff, its base about ten feet wide, narrowing to two feet at the top. We climbed to the base of this spire of ice, and, with the utmost care, began to cut our stairway. The material was an exceedingly compacted snow, passing into clear ice as it neared the rock. We climbed the first half of it with comparative ease; after that it was almost vertical, and so thin that we did not dare to cut the footsteps deep enough to make them absolutely safe....
Page 233 - We looked down into a broad, circular excavation, three quarters of a mile in diameter, and nearly seven Imndred feet deep. East and north, over the edges of the canon, we looked across miles and miles of the Snake plain, far on to the blue boundary mountains. The wall of the gorge opposite us, like the cliff at our feet, sank in perpendicular bluffs nearly to the level of the river, the broad excavation being covered by rough piles of black lava and rounded domes of trachyte rock.
Page 77 - When about half-way up I was obliged to rest, and, curling my feet in the rope, managed to relieve my arms for a moment. In this position I could not resist the fascinating temptation of a survey downward. " Straight down, nearly a thousand feet below, at the foot of the rocks, began the snow, whose steep, roof-like slope, exaggerated into an almost vertical angle, curved down in a long, white field, broken far away by rocks and polished, round lakes of ice. " Cotter looked up cheerfully, and asked...
Page 369 - ... who loitered about a popular saloon that in his opinion "some Mexican had stolen the animals." ' Such news as this naturally demanded drinks all round. " Do you know, gentlemen," said one who assumed leadership, " that just naturally to shoot these Greasers ain't the best way.
Page 76 - Looking down over the course we had come, it seemed, and I really believe it was, an impossible descent; for one can climb upward with safety where he cannot downward. To turn back was to give up in defeat; and we sat at least half an hour, suggesting all possible routes to the summit, accepting none, and feeling disheartened. About thirty feet directly over our heads was another shelf, which, if we could reach, seemed to offer at least a temporary way upward. On its edge were two or three spikes...
Page 100 - I felt no surprise at seeing water boiling over our little fagot blaze at a temperature of one hundred and ninety-two degrees F., nor in observing the barometrical column stand at 17.99 inches; and it was not till a week or so after that I realized we had felt none of the conventional sensations of nausea, headache, and I don't know what all, that people are supposed to suffer at extreme altitudes; but these things go with guides and porters, I believe, and with coming down to one's hotel at evening,...
Page 110 - Here and there were small projections from its surface, little protruding knobs of feldspar, and crevices riven into its face for a few inches. As we tied ourselves together, I told Cotter to hold himself in readiness to jump down into one of these in case I fell, and started to climb up the wall, succeeding quite well for about twenty feet. About two feet above my hands was a crack, which, if my arms had been long enough to reach, would probably have led me to the very top; but I judged it beyond...
Page 89 - Immense boulders were partly embedded in the ice just above us, whose constant melting left them trembling on the edge of a fall. It communicated no very pleasant sensation to see above you these immense missiles hanging by a mere band, and knowing that, as soon as the sun rose, you would be exposed to a constant cannonade. The east side of the peak, which we could now partially see, was too precipitous to think of climbing. The slope toward our camp was too much broken into pinnacles and crags to...
Page 119 - ... amusement of waving one foot (a cowhide eleven) slowly across the fire, squinting, with half-shut eye, first at the vast shoe and thence at the fire, alternately hiding bright places and darting the foot quickly in the direction of any new display of heightening flame. The mother was a bony sister, in the yellow, shrunken, of sharp visage, in which were prominent two cold eyes and a positively poisonous mouth; her hair, the color of faded hay, tangled in a jungle around her head. She rocked jerkily...
Page 370 - ... Burn the doggoned lubricator!' and other equally pleasant phrases, fell unheeded upon his Spanish ear. A jury, upon which they forced my friend, was quickly gathered in the street, and despite refusals to serve, the crowd hurried them in behind the bar. A brief statement of the case was made by the ci-devant advocate, and they shoved the jury into a commodious poker-room, where were seats grouped about neat green tables. The noise outside in the bar-room...

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