A person who does not climb often imagines that one who does is a reckless mortal, whose life luck alone preserves. In his mind's eye he sees him prancing gaily along giddy heights, with a straw in his teeth, skipping freely from cliff to cliff, with two chances to one to miss his footing and tumble over a frightful precipice at almost anytime. As a matter of fact, however, it is probable that really serious climbing makes one more unceasingly and acutely careful than any occupation you can easily think of. When every foothold and handhold must be separately found and judged, while in the depths below certain and instant death awaits the first slip no! average human nature is not careless then. I, at any rate, grow quite ecstatically careful the intense nervous stimulus and tension, combined with the absolute steadiness and poise required, being exactly one of the chief delights of the sport. I am sure several men with pike-poles could not have got me off that ridge.

-- Bolton Coit Brown


Home Page / The Library / Images / For the Explorer / News & Events / Donations / Contact Us / About the Director / Links and Bibliography

While a picture is worth a thousand words, an experience is worth at least a thousand pictures. Experiencing the reality of the Sierra Nevada, where all the historical accounts were written and the images created completes the circle. This page will provide relevant information for Sierra travelers on such topics as backpacking, general mountaineering, leave no trace, mountain medicine, physical conditioning, routefinding, and Sierra mountaineering.

The information provided on this page is not in any way complete. I'm assuming that most individuals who visit this site will have at least a general knowledge of mountain travel. Therefore, this page will feature mainly new theories and developments in techniques, equipment, etc., along with information specific to the Sierra Nevada. For those without much Sierra experience or those who wish to be brought up to date, I'm including below what I consider the best basic reference guide for each subject matter area.


Backpacking Colin Fletcher. The Complete Walker IV.
General Mountaineering The Mountaineers. Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills, 7th Edition. (In my opinion, this is the bible. If a person can only afford one "how to" guide, this is most definitely the one!)
Leave No Trace Annette McGivney. Leave No Trace. A Guide to the New Wilderness Ethic, 2nd Edition.
Mountain Medicine James A. Wilkerson. Medicine for Mountaineering, 5th Edition.
Physical Conditioning Dr. David Musnick and Mark Pierce, A.T.C. Conditioning for Outdoor Fitness: A Comprehensive Training Guide.
Routefinding Bob and Mike Burns. Wilderness Navigation. Finding Your Way Using Map, Compass, Altimeter, and GPS.
Sierra Mountaineering R. J. Secor. The High Sierra: Peaks Passes, and Trails. Second Edition. (This is the "bible" for Sierra Nevada mountaineers.)


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