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Climbing California's Fourteeners: 183 Routes to the Fifteen Highest Peaks Paperback – April 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Mountaineers Books; 1st edition (April 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898865557
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898865554
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.8 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #224,123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Unfortunately, the book is sorely lacking in route description details.
"intivar"
After moving to CA from CO, and having used Colorado 14er guidebooks by Dawson and Roach, I was disappointed by this book.
Dirk Summers
The information on Whitney given in this book is extensive but not really useful.
Candace Scott

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Dirk Summers on July 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
After moving to CA from CO, and having used Colorado 14er guidebooks by Dawson and Roach, I was disappointed by this book. While there are many fine photographs, wonderful climbing history of the peaks, a slew of routes, and many routes superimposed on photographs, there were many elements that I find essential, that were missing. Topographic maps of the areas in question (with routes drawn on them), round trip distance information, elevation gain, and an estimated (conservative) completion time are essential pieces of information when planning a trip, and are not included here. While the difficulties of the various routes are described well, these other descriptors would make the book twice as good as it is now. Dawson's format, at the beginning of each route description, listing the aforementioned deficiencies (with the exception of the maps) is excellent. From the guidebooks I've looked at though, this is the best available.
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50 of 54 people found the following review helpful By "intivar" on August 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
Porcella and Burn's book is really the only book about climbing California 14'ers. It's a great starting point for climbing in the state with extensive historical sections and nearly every available route up each of the 14'ers in the state. In other words, it will get you pointed in the right direction and to the trailhead to do the climb.
Unfortunately, the book is sorely lacking in route description details. The authors say to use both the pictures and descriptions of the routes to make your way up the mountain, but there are cases of descriptions without pictures. The book is most dangerous for beginning to intermediate climbers for its lack of approximate times to each location degree of difficulty, and lack of attention to detail on the "lesser" routes.
Take Mt. Tyndall's Northwest Ridge. It takes a strong hiker about 8 hours just to reach the base. The description describes the route as "easy" and up a twisting rocky trail. In fact, the trail doesn't exist and most of the climb up this ridge requires negotiating large, unstable boulders. The authors do admit the summit ridge is exposed, but do not mention there are some class 3 moves at this point. Without approximate times to the summit there is no way of knowing how long or how difficult the climb is. Furthermore, there is only a description of the climb and not a clear picture of the route. I actually told friends that climbing Mt. Illimani (6400 meters), which required some technical ice climbing, and 4 days of climbing was easier than climbing Mt. Tyndall (approximately 18 hours).
Lack of details are also evident in their poor description of the West Face route of Mt. Williamson. There is no mention of good spots to camp after reaching Shepherds pass.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Candace Scott on October 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
I've climbed three of California's 14,000 foot peaks and this book was very disappointing. There is simply not enough viable information on each of the hikes. There are massive amounts of extraneous material on each peak such as the history of various climbs and minutiae not interesting or relevant to a hiker of today. Every hiker using this book needs to know the difficulty of the hike, the elevation gain, the round-trip distance and details about locating the trailhead. Only the latter point is adequately addressed here.
Take Mt. Whitney, for example. This is the premiere California hike and one of the essential hikes for anyone in North America. The information on Whitney given in this book is extensive but not really useful. I relied on other guide books to direct me to Whitney Portal and give me meaningful information before making the ascent.
The strong area of the book is ample information on altitude acclimazation, the dreadful prospects of developing HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema) and methods of preparing your body for the rigors of high altitude climbing. If you're interested in vicarious climbing or just in the history of each peak, this is a fine book. But if you're an active hiker anticipating or training for these peaks, there are much better books for this purpose.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By geoff@aztec.asu.edu or Geoff Orton on May 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
Very disappointing. Far too much detail on the history of climbs and climbers. Good detail on the approaches to the trailheads. BUT, the actual details on the trails themselves, the most important part, are sadly lacking in information Never a mention of the length of the trails nor the elevation gain. Insufficient landmarks noted and very vague on compass bearing or other vital information such as water availabilty, good camping spots, etc. Good points are the trails noted on the photos of the mountains and the mile-by-mile directions to the trailheads. All the more disappointing that no distances noted for the trails themselves or even how long one might expect to be on one.
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By M. Lilley on May 28, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Route descriptions are very limited, this book really spends a lot of time describing the drive to the trailhead.
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By Jim on September 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is okay. Seeral routes are not described in very good detail nor are the approaches to the routes.
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By David S. Pickavance on July 31, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not a huge amount of detail on each route but there are many, many routes in the book. It's a very good starting place for further research
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By Sierra Climber on July 29, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book was indispensable in getting my climbing partner and myself to the top of every one of California's Fourteeners. The guides to the trailhead were spot on and very useful in some of those obscure back-roads. The descriptions of the routes were all helpful and accurate. There were some minor variations, but a certain amount of route-finding skill is expected on any climb that is not a maintained trail/walkup - it's a dynamic environment out there! We were well prepared for every climb, I brought along a copy of the relevant portions of the chapter for each peak. The pages were used a lot on the mountain!
Excellent book!
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