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on May 20, 2003
On a winter vacation to the incredibly beautiful world of Yosemite, I explored the bookstore and found this book. My attraction to human survival stories and mountaineering led me directly to this book sold there. I was not disappointed.
You do not have to know the entire landscape of the local mountains of Yosemite to experience the thrill Walter Starr Jr. explorations and climbing feats. This young, handsome man was captivated by these mountains. His lust for exploration was insurmountable. His family understood his passion, and when he became missing in the Minarets, teams were dispatched to find him, alive or dead.
Mounaineer Norman Clyde embarks on a mission to recover Mr. Starr. The experience is well written, including photographs to augment the recovery experience. The accounts of the recovery are forthcoming and revealing. It is impressive to learn that mountain exploration was boldly embarking and achieving remarkable feats. Those interested in historical mountaineering will not be disappointed.
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on June 11, 2007
This book was a sheer delight for me to read, and I hated to see it end. As a 50+ year Bishop resident who served as an aquatic biologist for the California Department of Fish and Game during much of this time, the book brought back any number of memories and nostalgia for those "days past." Much of my work was done in the Shadow Creek basin in the Lake Ediza area and other tributary lakes to Shadow Creek and close-by drainages. Norman Clyde was a good friend, and we spent many hours discussing things of mutual interest (and there were many of them). During backpacking ventures following WWII, "Starr's Guide to the John Muir Trail and the High Sierra Region" was our guide book. There were no others at that time. William Alsup has done a superb job in researching and writing this marvelous book. I wish there more of them of this quality.
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on March 6, 2012
Missing in the Minarets is more than a journey into the high country of the Sierras, it is a journey into another time in our history. Imagine a Los Angeles without freeways, a Yosemite Valley without traffic or a hiking and climbing community where most of the participants knew each other.

Missing in the Minarets accurately describes the beauty of the high county and some of its early explorers, as well as the social milieu in which the privileged young explorers lived. We are very lucky that those privileged Americans were able to preserve a large portion of our beautiful State for the less privileged who are privileged enough to live here.

Read this book about those times and go hike the locations it describes. When you get far enough off the trail, the locations Alsup describes have not changed, although Gore-Tex, and Vbram have replaced wool and leather and hordes of hikers have replaced the solitary souls Alsup describes.
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on November 30, 2004
Of course, my enjoyment of this book is greatly enhanced because I've spent much of my 50 years visiting, exploring, and at times living in the Eastern Sierra in and around the beautiful Ritter Range and Minarets, where this story unfolds. The fact that I recognized the trails, lakes, mountains, and even precise rocks that these outdoorsmen encountered decades before me, makes this an especially poignant read for me. But the story of Walter Starr Jr., his rugged travels, and the courageous and heart-rending search by his friends and family following his failure to return from a mountain trek, is compelling in any case.

A great story about fascinating people in a wondrous place. A great addition to my Sierra library.
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on January 16, 2016
I found out about this book soaking in a natural hot spring after just having been in the Minarets and a fellow adventurer told me to read this book and I'm so glad he did. It's well written and documented and gave my recent trip a much deeper experience.
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on May 8, 2015
I really liked this book. The book was a nicely written and covered a tragic event, the loss of climber Peter Starr and the effort to find him by the great climber Norman Cylde. It is the kind of book you can read in a day if you like. I nearly did because I could not put it down after I began reading it.
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on October 5, 2005
I never knew about the actual people until I read this book. These people the book discussed where the actual people the Minarets were named for. This story gave me a taste of history, such as the early days of the Sierra Club.

This book talked about the actual events that may have lead to the death of a scholar, Stanford grad, and lawyer. He was from a well-to-do family and he had charisma. The book discusses how this fellow was "called" to the mountains. He loved to be in the mountains.

The determination of one man Norman Clyde (Clyde Minaret is named for) to find him on Michael Minaret.

The book addresses various theories that could have lead to his death. His remains are entombed in the very mountain for where he died.

I really enjoyed this book, although, it was a tragedy. I keep in mind of the details that may have caused this tragic result. This keeps me aware of more things should I ever hiking alone. The book is a good example of why the buddy system is a good idea.
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on September 21, 2002
Original photographs and first-hand information from previously obscure sources allow you to walk with the participants in the search for Walter Starr, Jr. Alsup's original library and mountain research provide solid credibility. A clear sequence of events surrounding field work for Starr's Guide to the John Muir Trail is provided - clear to the present day. The critical role of mountaineer Norman Clyde is shared from Clyde's and others' perspectives. The "Palisade Climbing School" (1931) laid the foundation for future climbing efforts throughout North America. Alsup confuses the term "ducks" (birds) for "dux" (Latin for "this is the way) in reference to rock trail markers. The largest "cathedral" in North America, the Sierra Nevada, is portrayed with respect and a long-term perspective. Missing in the Minarets fills an important niche in our knowledge and understanding of the High Sierra.
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on December 15, 2004
Very moving account of the search for Walter Starr, Jr. The energy and dedication of the searchers (especially Norman Clyde) was truly heroic. Great photos and personal accounts brought the story into clear focus. The Sierras are a wondrous, beautiful place; they are a challenge and even to the experienced climber, can be deadly. This saga brought the "back country" home to me again. Although I know I will never enjoy it first-hand again, I can still visit it vicariously through stories such as this. I heartily endorse this book and encourage any lover of the high country to read it. Thank you.
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on April 7, 2005
I wish there were more books like this about the history of the Sierra and the early explorers. While the book centers on the search for Peter Starr, it is filled with wonderful background on the legendary early mountaineers and explorers of the Sierra. This was one book that ended too soon for me.
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