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The High Sierra: Peaks, Passes, and Trails Paperback – March, 1992
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Top Customer Reviews
The pictures are particularly good this time around, with many of the important routes sketched in. Many climbers will prefer to simply take along a copy of the picture (first getting the publisher's permission, of course) rather than the written description.
No matter what your reasons are for venturing into the high country, this book should satisfy all your planning and informational needs, and then some. An unfortunate byproduct is that--at over 460 pages and 2 pounds--few people will want to carry it on their backcountry trips.
Simply put, Secor writes excellent guidebooks, and his experience shows. If I have any quibble with his present effort, it is that a number of the climbing routes are unnecessarily detailed and descriptive, leaving little for the first-timer to discover for himself. However, I have heard others say that many route descriptions are too skimpy for their liking, so you just can't please everyone.
This book is meant for off-trail travel and technical climbing (and mostly the latter). If you really only want to stick to the trail it's the wrong guide, but the nice thing about the Sierra is that it's easy to leave the trail. I'm not a technical climber, but because the book is very comprehensive there's still lots of interesting stuff for me. It has shown me a side of the Sierrra that, being not familiar with this part of the US at all, I probably would not have seen otherwise.
But I find myself wishing for a bit more. How many peaks are in there with a two-sentence review like, "First Ascent: May 13, 1897 by Elmore and Paola Bohunk. Peak X is class 2 from the north ridge." All this is true, but I could go for more detailed route descriptions of approaches, routes, and of the views from the summit. Some mountains aren't great climbs, but they have good views.
On the other hand, the book is already too heavy for most people to backpack with. Secor must have been tempted to add info and split the book into multiple volumes; I think he should keep entertaining that option. I would probably buy them all.
In summary, this book is NOT the one-stop-shop for trip planning in the Sierras. I invariably find myself scouring the web for additional, more detailed information than in Secor. But it is a truly unique resource, and I think it's unfortunate to criticize it too much for what it omits.
If, however, you're looking to get into the wilderness and do some adventure climbing/heavy hiking, this book is perfect. Secor must assume his readers are intelligent and have the necessary skills for backcountry travel, navigation and route finding.
The book is best as a general trip planning guide that one may supplement with other sources of information where more detail is wanted. Wouldn't take it on the trail with me, due to weight.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great reference, but know that it covers an incredible number of passes, peaks, etc. So, it doesn't go in depth into much.Published 3 months ago by P. Sumner
This seems to be the bible of climbing and mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada mountains. I cannot describe how much it has helped me. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Roboto
This is the classic reference book for hiking in the Sierra. It's a reference book not a narrative. It's organized by sub-region and provides detailed information about the items... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
Maybe it's my bad but it bought this product thinking it was a trail guide.Published 13 months ago by Jason
This classic is exhaustive in its detail. An invaluable guide to treks off trail and on granite in the range of light. Second to none.Published 13 months ago by Kenneth Bradford
Bought this book for backpacking and cross-country travel trips rather than climbing. Excellent handbook for route planning especially for off trail travel and navigating routes up... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Christina
exactly what you expect from a mountaineers guidebook. Had no chance to check it against reality, will do this on a few trips in July 2015.Published 15 months ago by urs7288