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Select Peaks of Greater Yellowstone: A Mountaineering History & Guide Paperback – December 3, 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


A masterpiece. One of the great books ever written about Greater Yellowstone! I can't say enough good things. --Ralph Maughan, Pocatello, ID

What a fine book. A gift to the community that will sharpen discourse and inspire lots of trips. --Jack Turner, Jackson, WY

Ultimate armchair reading for a mountaineer, ultimate inspiration, ultimate trip planning--simply ULTIMATE! --Lou Dawson, Carbondale, CO

From the Inside Flap

Open this book and embark on a trail toward one of Greater Yellowstone’s most spectacular peaks. As the trail climbs a steep fault scarp, a guttural rumble and the smell of sulfur emanate from a nearby spring providing an inkling of the sometimes fierce mechanisms that shape the landscape just a short distance underground. You ponder your options should an earthquake shake loose a steep canyon outcrop or God forbid should the Yellowstone caldera erupt again. Leaving the trail, thick brush and loose rock underscore your vulnerability. Even while thrashing, you hear a large animal exhaling and sticks cracking in the thicket. Senses sharpened, you scan the periphery and assume your place in the food chain. At tree line, a cold wind penetrates your sweaty undergarments and you envy the faculties of native people who once thrived on this harsh land. Sensing approval from their spirits, license is yours to continue into the alpine zone. Centuries-old stories about man and mountains replay at the first touch of your skin to the cold rock. Lungs and muscles throbbing, you reach the summit and peer across the landscape at other interesting mountains. Rapturous ruminations resonate from those who stood there before. You descend through rock slides, snowfields, and verdant meadows anxious to turn the page and plan your next adventure.

Select Peaks of Greater Yellowstone acquaints the uninitiated and dazzles the veteran with a treatise on mountain climbing and skiing in one of Earth’s most unique and spectacular regions. In the introduction, learn how to behave around moose and bears, and discover the geologic marvels of Teton bedrock, Gros Ventre limestone, and Absaroka volcanics. Find out what drove trappers and explorers like Osborne Russell, Ferdinand Hayden, and Thomas Bannon to the icy summits. Delve into the details of controversial first ascents by Captain Bonneville, John C. Frémont, Nathaniel Langford, and James Stevenson. And hear the adventures of early recreational mountaineers like William Owen, Elers Koch, Paul Petzoldt, and Kenneth Henderson.

The chapters that follow cover Greater Yellowstone’s thirteen primary mountain ranges and feature 107 of the region’s highest, most beautiful, and most interesting peaks. Studies of each peak illustrate outstanding physical attributes, place-name history, exciting stories from early climbers and skiers, and guidebook-style information for energetic readers who aspire to reach summits. This aggregation of ranges and peaks reveals the great diversity of Greater Yellowstone’s mountains, and the accompanying stories of human adventure serve to inspire us all.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Indomitus Books (December 3, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0974561908
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974561905
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 8 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,640,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Roommate and myself read this page to page,out loud to one another all winter.
More like a bible if your heart is in the hills.

I will say its not something you take with you INTO the mountains. It's bulky, and full of information about pioneers routes, generic information and access. That said, you'll have to get topos, and do the legwork on research.

It's more a tool of inspiration, and it does that in spades.
It also mentions other nearby peaks that are not covered in as much detail, so it's great for learning about middle child peaks who don't get as much love as they deserve.
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Format: Paperback
This book has an extraordinary amount of information in its 490 pages, presented in a small and not-particularly-easy-to-read font. It's really two books, or perhaps three: a little natural history, a lot of mountaineering history, and a climbing guide. As a result, the book isn't really clear about what it wants to be.

The mountaineering history dominates the first half of the books. It's descriptive and fact-oriented, without strong frames or narratives. Turiano is a "good enough" writer to make it readable but not great enough to make it riveting. Much of the material would be more useful as reference than as a read.

The "guide" part of the book emphasizes trophy peaks. Turiano prefers winter routes because he guides the Tetons in the summer and only gets to the other peaks in winter. He's also a passionate ski mountaineer. If you're not a local, though, you're probably visiting in summer. The routes are duly mentioned, but there's a lot of information the summer visitor doesn't need about the ski descents. Still, this book provides information not necessarily available elsewhere to help you up and down the mountain.

I found the book most interesting in its breadth of treatment. It includes all the ranges of the region, including some you may not know are there. Turiano's 5-10 page overview of each range is both interesting and helpful.

Right now it's the best reference I know of. If you want to climb in the Greater Yellowstone, you certainly need this book on the shelf. But there is room for a better book to come along and supplant it.
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Format: Paperback
My idea of UTOPIA is to have enough time in my life to visit, climb and ski ALL the places in this book!!
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