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1. Don't Waste Your Time in the Canadian
$16.32 list($24.00)
2. Nature Noir : A Park Ranger's
$21.75 $13.49 list($32.95)
3. Grand Canyon on My Mind (On My
$4.99 list($26.96)
4. Beyond the Deep: The Deadly Descent
$32.55 $21.95 list($35.00)
5. Distant Mountains: Encounters
$13.57 $13.16 list($19.95)
6. Field Guide To The Sandia Mountains
$11.16 $11.15 list($13.95)
7. Polar Dream: The First Solo Expedition
$21.95 $18.61
8. The Catskill Park: Inside the
$20.00 $13.29
9. Berkshire Stories: History, Nature,
$12.71 $10.01 list($14.95)
10. Adirondack Waterfall Guide: New
$16.32 list($24.00)
11. Losing the Garden : The Story
$15.64 $15.13 list($23.00)
12. Climbing Brandon: Science and
$10.85 $10.47 list($15.95)
13. Highpoint Adventures : The Complete
$15.30 $15.20 list($22.50)
14. Song of the Alpine: The Rocky
$22.95 $1.50
15. Blue Mountains Far Away: Journeys
$9.95 $4.95
16. Mountains of the Great Blue Dream
$14.87 list($17.50)
17. Gotta Hike B.C.: Premier Trails
$10.17 $2.30 list($14.95)
18. In the Shadow of Denali: Life
$10.88 $1.95 list($16.00)
19. The Adirondacks: A History of
20. Mountain High, Mountain Rescue

1. Don't Waste Your Time in the Canadian Rockies: The Opinionated Hiking Guide
by Kathy Copeland, Craig Copeland
list price: $30.95
our price: $30.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0968941974
Catlog: Book (2004-07)
Publisher: Hikingcamping.Com
Sales Rank: 134277
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Book Description

This all-new, fifth edition describes 138 dayhikes and backpack trips in Banff, Jasper, Kootenay, Yoho, and Waterton national parks, as well as Mt. Robson and Assiniboine provincial parks. Here’s the discerning advice you need to create rewarding adventures. This guide rates and reviews trips as Premier, Outstanding, Worthwhile, or Don’t Do. 260 colour photos reveal this stunning wilderness. Trail maps for each trip enhance the comprehensive route descriptions ... Read more

2. Nature Noir : A Park Ranger's Patrol in the Sierra
by Jordan Fisher Smith
list price: $24.00
our price: $16.32
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Asin: 0618224165
Catlog: Book (2005-02-08)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Sales Rank: 193661
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Book Description

Nature Noir is the story — part Barry Lopez, part James Ellroy — of Jordan Fisher Smith"s fourteen years as a park ranger on a huge tract of government land in the Sierras. As Fisher Smith learns on his first patrol, the wildness in this place tends toward the human kind: desperate miners who scour canyons for gold, bad guys who look like armed rock-and-roll musicians, extreme recreators who enjoy combining motorcycles, parachutes, and high bridges.
This gorgeous land along the American River is destined to be drowned by a huge federal dam, a paradox that colors every day of Fisher Smith"s patrol. The story of life here becomes, among other things, an extraordinary litany of violence and death; dozens of people lost their lives in the canyons of the American River on Fisher Smith"s beat. In one surreal, heart-stopping scene, he comes across the corpse of a woman jogger, killed and partly eaten by a mountain lion — the first Californian to die in that way since the nineteenth century.
Nature Noir illuminates some startling truths about America"s wild lands. And, like Terry Tempest Williams"s Refuge, it feels like the most original new western voice and story to appear for some time.
... Read more

3. Grand Canyon on My Mind (On My Mind Series)
list price: $32.95
our price: $21.75
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Asin: 1560449691
Catlog: Book (2000-04-01)
Publisher: Falcon
Sales Rank: 717526
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

One of the most awesome natural wonders on earth, the Grand Canyon has for generations challenged artists to capture it myriad moods and unveil its many faces. Here, in stunning color, are the best efforts of some of the nation's most creative contemporary photographers to do just that--in every light and every season. Here are slender spires and giant buttresses of rock, rising from the abyss to tell their story of the ages. Here is the tempestuous Colorado River, filling the canyon with its timeless song. And here are the hardy people, flora, and fauna that live and play in the depths and on the rims of this celebrated chasm. Augmenting the photos are the eloquent observations of some of the canyon's most ardent admirers. In these pages, you will come to know the canyon in all its grandeur--and you will never cease to be inspired by the experience. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Here are depicted the towering canyon walls
Through an informative text enhanced by a wealth of 130 beautiful, breathtaking, color photographs, Grand Canyon On My Mind reveals one of the most awesome natural wonders on earth -- the Grand Canyon, carved out over eons of time by the wild Colorado River. Here are depicted the towering canyon walls, the superb sunsets, the river, and the total grandeur of the canyon in all its aspects by some of the Grand Canyon's most ardent and articulate admirers. Grand Canyon On My Mind is a very highly recommended addition to any and all community library collections and would make an ideal "Memorial Fund" acquisition selection. ... Read more

4. Beyond the Deep: The Deadly Descent Into the World's Most Treacherous Cave
by Monte Paulsen, William Stone, Barbara am Ende
list price: $26.96
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Asin: 0446527092
Catlog: Book (2002-07)
Publisher: Warner Books
Sales Rank: 60011
Average Customer Review: 4.31 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Huautla in Mexico is the deepest cave in the Western Hemisphere, possibly the world. Shafts reach skyscraper-depths, caverns are stadium-sized, and sudden floods can drown divers in an instant. With a two-decade obsession, William Stone and his 44-member team entered the sinkhole at Sotano de San Augustin. The first camp settled 2,328 feet below ground in a cavern where headlamps couldn't even illuminate the walls and ceiling. The second camp teeter-ed precariously above an underground canyon where two subterranean rivers collided. But beyond that lay the unknown territory-a flooded corridor that had blocked all previous comers, claimed a diver's life, and drove the rest of the team back. Except for William Stone and Barbara am Ende, who forged on for 18 more days, with no hope of rescue, to set the record for the deepest cave dive in the Western Hemisphere. ... Read more

Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars Further Than Beyond
At one time I was a skinnier human being and I occasionally went caving. I never learned to use equipment for vertical caving and I only went through one sump [or 'near sump' as the book would describe it] in all my years of caving. But I can tell you that being underground was one of the biggest thrills of my life, especially when it appeared that I might be entering virgin cave. Beyond The Deep by William Stone and Barbara am Ende with Monte Paulsen should convey the trials and thrills involved with caving to anyone who reads it. Beyond The Deep is an evenhanded book, addressing the concerns of all of the people involved with the 1994 effort to push the Huatla Cave System to it's deepest. I am especially glad that it doesn't suffer from the blaming I found in the book No Apparent Danger. If you like a good adventure [even if you're claustrophobic], I highly recommend Beyond The Deep.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Good Adventure Read
If you like adventure books about places that you have no intention of going yourself (as in Jon Krakauer's "Into Thin Air"), you will like this book. Like Jon's book, this book tells the story of extreme adventurers who journey into a place that most of us would not attempt to go, and find danger and success along the way.

Bill Stone is obsessed with caving, and Huautla cave system in Mexico in particular. According to the account in the book, he spends years developing a device that allows him to stay underwater far longer than traditional oxygen tanks allow, opening up the opportunity to explore caves that contain long passageways full of water.

In this expedition, his team explores a cave that is one of the deepest in the world, but most of the cave has been undiscovered due to the long passages full of water. The story is interesting, full of danger, and even has a good ending as Bill and his friend Barbara am Ende push past the water-filled sections to new discoveries deep underground.

I enjoyed this book, and it tells the straight-forward story well. However, there are side issues that are not fully explained, such as why so many team members gave up and quit before the expedition had reached it's goal. I also find myself wondering what was so great about walking through subterranian passageways that were usually filled with water. At no point did the author indicate that these passageways were beautiful or even interesting, just undiscovered. At least on the top of Everest, the view is great!

Read it anyway. You will appreicate having a dry bed at night after reading this book.

3-0 out of 5 stars I Really Wanted to Like This Book...
I really wanted to like this book but I found myself struggling to finish it. No doubt, the experience itself was immeasurably exciting / interesting, but the book was, well, kind of boring.

It could have easily been half the length and not lost much, and as another reviewer indicated, I never really got a feel for what is so great about crawling though caves. I'm sure it IS great, at least to those who are as into it as these people are, but I didn't get why or how from the book. I also found the third-person writing style a bit contrived, somehow.

If you DID like this book, I would highly recommend 'The Last Dive' which is in a similar vein but I found very exciting and extremely well written.

4-0 out of 5 stars DIVING INTO DISASTER
Fascinating book about the ultimate 'adventure' junkies-- who explore the world's most treacherous cave in Mexico. An amazing crew of people. What's so unusual is that these are divers-- deep see divers, not just guys and gals who go down into the cave on ropes or climb rocks. They call themselves CAVERS -- details make the true-life adventure come alive. What's disturbing though is that lives were lost on this expedition and the authors tend to gloss over those lost in their quest for the ultimate experiences. Cinematic and even outrageous tale of diving into disaster.

4-0 out of 5 stars What Drives Divers To Descend To Unbelievable Depths?
What is it that drives cave explorers to descend to unbelievable depths, as if they were involved in an international game of subterranean chess?

Perhaps the clues are to be found within the pages of a book entitled Beyond The Deep that chronicles the breathtaking 1994 San Agustin Expedition as told from the perspective of Bill Stone and Barbara am Ende.
Much of the information was gleaned from their logbooks, diaries, and recollections, as well as from dozens of interviews conducted by their co-author Monte Paulsen.

In 1977, 1979 and 1981 cave divers were unsuccessful in exploring the San Agustin sump or the underground tunnel that was flooded entirely with water. This sump is the deepest point in a cave known as Sistema Huautla, Oaxaca, Mexico.

Many of the difficulties were the result of using traditional equipment as well as the inability to effectively transport the supplies and gear necessary to accomplish this incredible feat.

In 1994 international exploring expert Bill Stone completed the constructing of an closed cycle life support system or as he termed it a "rebreather." This piece of apparatus was called the Mk-ll.

This would permit the cavers and divers to explore the San Agustin Sump far longer than anyone was able to accomplish in the past.

It was Stone's contention that the problem was primarily a technological challenge. Once this was overcome, the rest would fall into place.

The next step entailed the meticulous organization of the various components of the team.
There was expedition leader Stone, six dive team members, 35 support team participants and 5 members of the photo team.

These individuals wanted to "place their own boot where no one hand before." According to Stone, "every member had made enormous personal sacrifices in the pursuit of this elusive grail. They'd left family behind for a third of a year; had trained relentlessly for two years just to get there; had gone deeply into debt; and were subjecting themselves daily to physical hardships."

Why do it? Perhaps Stone sums it up when he asserts, "after so many years of struggle, he'd found the route, the secret doorway to the gaping, unexplored beyond."

One of the shortcomings of the book is the extensive use of technical jargon. The authors did indicate in the introduction that they have substituted common words for technical jargon wherever possible.

However, unfortunately, far too often I had to refer to the glossary at the back of the book to understand a paragraph or sentence. No doubt this deflated some of the suspense of the saga. ... Read more

5. Distant Mountains: Encounters With the World's Greatest Mountains (Discovery Channel Books)
by John Cleare, Discovery Channel
list price: $35.00
our price: $32.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679462554
Catlog: Book (1998-10-14)
Publisher: Discovery Books
Sales Rank: 960575
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Drawing on more than 40 years of experience in the high country, photographer John Cleare has paired some of his finest images with inspired essays from renowned mountaineers to produce Distant Mountains, a tour among some of the world's most spectacular peaks. The writing--impressively engaging for a large-photography format--combines the genre's contemporary and classic writers, from Nicholas Crane, recipient of the 1993 Royal Scottish Geographical Society's Mungo Park medal, to late African explorer H.W. Tilman. A host of other notables fill the pages, telling of ascents in Scotland, the Alps, Patagonia, east Africa, the Canadian Rockies, India, Pakistan, the Peruvian Andes, the Pyrenees, the southwestern United States, and, of course, Nepal.

Distant Mountains is more an inspirational photographic and literary showcase than a guidebook, although a brief factfile is tucked at the end of each essay section. The factfiles include a map and background of the mountain region described, recommended access, and climbing and trekking ideas--enough to motivate the serious mountaineer to further inquiry.

There is plenty here to elevate the reader to the high snows, but rather than provide a fresh look at the great peaks and those who climb, it maintains a retrospective feel throughout. Still, this is an engaging work, sure to catapult readers from the armchair into the foothills. --Byron Ricks ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
Incredible stories and photography. Inspirational ... Read more

6. Field Guide To The Sandia Mountains
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
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Asin: 0826336671
Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
Sales Rank: 89018
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Book Description

Each year over 2 million visitors to New Mexico’s Sandia Mountains enjoy more than 100 miles of trails, hiking, climbing, running, biking, skiing, and birding, as well as viewing the mountains from hang gliders and hot air balloons. This guide will assist visitors in discovering the diverse natural features of the Sandias.Field Guide to the Sandia Mountains includes sections on ecology, including weather and fire, geology, flora (grasses, flowers, trees) and fauna (arthropods, reptiles and amphibians, birds, mammals), and recreational opportunities. Plant keys and fauna checklists add to the book’s features.

Rather than a comprehensive field guide, the selections offer the most commonly encountered species in each category, presenting information on just over 100 species of flowers, for example, among almost 500 species that can be found in the mountains.

A labor of love conceived by the Sandia Ranger District and the New Mexico Friends of the Forest (now known as Friends of the Sandia Mountains), this book is a resource no visitor to the Sandias should be without. ... Read more

7. Polar Dream: The First Solo Expedition by a Woman and Her Dog to the Magnetic North Pole
by Helen Thayer, Edmund, Sir Hillary
list price: $13.95
our price: $11.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0939165457
Catlog: Book (2002-08-01)
Publisher: NewSage Press
Sales Rank: 42460
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars I can't believe she did the whole thing!
I am a big fan of stories of arctic adventure, and this is one of the best. In this day of snow mobiles and ATVs, we have a woman at 50 -- author Helen Thayer -- setting out to walk to the magnectic north pole, pulling her own sled and accompanied by an Inuit dog she had only known for a couple of days. On her first day out, she suffers such terrible frostbite of her fingers they become almost useless. (I would have called it quits right there.) Then come polar bears -- one of the world's most deadliest creatures. And they keep on coming. Some curious, some life-threatening. But, she continues on her amazing journey not for fame or fortune, but for scientific information for her program Adventure Classroom. There are some fantastic photos included and very helpful maps. Her writing style is breezy and compelling. It's triumph of the human spirit and the bonding of a dog and companion. What a terrific book.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Explorer and Her Dog
An extraordinary true story of courage, determination and fortitude. Every chapter not only contains the wow factor but is an illustration of what the human spirit is capable of. Thayer is an accomplished writer who keeps the reader wanting more. An incredible story of a woman and her faithful dog Charlie, as they endure the hardships of polar travel on foot together with no dog teams or snowmobiles or resupply.
Sue White
Edmonton, Canada

5-0 out of 5 stars Described in vivid, engaging detail
Polar Dream is the personal memoir of Helen Thayer, the first woman (and the oldest person at age 50) to travel on foot, unresupplied, to the magnetic North Pole. Her harrowing trek on skis for 27 days, aided only by a dog trained to warn her of approaching bears, is described in vivid, engaging detail, as are her seven encounters with polar bears which she survived through skill, luck and quick thinking. Black-and-white photographs, including ones taken by the author during her trek, enhanced a narrative of profound insights into the beauty and wildness of the arctic. Readers who appreciate true life adventure will enjoy the excitement and wonder of Helen Thayer's Polar Dream.

5-0 out of 5 stars Overcome,Never Quit, and Win
I first read this book in a German translation and then attended a lecture in New York by Helen Thayer, the author. Because of her amazing world wide adventures from the Polar Regions, to the deserts and the Amazon rain forest I expected someone six-feet tall. Instead I listened as this five-feet-three-inch diminutive dynamo enthralled her audience with her solo walk to the magnetic North Pole at 50 years old and her subsequent adventures including a trek of almost 1,500 miles across the Gobi desert last year at 63 years old.
Polar Dream, the story of her solo walk to the magnetic North Pole with her Inuit dog Charlie is invigorating, with a down to earth humble look at life.
Charlie is loyaly devoted to Helen and saves her life from a polar bear. Polar Dream has been available for ten years. The first edition was excellent and the second edtion is even better with many more photos. I bought 14 books in English, 4 books in German, and one in Dutch for Christmas presents and all recipients are inspired and can't wait for Thayer's next book.
The fast moving, highly descriptive story is sentitive and not afraid to expose vulnerable inner thoughts and feelings.
This is a great book for men and women as proven by my Christmas gift list.
And kudos to wonderful Charlie, Helen's devoted dog-assitant and life saver on the journey.

5-0 out of 5 stars This Real Life Story Gave Me Back My Life
Without a snowmobile, dog team or resupply, Helen Thayer walked and skied alone to the Magnetic North Pole with her Eskimo dog Charlie. This true story of the trust that bonded woman and canine companion together is a classic. Frostbite, storms, broken sea ice, a tent fire, near starvation, and polar bears, never deterred this amazing five-feet-three-inch, 50 year old woman from her goal. A recent shattering crisis in my life left me without hope until a friend gave me this book. It changed my life, enabling me to set a goal, look ahead with optimism and never give up just as Helen Thayer did in her quest to reach the M.N.Pole. Her writing style is fast moving and delightfully descriptive and portrays a humble down to earth individual who absolutely adores her Charlie who saved her life from a polar bear. The writing style makes you feel as if you are right there traveling with Helen and Charlie. This second edition has many more photos than the first and the updated first chapter and the new Epilogue enhance an already great book. A definite must read! ... Read more

8. The Catskill Park: Inside the Blue Line
by Norman J. Van Valkenburgh, Thomas Teich, Christopher Olney, Russell Dunn
list price: $21.95
our price: $21.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1883789427
Catlog: Book (2004-10)
Publisher: Black Dome Press
Sales Rank: 192628
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Book Description

History of New York State's 1,100-square-mile Catskill Park (established 1904) and Catskill Forest Preserve (established 1885), one of the earliest experiments in conservation in the United States, wherein wildlands coexist with private property within the "blue line" of the Catskill Park. Features 32 pages of color photographs, more than 70 historical & contemporary B&W photos, and the Carpenter Report, an "inventory" of the Catskill Mountains in 1886. ... Read more

9. Berkshire Stories: History, Nature, People, Conservation
by Morgan, Sr. Bulkeley, Morgan, Jr. Bulkeley
list price: $20.00
our price: $20.00
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Asin: 1584200286
Catlog: Book (2004-08)
Publisher: Lindisfarne Books
Sales Rank: 94136
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10. Adirondack Waterfall Guide: New York's Cool Cascades
by Russell Dunn, C. Russell Dunn
list price: $14.95
our price: $12.71
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Asin: 1883789370
Catlog: Book (2003-09-01)
Publisher: Black Dome Press
Sales Rank: 46964
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Book Description

Over 70 waterfalls, maps, illustrations, detailed keys and insiders guide to Adirondack waterfalls.From roadside views to wilderness treks and canoe paddles, author Russell Dunn has selected explorations for every level of ability.Includes hikes from Tupper Lake, Lake Placid, Westport, Crown Point, Ticonderoga, Long Lake, Indian Lake, Speculator, Northville, Luzerne, Wells, Lake Goerge and everything in between. ... Read more

11. Losing the Garden : The Story of a Marriage
by Laura Waterman
list price: $24.00
our price: $16.32
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Asin: 1593760485
Catlog: Book (2005-03-12)
Publisher: Shoemaker & Hoard
Sales Rank: 892994
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Book Description

In 1971 Laura and Guy Waterman decided to give up all the conveniences of life and homestead-living on the land in a cabin in the mountains of Vermont. For nearly three decades they ate food they grew themselves, and used no running water or electricity. It was an extreme that most of us can only imagine sustaining for a week or two. The end of their marriage came on February 6, 2000 when Guy climbed to the summit of Mount Lafayette in New Hampshire's White Mountains and sat down among the rocks to die. Losing the Garden is the memoir of a woman who was compelled to ask herself "How could I stand by and watch my husband commit suicide?" It is an intimate examination of intricate and dark family histories and of a marriage that tried to transcend them. Laura's father was a pre-eminent scholar whose brilliance was muddied by alcoholism. Guy Waterman lost two of his sons. In Losing the Garden, Laura Waterman comes to terms with her husband's depression and his complex nature. Her account of her marriage, seen as idyllic, but riddled from within, is nonetheless a love story, and an affirmation of life after loss. ... Read more

12. Climbing Brandon: Science and Faith on Ireland's Holy Mountain
by Chet Raymo
list price: $23.00
our price: $15.64
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0802714331
Catlog: Book (2004-04-01)
Publisher: Walker & Company
Sales Rank: 36390
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13. Highpoint Adventures : The Complete Guide to the 50 State Highpoints
by Charlie Winger, Diane Winger
list price: $15.95
our price: $10.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0967146631
Catlog: Book (2002-03-01)
Publisher: Colorado Mountain Club Press
Sales Rank: 103553
Average Customer Review: 4.73 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars easy, fun reading
This book is terrific for anyone interested in not only technical hiking/climbing, but those of us who like to see the country and visit interesting places, while hiking also. The sense of humor in this book is great! And, there is a wealth of information that is very valuable. Anyone who travels around the US should own this book and keep it with them while traveling!

5-0 out of 5 stars A different way to see the USA
What a fun concept! Travel around the country to the highest places rather than the best-known places. This book has good information about hiking, plus interesting tidbits about things to do near the high points of each state. The authors obviously enjoy travel, and give really clear descriptions of how to get places. Plus, I was able to "climb vicariously" by reading about their adventures on difficult mountains that I would never try to climb myself.

5-0 out of 5 stars Informative, accurate, and entertaining
I had climbed 8 highpoints before I got this book, and have climbed 37 (including repeats of 6 of the original 8) since. The driving and hiking instructions have all been right on the money. On the "repeats", I've found 3 where this book gave me a much better route than I had worked out from my maps. It provides information to legally visit the state highpoints which are on private property. It even lists the highpoints that are wheelchair accessible, which was great when I wanted to take a friend to a highpoint.

I'm sure I'll never climb Mt. McKinley in Alaska, but I really enjoyed reading about the details of climbing it and the tips from the authors, who are obviously very experienced hikers and climbers.

I also enjoy visiting the places of interest that are listed with each chapter. Plus, the little jokes and humorous asides are great fun. I've literally read the book cover-to-cover (not a usual thing to do with a guidebook).

If you are at all interested in visiting the highest elevation in your state or other parts of the country, I highly recommend this entertaining book.

5-0 out of 5 stars tidbits of info, tons of directions!
I liked the little tidbits of information that come with each chapter. The approach directions are right on, as far as I've experienced, and the hiking directions are good too. I enjoyed the personal anecdotes. That is what this hobby seems to be all about, the experience of getting to the top of each state, not just the hike itself.

2-0 out of 5 stars Why did I buy this book?
This book contains driving directions to the trailheads, but this is information easily obtained from any road map. Beyond that there are BRIEF descriptions of a single route to the summit (whatever the author chose, not necessarily the most interesting). Finally, if the summit can be driven up, there are NO descriptions for hiking the mountain. Why would anyone buy this book? ... Read more

14. Song of the Alpine: The Rocky Mountain Tundra Through the Seasons
by Joyce Gellhorn
list price: $22.50
our price: $15.30
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1555662803
Catlog: Book (2002-10-01)
Publisher: Johnson Books
Sales Rank: 120818
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Celebrating her life-long love for the "land above the trees," author Joyce Gellhorn takes readers on a season-by-season tour of the alpine tundra. With clear, readable prose and 140 beautiful color photographs (from her collection that spans some twenty-five years), Gellhorn reveals the subtle wonders of this haunting landscape. The plants and animals that populate this often harsh and unforgiving environment have evolved remarkable strategies for survival in their high mountain home. Faced with bitter cold, scouring winds and fierce storms, they must somehow hold on and still find water and nourishment. Gellhorn tells us how they do it, and the intricacies and precariousness of these strategies are astonishing.

The high country of the Colorado Rocky Mountains has been a destination and a home for Joyce Gellhorn for more than fifty years, including some twelve years spent living with her family at the University of Colorado’s research station, Science Lodge—a log cabin at 9,500 feet. Like the snow that would sift through the chinks in the cabin, the alpine, despite its harshness, captured her heart.

She writes: "The clear mountain air, the scenery, the invigorating feeling of physical activity, and the fascinating plants, animals, and insects captivated me. Through the years, these wind-blown forlorn places continue to excite me. It is their wildness—untamed and unpredictable. No matter how many times I visit the alpine, even areas I know intimately, it always shows a different face." ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous book, but not just a pretty face
This is a gorgeous, fact filled book, but hard to classify. Joyce Gellhorn is an adventurous women - one of the women backpackers interviewed in Susan Alcorn's book, We're in the Mountains, Not Over the Hill: Tales and Tips From Seasoned Women Backpackers. Song of the Alpine tells how at the age of 15, Joyce Gellhorn and her sister decided to climb all of Colorado's 14,000 foot peaks, starting with Longs Peak. The author was hooked on the high tundra country, and made a career of it, getting a Ph.D. in botany, with a specialty in plant ecology. Her book is beautiful, glossy paged, lots of color photos, but by the end of it you realize that you have also picked up a huge amount of factual information - the physics of thunderstorms, the winter habits of pikas, wet snow and dry snow avalanches, early mountain climbers - worth the price just for the pika photos.

5-0 out of 5 stars Song of the Alpine
Joyce Gellhorn is a botanist, a science teacher, a gifted photographer and a passionate observer and explorer of the natural world. She has combined these talents with fine writing in her book, "Song of the Alpine". This book is a treasure for anyone who has wandered the fragile and exquisite land above the trees whether in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado (Gellhorn's home) or high peaks anywhere in the world. Ever wonder how the tiny alpine flowers survive in the rocky alpine terrains? How the ptarmagin manage not only to survive but actually to gain weight during the long, harsh winters? Why when spring comes to the Rockies, yellow and grey butterflies (Rocky Mountain parnassian) swarm the meadows of yellow flowers (stone crop)? "Song of the Alpine" illustrates and explains these fascinating adaptions and interactions and symbiotic relationships. Gellhorn's book includes over 140 photographs to accompany her text. The book is a guide and an inspiration to the reader. Gellhorn asks us to bear witness: to observe the dance of the tiniest insects, to study the amazing design of a snow crystal and to experience the grand symphony of the alpine weather in all seasons. This book teaches us that the more we can know of the natural world, the more we will experience the song and the joy that Gellhorn so eloquently evokes.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Stirring Portrayal of a Magical Place
Song and of the Alpine presents fascinating details about plant and animal survival in North America's harshest and most scenic landscape: how ptarmigan burrow into the snow to survive frigid winter nights, how sky pilots use their skunky smell to attract pollinators, how the bright yellow petals of snow buttercups act as solar collectors. Lyrical prose depicting the flow of the seasons and struggle for survival weaves these ecological insights together. Lovely color photographs of wildflowers, butterflies, wildlife, and dramatic weather events accompany the text. I will read this book over and over, and I will carry it with me whenever I go camping in the high country. ... Read more

15. Blue Mountains Far Away: Journeys into the American Wilderness
by Gregory McNamee
list price: $22.95
our price: $22.95
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Asin: 1585740144
Catlog: Book (2000-06-01)
Publisher: The Lyons Press
Sales Rank: 1203675
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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To live in the vast American Southwest is to understand, writes Gregory McNamee, who lives near Tucson, that "you cannot find a landscape that is not bordered, somewhere, by a blue fringe of mountains." Hence the title of this superb collection of 13 essays that wander the landscape those mountains define. These are meditations on exploration inward and out that revel in nature, honor the environment, touch the land, ponder science and art, contemplate religion, and, with an almost alchemical touch, make big moments small and understandable and small moments big and awesome. The essay "Walking," for instance, is a pointed antidote to the hurly-burly on the surface most of us inhabit:

"Solvitur ambulando," Saint Jerome was fond of saying. To solve a problem, walk around. Walk until your shoe leather falls off, until no moleskin patch can save the tattered remnants of your heels--only walk, walk as only a human can until the mysteries of the ages unravel before you.
There is a lot of walking in these pages--up mountain trails, beside rivers, over deserts, along paths. Indeed, walking is a continuous thread. "To live in the desert requires a certain kind of madness," McNamee writes, "that is epidemic out this way. To wander off into that desert, alone or in company, is to test the very limits of one's endurance and to tempt the end of one's tenure on this otherwise green planet." The point?"Such ventures make us human.... We were made to wander afoot.... and we were made to keep moving. When we settle down, it seems, we tend as a species to become nastier rather than more civilized." For McNamee, these walks within the perimeter of the blue mountains keep him at least civilized if not wholly sane. His evocations are meant to lead us down paths toward blue mountains of our own. --Jeff Silverman ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars A small package of brilliance
McNamee's heartfelt essays of humankind's relationship to the natural world are beautifully and poetically written, and reveal the subleties of the arid American Southwest in much the manner of Edward Abbey, minus the politics. Which is not to say that McNamee does not have strong convictions. His analysis of Las Vegas is searing, as is his detailing of desert development in general. What he points out here is how alive the desert is and how easy it is to miss that aliveness. Those of us who have lived here a long time still learn from these uplifting letters.

5-0 out of 5 stars First read of McNamee
This is my first experience with McNamee's writing, and I thoroughly enjoyed this work. Rarely have I read an environmental work that conveyed so much of the spirit of the Southwest, in such an informative and yet, lighthearted fashion. Here, too, we have blue mountains on the horizon, but they are often obscured by the haze of the the civilization surrounding them. His writing makes me long for the spare uncluttered areas he writes about. It is strange to think of a place where there is so little moisture, since we have so much, yet he makes it come alive.

3-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing effort for McNamee
Tucson resident Gregory McNamee has written some of the best eco-prose about the Southwest, such as _Gila: The Life and Death of an American River_. But this volume was a real disappointment. A collection of essays from Tucson Weekly, North Dakota Quarterly, and other reviews, this book doesn't achieve any sort of meaningful coherence. The large print and brevity (only 161 pages) means that no topic is covered in any depth. The low for me was a glimpse of Howard Hughes, based uncritically on a biography by Michael Drosnin (who has foisted the execrable Bible Code on a gullible public).

This book doesn't give much bang for the buck. Avoid it, and get a paperback copy of _Gila_ instead. ... Read more

16. Mountains of the Great Blue Dream
by Robert Leonard Reid
list price: $9.95
our price: $9.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0826319238
Catlog: Book (1998-10-01)
Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
Sales Rank: 1638386
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Robert Leonard Reid, a well-known writer on alpinism, delights in the satori-inducing dangers of mountaineering. "Once on vertical rock in desert country," he writes in Mountains of the Great Blue Dream, "I reached for a crack, inserted my fingers, stepped up, and stared into the steely eyes of a rattlesnake coiled two feet from my hand." And that's just a start, for this fine collection of essays recounts many other death-defying adventures endured in nights spent pinned to rock walls in howling winds, days battling ice storms and uncooperative ropes. But this is not just a book of macho accomplishment on the high peaks: Reid writes affectionately of the mountain landscapes among which he has walked and climbed, lending his book a rare and welcome poetry. --Gregory McNamee ... Read more

17. Gotta Hike B.C.: Premier Trails in southern British Columbia (Gotta Hike)
by Skye, Lake Nomad, Skye Nomad
list price: $17.50
our price: $14.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0969801688
Catlog: Book (2001-06)
Publisher: Voice in the Wilderness Press
Sales Rank: 681399
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The only book you need to enjoy the most spectacular, exhilarating hikes in southern British Columbia. Discerning trail reviews help you choose your trip. Detailed route descriptions keep you on the path. Includes dayhikes and backpack trips. CoversVancouver Island, BC Coast Mountains, Purcells, Selkirks, and western Canadian Rockies. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars You gotta have Gotta Hike BC
My wife and I took a two-week vacation last September driving from the Rockies to Vancouver. It 's great this guidebook covers all the incredible mountain ranges in southern British Columbia, so we needed only one book. We've hiked often in the Rockies national parks of Alberta, but this book describes hikes in the Rockies that are just west of the parks. And we were usually alone on the trails. Then we hiked in the snowcapped Selkirks of Glacier NP (Canada's not the U.S.). We did a few dayhikes in the Kootenays around Nelson, BC. before heading to the Coast Mtns between Vancouver and Whistler. The hikes were all terrific. And the directions were easy to follow--to the trailheads and on the trail. Gotta Hike was fun to read in the car too. It's a hiking guide with personality. Don't miss getting this book or experiencing the best hikes in B.C. ... Read more

18. In the Shadow of Denali: Life and Death on Alaska's Mt. McKinley
by Jonathan Waterman
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1558217266
Catlog: Book (1998-07-01)
Publisher: The Lyons Press
Sales Rank: 36124
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

For fans of Into Thin Air, here is a gripping narrative that brings to life both the sublime and the struggle of a climbers life.

Two hundred and sixteen miles south of the Arctic circle is Denali, otherwise known as Mt. McKinley, the tallest mountain in North America, rising more than twenty thousand feet into the Alaskan sky. In this exhilarating account, Jonathan Waterman, a former guide on Denali, paints a startlingly intimate portrait of the white leviathan and the people who have lived and died on "The High One." ... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book
"In the Shadow of Denali" is a collection of articles about mountaineering, Alaskan life, and the wilderness. It is the best collection of stories I have read since Krakauer's Eiger Dreams. Although technically about mountain climbing, the heart of this book is the effect the mountain has on the people who visit it, climb it, and live and work in its shadows. This book is not only for climbers (and armchair climbers) but for anyone who loves the wilderness. I hope Waterman writes another book very soon! I highly recommend you read this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible honesty about the mountaineering experience
I've always been fascinated by Denali (Mount McKinley)and its lands, but most literature about the mountain is similar to most other mountain writing: dry hubristic stories that don't give the deep-down-dirty. Much to my surprise, Waterman includes those hidden details of mountain climbing and Northern life in this incredible book. This is a timeless addition to the mountain writing genre, and what I believe is Waterman's best book. If you don't have it on your shelf, get it, read it, and read it again -- then share it with a friend.

5-0 out of 5 stars Uncovering the realism of mountaineering...
A real look into the world of mountaineering that hasn't been glamorized or overly dramatized (in the case of other authors). The primary focus is Denali, but the book often shifts attention away from it, giving the reader a good look into the mountaineering career of Jon Waterman and a bit of insight upon many others. For the experienced mountaineer, they can most likely relate to many of Jon's experiences. To the less experienced, it will give a sobering wakeup call to the realities of mountaineering. I must disagree with the reader from NY listed below as stating that "The author falls into the trap of thinking that climbing is going to give him and some other fellow climbers an insight into life beyond that of the ordinary man." For anyone who has survived a truly epic climb, one does gain a bit of insight into life that they failed to notice beforehand, and that many others do not completely this regularly enough, and it can in fact change a person. The book was NOT self-indulgent in the least...merely giving a first hand account of his experiences, both good and bad. If you are planning a trip to Denali, this should be required reading....

4-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
This book helped me to get a good "feel" for Denali and its surroundings. It was easy to read and entertaining. Waterman recounts his life, first in New Hampshire in the white mountains and then later in Denali as a park ranger.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to get a little history of Denali and its beautiful surroundings through entertaining short stories while not getting bogged down in factual details and structured story lines.

3-0 out of 5 stars Pretensious Judgmental
The author falls into the trap of thinking that climbing is going to give him and some other fellow climbers an insight into life beyond that of the ordinary man.

No doubt he has done some amazing things but the fact is when you get off the mountain you are the same jerk you were before you started. Being a great climber does not make you a better person than someone else.

I thought the chapter about his winter ascent was really self indulgent. Under the circumstances of his physical condition he had no business being there.

On the positive the author has a knowledge of the Denali area that is very impressive but ... ... Read more

19. The Adirondacks: A History of America's First Wilderness
by Paul Schneider
list price: $16.00
our price: $10.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0805059903
Catlog: Book (1998-09-01)
Publisher: Owl Books (NY)
Sales Rank: 143095
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The vast Adirondack region of upstate New York is very much a wilderness, but one ringed bytowns and close enough to major cities that it is heavily traveled. Long viewed as a natural playground, theAdirondacks were a favorite haunt of transcendentalist philosophers Henry Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson, ofconservationists such as FranklinBurroughs and TheodoreRoosevelt, of bohemians and hippies, and of back-to-the-land types. Still wild enough that wolfreintroduction has been proposed for the Adirondacks, the territory remains a powerfully inspiring place ofrefuge and recreation. Paul Schneider tells the story of this river-laced, forested land with imagination and aflair for just the right anecdote. ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Peak
Aside from a traditional recount of the important white guys who did everything, Mr. Schneider captures the essence of the people throughout the modern eras. His time with modern trappers, loggers and bureaucrats capture the sense of urgency for anybody involved in the Park. Initially sought as a farming area after the strategic significance of the French and Revolutionary Wars, lumber and mining interests drove the Park after the attempt to cultivate a place with only 10 percent of its land arable. Mining was sort of disaster at first with many tragic elements. The descriptions of the old facilities as they sit or stand now was a pretty neat journalistic trick.

The historical portrayal of notables like Sir William Johnson and John Brown were real page turners. I've seen the signs just outside Lake Placid to John Brown's house and always thought it was the John Brown involved in the early 19th Century, not the infamous abolitionist. The tragic story of Mr. Henderson and his death in front of his eleven year old son was a real gut wrencher for any tough guy. It seems like there were at least half a dozen fellows who spawned the model for Fenimore's Natty Bumppo. Roger's Rangers, famous guides, French Aristocracy's designs and numerous other affairs and plans sets up a lot of good story telling.

I would still like know why places like Pottersville are called what they are. Where the summer camps were located and who went there. Famous painters, philosophers and robber barons are all very interesting. Knowing the issues and their implications of the future is very important too. Beating them to death is certainly something another volume must do. Fortunately this effort doesn't digress too much into any of these arenas without qualifications and genuine purpose. The real gems are the conversations with loggers like John Courtney and trappers like Toby Edwards. Each offer a unique perspective on the lives they have chosen in this region. Death & Taxes and the Price of Otter in China are two of the best chapters in the book.

Having told a number of people who frequent the Park about this book. I wish that I could give this book to one of them with assurance that it would be read and passed along. I'm sure this is the exact feeling of those with intimate knowledge and time in this vast area. A little bit of everything and everybody is covered in a well told story that spans centuries. I've yet to find the haunting image of Thomas Cole's Course of Empire. I'm sure that when I do it will serve as a guidepost to all that man is and will be in relation to the massive presence of nature in relation to the foibles of man. Certainly the small amount of time left to me on this planet will afford numerous jaunts to some of the treasures scattered about the six million acres that serves as model to the notion, forever wild.

3-0 out of 5 stars Well written but not what I expected
The title of this book, more than anything else, misses the mark here."A History of America's First Wilderness" suggests a comprehensive history of key forces that shaped Adirondack geography and culture, and this book doesn't attempt to be that.Paul Schneider is a journalist, not an historian, and this difference in perspective is reflected in his writing. His book consists of a series of anecdotal essays, snapshots in time, with little thematic development, analysis, or reference across chapters.It's enjoyable reading and will give some insight into historical forces that have formed the ongoing battle in the Adirondacks over development, but better regional histories, such as Diana Muir's "Reflections in Bullough's Pond; Economy and Ecosystem in New England" probe deeper than "The Adirondacks" even tries.

3-0 out of 5 stars shallow
Schneider knows his Adirondacks in a superficial way, and after reading his book, so will you.If the topic intrests you, pick up a copy of CONTESTED TERRAIN by Philip Terrie.Contested Terain is as sound as The Adirondacks is shallow.Style, of course is a matter of taste.Many people appear to enjoy Schneider's carefully studied casual prose.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent regional history
Paul Schneider's The Adirondacks: A History of America's First Wilderness is both good history and great story-telling.Taking the region that is now the Adirondack Park from the first arrival of whites through thepresent, Schneider skillfully weaves together both present and past.Forexample, his chapter "The Prince of Otter China" tells about furtrapping today, and introduces the reader to several living"characters."Neighboring chapters then recount the history oftrapping in the Park.Other groupings of chapters do likewise forlumbering, wilderness guiding, and mining.One "chapter" of theAdirondacks which he unfortunately slights are Dr. Trudeau and thetuberculosis "cure cottages" in and around Saranac Lake.Thissmall quibble aside, I recommend this book to readers -- both New Yorkers/Adirondackers and general readers -- who want to learn more both about aspecific, fascinating place and time and the idea ofthe American"wilderness" in general.

5-0 out of 5 stars Conflicting environmental/development views of a region
Lively and well written, Paul Schneider's The Adirondacks has appeared virtually simultaneously with Philp Terrie's Contested Terrain.Both are regional histories; either book well serves readers as an introduction. Those more familiar with the extensive Adirondack literature will not find the works redundant but rather complementary.Schneider is a journalist, whereas Terrie is an professor who writes more conventional history, largely recalling his own and other historians' previous narratives. Terrie's new survey is moderatley revisionist, however, in concern for the ordinary people of the region.Although Schneider likewise repeats much familiar history, his journalistic slant conveys more immediacy.The strength of his work derives from personal interviews with many Adirondackers, well conveying deeply different values and agendas.Dating from 1991 through 1995, the specific issues may be dated already as news, but as oral history and a record of controversy Scheider's book will became a lasting addition to the Adirondack literature.ISBN 0-8050-3490-0 ... Read more

20. Mountain High, Mountain Rescue
by Peggy, Parr
list price: $15.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 155591005X
Catlog: Book (1986-11-01)
Publisher: Fulcrum Publishing
Sales Rank: 578881
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