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Early Days in the Range of Light: Encounters with Legendary Mountaineers

4.33  ·  Rating Details ·  54 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
It's 1873. Gore-Tex shells and aluminum climbing gear are a century away, but the high mountains still demand your attention. Imagine the stone in your hands and thousands of feet of open air below you, with only a wool jacket to weather a storm and no rope to catch a fall.
Daniel Arnold did more than imagine ? he spent three years retracing the steps of his climbing foref
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ebook, 433 pages
Published September 9th 2009 by Perseus Books Group
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Emma Ruppell
Jan 11, 2016 Emma Ruppell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book last summer with some bookstore credit... somehow I'd missed the release & wasn't familiar with it.... and before too long forced myself to stop reading it so I could save at least a few chapters for this summer. But then what...? When I'm finished with it? More please! I couldn't take another reading of Clarence King or Farqhuar. Admittedly I speed-read a bit through the life history of the OG climbers until they were under way with the trips- though I noted some inter ...more
George Smith
Jul 07, 2015 George Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dan is the best writer of the Sierra Nevada I have read in the last 20 years: Arnold takes you off trail and up to the great peaks of the California Sierra Nevada the way the first explorers went- without route, map or trail, without rope and climbing aids, usually with very little gear at all. This is one of the great reads in Sierra History. You don't need to be a climber to profit from this history of these intrepid early explorers: Dan's descriptions of the summits and the routes they climbe ...more
Ahsan
Dec 05, 2012 Ahsan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Right off the bat, I must divulge that I am a climber who loves the Sierra Nevada, also known as the Range of Light, and am thus biased toward this book. It is obvious that Daniel Arnold did great research in writing this piece. The author's motivations were derived from the hardiness of early Sierra Nevada explorers and climbers, who braved the highest, and least known, range in the contiguous U.S. These tough souls used minimal aids and rudimentary tools and implements in their explorations of ...more
Lisa
Aug 22, 2011 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautiful love letter to the Sierra Nevada mountains. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Arnold follows the early exploration of the Sierra Nevada peaks by famous conservationists, naturalists and scientists. Each chapter describes the peak, the explorer and then Arnold's own expedition to climb the peak using the same techniques, as closely as possible, as the original mountaineer.

I read the book while hiking in the high country of Yosemite. I can't imagine a most inspirational book to
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Diana Cox
May 14, 2014 Diana Cox rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pioneers forging paths up the magnificent sierras without modern methods and equipment. These people were sturdy and courageous! I enjoyed reading about these early climbers and am grateful to the co-worker who lent it to me or I'd never have known about it. The author is a climber and did a fair amount of research. I recommend this book to anyone wishing to know more about how this mounting range was explored in the late part of the 19th century and into the 20th.
cynthia Clark
Sep 30, 2011 cynthia Clark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Daniel Arnold put an impressive amount of research and effort into this book and it shows. I really enjoyed reading the vivid character portrayals of the early Sierra mountaineers, but the highlights were often from Arnold's replications of the first ascents and his reflections on the internal drive to summit peaks and the ways in which modern technology and equipment have changed the pursuit.
Chris
Jan 31, 2010 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Arnold's account, of revisiting notable peaks and routes in the Sierra climbed by early mountaineers, was interesting and well-done. It made me appreciate the exploits of folks like Muir, King, and Le Conte, and want to do a long trip in the Sierra again - although with more than the overcoat and crust of bread that he took on some of his excursions, a la John Muir.
David Lucander
Can't think of a better book while on a Sierra climbing trip. Part history, part biography, and full of neat anecdotes from the author going out for climbs in the very d and bold style. I learned a lot about the mountains and the people who lived them by reading this book. Nice to see Norman Clyde get his due, the same can be said for many others in this book too.
Dayna
Sep 02, 2010 Dayna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful weaving of present day climbs with their historical firsts. I loved this so much that now all I can think about is getting back into the Sierra Nevada before the end of the season.
T Ivy
Nov 13, 2012 T Ivy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Incredible adventure by characters with a love of the Sierras that is contagious. This review might be longer but after reading this book one has to depart for the Sierras as soon as possible...
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Gay
Oct 03, 2012 Gay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jim-s-books-read
Great book about retracing the climbs of the old timers in the Sierras.
Judy McNairy
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At fifteen, Daniel Arnold began climbing the Pacific Rim volcanoes and local basalt crags of his native Portland and went on to climb throughout North and South America. He lives in Southern California, and is the author of Early Days in the Range of Light."
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