With the winter quickly arriving, why not start dreaming and planning your trail adventures for 2024? This book is guaranteed to have you inspired for many trails to explore, history to learn and people to commemorate. And you don’t even have to wait until the summer as the book also talks about adventuring in the winter!
I listened to this book in early July, as the trails were (finally!!) being dug out of the snow. Can there be a better book to listen to while running than one that makes you want to go explore mountains (even if not written by a runner)? If you’ve read any other book from Kim Stanley Robinson (I have not), this is likely very different as he moves from his usual Sci Fi novels to take us on a journey with him through the high Sierras.
The Chapters are organized by themes: personal experiences in the Sierras (and the Swiss Alps), people of the Sierras, Geology, backpacking advice, routes, …
Listening to the book, I sometimes wished I could stop with a map to check out some of the places as I wasn’t familiar with all of them.
Since then, Ryan (my partner) has also bought a physical copy of the book which has lots of illustrations to go along the writing. A physical version will also be valuable if you want to dig into the long list of recommended reading.
I found the discussion about the people of the Sierra to be very educational. He describes the life of indigenous peoples living in the Sierra and the traces that can still be found today. He highlights the people whose ideas and actions protected the High Sierra for future generations, emphasizing the role that women have played (and how little their role is acknowledged). He provides his opinion on the controversy between the protection efforts and the impact they had on indigenous people that I found well documented and informational (whether you agree with his conclusion or not). As a step towards better acknowledgment of the history, he suggests several name changes of the geological features.