Close Ups of the High Sierra
Introduction by Glen Dawson
The paved roads were few to nonexistent. Hiking boots were leather-soled work boots hammered with nails for better traction on rock and snow. Rubber-soled basketball shoes doubled as climbing shoes. By today’s standards, the equipment was primitive and access difficult, but these challenges posed no obstacle to California greatest mountaineer, Norman Clyde. Clyde made more than 1,000 first ascents in the Sierra Nevada alone, far surpassing those of his predecessors, John Muir, Clarence King and William Brewer, combined.
Close Ups of the High Sierra is a journey into the beautiful and remote backcountry of the Sierra Nevada as told by Norman Clyde. With a degree in Classic Literature, Clyde taught high school in San Francisco before personal tragedy drove him to the eastern Sierra Nevada where he spent the rest of his life climbing.Published here for the first time is a selection of Clyde’s own writings about his experiences in the Sierra, which for most of the 20th century have been filed away in the forgotten solitude and darkness of private collections. Previously unpublished photographs taken by Clyde on his famed Sierra high trips attended by such notable Sierrans as Ansel Adams, Francis Farquhar, Cedric Wright, Glen Dawson and Jules Eichorn, remind us of a gentler time when dinner was cooked on a skillet over a wood fire – not in an aluminum bag on a propane stove.
No man ever knew more of the High Sierra terrain than Norman Clyde.
David R. Brower
Not since the time of John Muir had anyone established such a kinship with the Sierra Nevada.
Los Angeles Times
Wherever men gather around blazing campfires on cold nights in the high country and talk of the history of mountaineering, there are certain names that inevitably come into the conversation… among Americans, John Muir, Clarence King and Norman Clyde.
San Francisco Chronicle