High & Wild


High & Wild


High & Wild: Essays and Photographs on Wilderness Adventure
Galen Rowell

Essay “Up the East Face” by Norman Clyde
Introduction by Robert Redford
224 pages, 7″ x 10″
ISBN 1-893343-14-6

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High & Wild: Essays and Photographs on Wilderness Adventure was Galen Rowell’s final tribute to the beauty of the world’s wild places. This special expanded volume, edited by Galen Rowell, just before his deathincludes twenty-three of his greatest mountain adventures.

Author, photographer, and winner of the prestigious Ansel Adams Award for his contribution to the art of wilderness photography, Galen Rowell describes his “firsts” in Yosemite, the Himalaya, Patagonia, Alaska, the Cirque of the Unclimbables, and the American Southwest with Fred Beckey, Yvon Chouinard, David Roberts, Ned Gillette, John Roskelley, Kim Schmitz, and Layton Kor, to name but a few.

It was Galen Rowell, who suggested to publisher Wynne Benti that Spotted Dog Press publish a new edition of his book High & Wild: Essays and Photographs on Wilderness Adventure. He carried High & Wild's galleys with him on a three month expedition to Tibet “for something to read on the plane.”  He wrote introductory headings for each chapter, including one about his climbing partners on Denali—Ned Gillette, Doug Weins and Alan Bard—and what it was like to be the last surviving expedition member.  During production, his visited his dying friend, Warren Harding, "Batso". Galen talked about the value of life, knew its precious quality, and filled every moment with living.

He was planning to review the final color proofs for this edition the day after his return from a photography seminar he and his wife, Barbara, were teaching in Siberia. Just past midnight, a plane carrying them both back from Oakland on the last leg of their return journey went down in the high desert, less than a minute away from landing at the airport in Bishop, California, where we all live.

Galen Rowell loved the Sierra Nevada and that is why High & Wild, with its many climbing and skiing stories set along the crest of the Sierra, in the White Mountains, and Yosemite, held such a special place in his heart.  When we look back at the events of the that year, and his dedication to this book, we realize that High & Wild was the gift he wanted all of us to have.

“. . . Hetch Hetchy . . . Half Dome . . . Alaska . . . The Cirque of the Unclimbables . . . in all these places he took stunning pictures, pictures of the inaccessible and the fabulously picturesque. Accompanying these gorgeous shots, composed with a heroic eye on precipices and polar air, are his compelling narratives of the climbs that made them possible.”  New York Times

“High & Wild is a book to be read again and again and to feast on in times of despair.” Charles S. Houston, M.D., Leader 1938, 1953 American K2 Expeditions

“Galen Rowell is the best among those who now chronicle mountaineering expeditions. By perceptively viewing the mountains not only in the historical context of those who sought them, but also in their ecological setting, the landscapes, peoples, wild animals, he imbues the remote summits with lasting life.”  George Schaller, author of The Stones of Silence

“High & Wild admits us to an extraordinary world of great expanse and significance as few books do." San Francisco Chronicle

“The impeccable photojournalism of Galen Rowell makes wilderness exploration seem even more majestic.” Publisher’s Weekly