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Mountaineering Essays

by John Muir, Edited and introduction by Richard Fleck

( from the publisher's press release )

Mountaineering Essays
edited and with an introduction by Richard Fleck
The University of Utah Press
Salt Lake City

Paper, $10.95
5 x 8, 181 pages

A beautiful reprint of John Muir's only collection of writings devoted to mountains as a source of discovery and affirmation

One of the world's foremost nature writers, John Muir also founded the Sierra Club in 1892 as a way of supporting his belief that Americans must preserve national parks throughout the country in order that future generations might be spiritually inspired. Characterized by an iron endurance and an insatiable curiosity, Muir vowed to spend his days studying God's unwritten Bible--nature--or what he termed the "University of the Wilderness." Muir early on learned to keep a journal in the manner of Emerson, but he is also considered one of American's pioneer glaciologists, an interest he gained while wandering in Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada mountains. Whether frozen in a subzero blizzard on Mount Shasta, seemingly doomed on the unforgiving slopes of Mount Ritter, or exhilarated by the ice-scapes viewed from the summit of Mount Rainier, Muir reveled in the mountain experience.

This volume contains eleven mountain essays that include both adventurous narrative, joyful exhalation, and descriptions of natural features such as alpine soil beds, ancient and living glaciers, and mountain sculpture. In each, Muir maintains a careful and subtle balance between the physical aspects of ascending and the more symbolic observations of the sublimity of his surroundings. The rich combination of spiritual and philosophical elements in these essays shows how human spirit and nature fuse in the presence of mountains and demonstrate that mountains must be preserved so that they may preserve us.

Richard F. Fleck, editor of this collection, is dean of arts and humanities at the Community College of Denver.

For more information or to schedule an author interview, please contact Aimee Ellis, at 801-585-9786, fax 801-581-3365, or e-mail

There is also a book jacket summary for this book.

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