Cover: Pilgrims of the Vertical: Yosemite Rock Climbers and Nature at Risk, from Harvard University PressCover: Pilgrims of the Vertical in HARDCOVER

Pilgrims of the Vertical

Yosemite Rock Climbers and Nature at Risk

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Product Details

HARDCOVER

$31.00 • £24.95 • €28.00

ISBN 9780674052871

Publication Date: 10/15/2010

Short

384 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

36 halftones, 3 maps

World

Pilgrims of the Vertical (a phrase borrowed from climber-turned-entrepreneur Royal Robbins) is at once a chronicle of how the sport evolved in Yosemite and a fascinating social history that considers climbing in the larger context of American life… For the general reader, the book makes a fine introduction to the history of climbing and Yosemite’s special place in its development.—Michael J. Ybarra, The Wall Street Journal

Through his examination of rock climbing in Yosemite, Taylor illuminates important shifts in masculinity (and gender relations more broadly), morality, risk, environmental politics, constructions of nationhood, and consumerism that extend well beyond the rock climbing community to tell us something about (principally American) society more broadly. Even this list is not exhaustive, further testifying to Taylor’s socio-historical insight… The breadth and depth of Taylor’s analysis is impressive… Without a doubt, this book makes valuable contributions to a number of different bodies of literature, both within and beyond the sport history field. I recommend it to readers without reservation.—Jason Laurendeau, Journal of Sport History

During the second half of the 20th century, Yosemite Valley was the center of development for the sport of rock climbing in North America. Techniques of extreme rock climbing were developed on the rock walls of Yosemite, and modern attitudes toward this high-risk sport were developed by the valley’s climbing society… This well-documented book makes a significant contribution to the literature about climbing.—A. Spero, Choice

Clear, original, rigorous, and convincing, Pilgrims of the Vertical is like nothing else written on the subject. It represents a huge advance in the history of climbing as a sport and lifestyle. Taylor argues that climbing was always a complex social activity and offers valuable context in which climbers can accurately assess the value and risks of their sport. I believe this book has the ability to alter the way climbing literature is written, and I recommend it with great enthusiasm.—Michael P. Cohen, author of The Pathless Way and The History of the Sierra Club

Well written and highly readable, this narrative history of climbing culture in Yosemite National Park demonstrates the ways in which environmental history can enrich our understanding of climbing. I thoroughly enjoyed it and expect it will find a wide audience of scholars and general readers inside and outside the climbing community.—Kerwin Klein, University of California, Berkeley

Awards & Accolades

  • 2010 National Outdoor Book Award, History/Biography Category, National Outdoor Book Awards Foundation, Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education, and Idaho State University
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