The Measure of a Mountain: Beauty and Terror on Mount Rainier-Bruce Barcott

  • Title: The Measure of a Mountain: Beauty and Terror on Mount Rainier
  • Author: Bruce Barcott
  • Released: 1997-10-01
  • Language:
  • Pages: 288
  • ISBN: 1570610746
  • ISBN13: 978-1570610745
  • ASIN: 1570610746


Mount Rainier, North America's biggest volcano, looms over Seattle like an invitation to... adventure? Disaster? Discovery? It's all of the above for Bruce Barcott, a Seattle writer who captures the mountain from multiple angles in this luminous biography that defines Rainier's landscape to be like none other on the continent. By turns witty and introspective, Barcott's trip to the top of the glacier-clad peak is filled with history, scientific observation, and a divided personal attachment that struggles to make sense of the mountain and its effect on the surrounding land and people. The Measure of a Mountain is a literate, entertaining view of a totemic Northwest landmark.

From Library Journal A Seattle journalist sets out to write a natural history of Mt. Rainier in Washington State but finds that it is a truth universally acknowledged that a man interested in mountains must want to climb to the top. While researching the mountain, Barcott happened to interview Scott Fischer, a climbing guide who shortly afterward perished in a sensationalized accident on Mt. Everest (see Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air, LJ 4/1/97). Trying to make sense of Fischer's death turns the story from a standard natural history into a distinctly anti-macho example of mountaineering literature, as a bookish, gregarious man without any natural daredevil impulses contemplates climbing (or possibly not climbing) the 14,410'. peak. A darkly humorous review of mountaineering memoirs notes that "once an author is on the mountain, there's no limit to what he'll suffer for his reader," but that "unlike any other sport, mountaineering demands that its players die." Although the anecdotes about Mt. Rainier will be of regional interest, this appealing adventure story about a reluctant adventurer will please many readers.?Amy Brunvand, Univ. of Utah Lib., Salt Lake City
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. pdf
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