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Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada

Clarence King

Book Overview: 

"Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada" is a memoir by Clarence King of his adventures and work with the California Geological Survey. King later led a major survey along the 40th Parallel in the American West and then was appointed the first director of the new U.S. Geological Survey.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .vast bulk the grand, pillar-like stateliness, is the thin and inconspicuous foliage, which feathers out delicately on the boughs like a mere mist of pale apple-green. It would seem nothing when compared with the immense volume of tree for which it must do the ordinary respirative duty; but doubtless the bark performs a large share of this, its papery lamination and porous structure fitting it eminently for that purpose.

Near this “King of the Mountains” grew three other trees; one a sugar-pine (Pinus Lambertiana) of about eight feet in diameter, and hardly less than three hundred feet high (although we did not measure it, estimating simply by comparison of its rise above the Sequoia, whose height was quite accurately determined). For a hundred and fifty feet the pine was branchless, and as round as if turned, delicate bluish-purple in hue, and marked with a net-work of scorings. The branches, in nearly level poise, grew long and slenderly out from the. . . Read More