Throughout Rites of Passage, Joe brings together hard-earned wisdom and stories that legitimately will “inspire future generations to explore their limits” (as Vitaliy Musiyenko puts it in the forward). Some of the tales shared are of people doing truly bold, risky things (such as, memorably, in the “Gorge of Despair”), but the contributors also always stress the need for climbers to be careful. The photos, illustrations, and sketchy topos (guides to climbing routes) help the reader feel the reality of these stories. Joe also helpfully includes bios of all the contributors, as well as endnotes and photo credits which would help the dedicated reader chase down more information about the Southern Sierra Nevada mountains.
Rites of Passage is full of detailed and technical accounts—such as of mastering complex walls and difficult crack systems with only sketchy descriptions to work from. That is the spirit of the Sierra Nevada which Joe hopes to pass on to a future generation: enabling future generations to “climb as if the route was being done for the first time,” as one contributor puts it, and truly experience the wilderness. For those who love the outdoors, particularly members of the “small spiritual tribe” of climbers, this is a beautiful and inspiring collection of stories, reminiscences and wisdom about the southern Sierra Nevada—and what it takes to thrive there.
Takeaway: Gorgeous, inspiring stories and photos of climbing the Southern Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Comparable Titles: Clarence King’s Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada, Lauren DeLaunay Miller’s Valley of Giants.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A