Glaciers in sunny California? Many people will be surprised to learn that there are several hundred in this state, ranging in size from the impressive Whitney Glacier on Mt. Shasta and the Palisade Glacier in the Sierra Nevada to tiny glacierets. While California's glaciers are small compared to those in the northern Rockies or the European Alps, each one is interesting and some are suitable for exploring. Also of note is the fact that Ice Age glaciers carved California's most spectacular mountain scenery--the High Sierra was glaciated several times and glacial landforms are prominent features of the Sierran landscape today.
Bill Guyton summarizes the history of the discovery of Ice Age glaciation and modern-day glaciers in California, as well as the development of modern ideas about the state's glacial history. He describes the controversy about the origin of Yosemite Valley and quotes from the colorful accounts of early mountain explorers such as John Muir, Josiah Whitney, and François Matthes. His book provides a primer on glaciers and glacial landforms, a glossary of technical terms, helpful illustrations, and a 100-mile Sierra field trip guide for readers who want to see glaciers and glacial features for themselves. Glaciers of California will make any visit to the mountains more interesting, whether one is carrying a camera, crampons, or a fishing pole.
Glaciers of California: Modern Glaciers, Ice Age Glaciers, the Origin of Yosemite Valley, and a Glacier Tour in the Sierra Nevada
California Natural History Guides #59
by Bill Guyton
Paperback, 223 pages
Published January 19th 2001 by University of California Press
“This book gives all California mountain lovers another reason to head for the hills. Guyton explains in layman’s terms the subtle differences between glaciers, glacierets, and permanent snowfields . . . and takes us on a superlative ‘glacier tour’ of Yosemite National Park. This is a great addition to the mountain literature of the Golden State.”—Steve Roper, author of Sierra High Route
“Geologist Bill Guyton explains clearly how glaciers work, how they form and move and what they do to the landscape. With excellent illustrations . . . this book is an eye-opener.”—Mary Hill, author of Geology of the Sierra Nevada
“Guyton brings alive the ancient courses of glaciers into modern pathways for understanding. He transforms today’s icy relics on the shadowed heights of the Golden State into crystalline visions of a very different past—and perhaps future—when global cooling reigned over the highlands.”—Galen Rowell, photographer, author of Poles Apart