By Scott Stine


From July to November 1833, Joseph R. Walker led a brigade of fifty-eight fur trappers, with 2 hundred horses and a year’s provisions, from the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming to the Pacific coast of important California. towards the tip in their trip the Walker brigade crossed the Sierra Nevada, turning into the 1st non-Native humans to traverse the diversity from east to west. That crossing, made lengthy and brutal by way of bewildering terrain and deep snow, is extensively and rightly thought of a milestone within the exploration of intermontane North America.

Following Walker’s demise in 1876, an appealing story arose pertaining to his trans-Sierran course. through the crossing, is going the tale, Walker came upon himself at the northern rim of Yosemite Valley on the plungepoint of North America’s tallest waterfall, staring into the main impressive mountain chasm at the continent. Over the many years in view that then, this frequent story has hardened to folklore. Dozens of historic works have construed it as a towering second within the starting of the West.

yet in reality this story of Yosemite’s discovery has no foundation or aid in firsthand bills of the 1833 Sierran crossing. furthermore, there's a lot in these bills that contradicts Yosemite lore, and lots more and plenty that issues to a trans-Sierran course good north of Yosemite Valley.

In A method around the Mountain, Scott Stine reconstructs Walker’s 1833 path over the Sierra. Stine attracts on his personal intimate wisdom of the geomorphology, hydrography, biogeography, and weather of the Sierra Nevada and nice Basin, and employs the special commute narrative of the Walker brigade’s box clerk, Zenas Leonard. Stine records the inception, development, and endurance of the Yosemite delusion and explores the level to which that lore has overshadowed Walker’s maximum discovery—that the massive swath of continent among the Wasatch entrance and the Sierran crest is hydrographically closed, draining to not an ocean, yet to salty lakes and desolate tract sands.

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A Way Across the Mountain: Joseph Walker's 1833 Trans-Sierran Passage and the Myth of Yosemite's Discovery by Scott Stine


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