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Summit Guide to the Cascade Volcanoes

Summit Guide to the Cascade Volcanoes. Jeff Smoot. Chockstone Press, Evergreen, Colorado, 80439, 1992. 182 pages. 62 black-and-white photos, 14 peak sketches. 46 line maps. $12.95.

This volume is a handy guide for all who aspire to scrambling up these fire-and-ice mountains of the Northwest. Concise descriptions are provided of routes up a total of 19 volcanoes: running from Mount Garibaldi (B.C.) in the north to Mount Shasta and Lassen Peak in California.

Also described are the problems inherent with these ice-clad and loose-rock volcanoes. The climbs are classified according to the various types of difficulty and related hazards, and special techniques often utilized for scaling these peaks. Discussed are (1) generalized geologic settings, (2) local weather conditions, (3) climbing seasons and regulations, and where permits/reservations can be obtained if required, (4) clothing and equipment, (5) altitude-related illnesses and hypothermia, (6) avalanche survival and rescue, and (7) ski mountaineering, with recommended areas and trails. Symbols on peaks sketches show areas prone to hazards of avalanches, rockfall and icefall. Emphasis is placed on the “No Trace” ethics—the climber should leave the area as clean or cleaner than when visited.

The simple line maps show roads, trails, and climbing routes, but ridge lines are the only indications of typography. However, aerial photos of the peaks do show the routes—with a few minor discrepancies. Also, several photos of Mount Shasta fail to include one clearly showing the popular “dog route” up the south side. Routes are described by an informal classification system designed for glacier-clad volcanoes, and their lengths are given in approximate hours.

A bibliography reveals substantive research, with citations of 74 books, newspapers, and maps, and personal interviews and correspondence with 30 local climbing authorities.

Dee Molenaar