Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Daniel Arnold                                                    Counterpoint Press                                                  Home

  Salt to Summit is an odyssey through one of America's harshest wildernesses, from the bottom of Death Valley to the top of Mount Whitney.  Traveling alone and off-trail, Daniel Arnold crossed salt flats and dunes, climbed high desert mountains, and wandered canyons where geologic time is laid bare.  For company he had an eccentric group of local ghosts: the original Shoshones, gold rush era prospectors, as well as 20th century dreamers, vagabonds, and misfits who strove to live in the territory around Death Valley.  In the tradition of his previous book, Early Days in the Range of Light, Salt to Summit is part modern adventure tale, part human and natural history--the story of the desert and its people.

 Praise for Salt to Summit:
"It’s not just where Daniel Arnold’s feet go that makes his trek from Death Valley to the summit of Mount Whitney such a spellbinding journey—it’s where his mind goes along the way. What do you see in the desert besides sand? What do you find on the mountain besides rock? When you read Arnold’s absolutely galvanizing book you find out.” —Page Stegner, author of Adios Amigos 

From the Back Cover:
From the depths of Death Valley, Daniel Arnold set out to reach Mount Whitney in a way no road or trail could take him. Anything manmade or designed to make travel easy was out. With a backpack full of water bottles, and the remotest corners of desert before him, he began his toughest test yet of physical and mental endurance.

Badwater Basin sits 282 feet below sea level in Death Valley, the lowest and hottest place in the Western Hemisphere. Mount Whitney rises 14,505 feet above sea level, the highest point in the contiguous United States. Arnold spent seventeen days traveling a roundabout route from one to the other, traversing salt flats, scaling dunes, and sinking into slot canyons. Aside from bighorn sheep and a phantom mountain lion, his only companions were ghosts of the dreamers and misfits who first dared into this unknown territory. He walked in the footsteps of William Manly, who rescued the last of the forty-niners from the bottom of Death Valley; tracked John LeMoigne, a prospector who died in the sand with his burros; and relived the tales of Mary Austin, who learned the secret trails of the Shoshone Indians. This is their story too, as much as it is a history of salt and water, mountains and stones.

Guiding the reader up treacherous climbs and through burning sands, Arnold captures the dramatic landscapes as only he can with photographs to bring it all to life. From the salt to the summit, this is an epic journey across America's most legendary desert.