Partners/ West Book Dist., Inc: The Secret Sierra: The Alpine World Above the Trees

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What is it like to live in a place of bare rock, vertical walls, and windswept ledges, where snow covers the ground for much of the year and temperature changes of thirty degrees or more is the daily norm? The Alpine Sierra Nevada, the rugged mountain world above treeline, presents this challenge to all living things venturing into its extreme environment. From the tiny meadow vole to the delicate alpine flower growing between slabs of broken rockfall, all that live within this diverse, thin-aired landscape have developed specialized adaptations just to survive. David Gilligan describes the Alpine Sierra Nevada with a naturalist's passion for both personal observation and science. From deep inside an ice-encrusted crevasse on the Lyell Glacier to the airy heights of Mt. Ritter, The Secret Sierra: The Alpine World Above The Trees is dedicated to exploring the high and hidden world of the Sierra Nevada's alpine zone.

About the Author: David Gilligan is a naturalist and a writer. He has taught natural history courses and led exploratory wilderness expeditions for Prescott College, the Sierra Institute, and Sterling College, where he is currently a professor. His work and personal interests have taken him far afield to mountain and northern regions around the globe.


  • Natural History
  • Geography
  • Climate Patterns
  • Weather
  • Influence of Altitude
  • Ecology
  • Environment
  • Snow and Glacial Dynamics
  • Alpine Inhabitants and Adaptations, and more


Paperback:288 pages
Date Published:December 31, 2000
Dimensions:8.4 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
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