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Rocks Above the Clouds

A Hiker's and Climber's Guide to Colorado Mountain Geology

  • 128 pages
  • Colorado Mountain Club
  • 978-0-9760525-8-6
  • Jan 14, 2009


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* A geologic primer for mountain people.
* A range-by-range geologic description of Colorado mountains
* Detailed geologic information on the Fourteeners.

Rocks Above the Clouds is the first geology book written for climbers, scramblers and hikers. It is an exploration of how the nature of mountains and the challenges they present to the climber and hiker are influenced by the rocks that form them, in other words, by their geology.

After describing the types of rocks found in mountains, the authors of Rocks Above the Clouds cover the geologic process from the big bang through the processes that continue to shape the mountains today. This mountain geology primer is a range-by-range description of what to expect in the Colorado mountains followed by some very curious information on the Colorado 14ers.

Whether you travel in the mountains as a casual hiker, peak bagging scrambler, or technical climber, knowledge of mountain geology can help in planning your route, selecting your campsite and evaluating the hazards you face. Knowing something about different rock types might enable you to pick a route that avoids loose rock. Knowing that when wet, a particular rock surface will feel like oil might encourage you to forgo that siesta on the summit and head down before the afternoon thunderstorm.


  • 128 pages
  • Colorado Mountain Club
  • 978-0-9760525-8-6
  • Jan 14, 2009

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