Sand Castles

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Desert-Towers-200_29486

Yosemite Valley and southeastern Utah’s deserttowers are America’s two unique contributionsto climbing geography—the places that, for topographyand climbing potential, are like noneother on Earth. Of the two, Yosemite’s climbinglore has been much better documented. Now,Steve “Crusher” Bartlett has redressed thisgap—and then some—with his 352-page, coffee-tablesurvey of tower-bagging history, DesertTowers: Fat Cat Summits and Kitty LitterRock ($49.95, sharpendbooks.com). To create Desert Towers, Crusherspent more than two years interviewing climbers, chasing down articles,and unearthing hundreds of photographs. The author list is a who’swho of desert climbing, including Chuck Pratt, Layton Kor, Ed Webster,John Sherman, and Stevie Haston. And Crusher brings the story rightup to the present, with feature stories from as recent as 2009. This is abedside book to return to again and again. Editor’s note: See Climbing No. 289, page 62 to read a feature excerpt from Desert Towers. —Dougald MacDonald