Cover image for Glaciers of California : modern glaciers, ice age glaciers, origin of Yosemite Valley, and a glacier tour in the Sierra Nevada
Glaciers of California : modern glaciers, ice age glaciers, origin of Yosemite Valley, and a glacier tour in the Sierra Nevada
Guyton, Bill, 1932-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Berkeley : University of California Press, [1998]

Physical Description:
xvi, 197 pages : illustrations (some color), maps ; 24 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GB2425.C2 G89 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Glaciers in sunny California? Many people will be surprised to learn that there are several hundred in this state, ranging in size from the impressive Whitney Glacier on Mt. Shasta and the Palisade Glacier in the Sierra Nevada to tiny glacierets. While California's glaciers are small compared to those in the northern Rockies or the European Alps, each one is interesting and some are suitable for exploring. Also of note is the fact that Ice Age glaciers carved California's most spectacular mountain scenery--the High Sierra was glaciated several times and glacial landforms are prominent features of the Sierran landscape today.

Bill Guyton summarizes the history of the discovery of Ice Age glaciation and modern-day glaciers in California, as well as the development of modern ideas about the state's glacial history. He describes the controversy about the origin of Yosemite Valley and quotes from the colorful accounts of early mountain explorers such as John Muir, Josiah Whitney, and Fran#65533;ois Matthes. His book provides a primer on glaciers and glacial landforms, a glossary of technical terms, helpful illustrations, and a 100-mile Sierra field trip guide for readers who want to see glaciers and glacial features for themselves. Glaciers of California will make any visit to the mountains more interesting, whether one is carrying a camera, crampons, or a fishing pole.

Author Notes

Bill Guyton is Professor Emeritus of Geosciences at California State University at Chico. He has hiked, backpacked, fished, and climbed in the High Sierra for over 45 years.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Guyton has prepared the ideal "interested layperson's guide" to the glaciers and glaciation of California. At 197 pages, it is a modest production that, nevertheless, displays the author's lifelong dedication as well as his extensive familiarity with 133 years of relevant literature. He includes modern glaciers, glaciers of the Ice Ages, origin of Yosemite Valley, introduction to the study of glacier erosion, and glacier mass balance; he concludes with a "guided glacier tour" in the Sierra Nevada. There are 85 figures (most of them outstanding black-and-white photographs) and many superb line drawings and sketches as well as 18 color photographs. Useful glossary; excellent chapter reference lists. There is a treasure of quotations from often hard-to-obtain literature, ranging from John Muir to the classic glaciologists to present-day natural scientists. The only fault is that the printer has betrayed both author and reader by the soft reproduction of many of the obviously high performance photographs that in themselves constitute a remarkable archive. All levels. J. D. Ives; Carleton University