Rocks Above the Clouds: A Hiker's and Climber's Guide to Colorado Mountain Geology

Rocks Above the Clouds: A Hiker's and Climber's Guide to Colorado Mountain Geology

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by Jack Reed and Gene Ellis

Colorado mountain geology book written specifically for climbers, scramblers, and hikers.

  • A geologic primer for mountain people
  • A range-by-range geologic description of Colorado mountains
  • Detailed geologic information on the 14ers

Rocks Above the Clouds is the first geology primer written specifically for hikers, scramblers and climbers. It is an exploration of how the nature of mountains works and the challenges they present to the hiker, scrambler and climber.

For example when discussing schist, a coarse-grained rock composed of mica, quartz and feldspar, author Jack Reed wrote (see page 57), “One unpleasant feature of schist is the tendency of thin slabs to flake off unexpectedly, sometimes with consequences that can ruin your day.”

After describing the types of rocks found in the Colorado mountains, the authors cover the geologic process from the big bang to the present. 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 (see page 12, 203, and 213).

JACK REED, a Scientist Emeritus at the United States Geological Survey, has written popular books on the Appalachians, the Tetons and the Alaska Range. He has climbed most of the 14ers and is a 50-year member of The Colorado Mountain Club where he teaches courses on geology, map reading, and GPS.

GENE ELLIS is the Associate Chief Scientist of the Earth Surface Processes Team at the USGS. He has climbed on rock and ice, trudged up endless talus slopes, and suffered his share of adventures and misadventures in the mountains of Colorado.

Book Specs:
240 pages, 4X7 with rounded corners, 70 color photos, 9 geologic maps, paperback, $16.95, ISBN 978-0-9760525-8-6