UTAH THIRTEENERS: A GUIDE TO CLIMBING THE 13,000-FOOT PEAKS OF THE HIGH UINTAS, by David Rose, University of Utah Press, 208 pages, $14.95.

This new book is easily the best Utah hiking guide to come along since "High in Utah" was published in 1999.

Author David Rose of Tooele has done extensive research, and anyone wanting to hike some or all of Utah's 13,000-foot peaks will find all the information they need here.

Now it should be explained that Rose has taken some liberties to create this book. Much hinges on one's definition of "a peak." Rose lists 21 Uinta peaks in the 13,000-foot range, including 12 unnamed summits. A few years ago, I counted 14 unnamed peaks. Not to say that Rose is incorrect, but different interpretations exist.

Rose came up with his own nicknames for the unnamed summits he lists, including "Pyramid," "Gunsight" and "Fortress." The nicknames make for a more personal book than if he simply used numbers or coordinates to identify the peaks.

"If you're a high-points climber, the challenge is natural — the 13ers are another goal to add to your ventures," Rose writes. "But anyone — high-point enthusiast or not — attempting the 13ers will enjoy a refreshing new look at the (Uinta) range. The 13ers aren't always the most popular or prominent peaks, so you'll end up discovering some fantastic mountains you might otherwise have overlooked."

Indeed, Rose is correct. I passed by three of these officially nameless 13ers — Dome Peak, Fortress Peak and Cliff Point — last summer en route to Kings Peak without giving them any notice.

Rose stresses that Kings Peak has all the traffic, and although the other 20 13ers don't have trails to them, they offer great solitude and adventure. Some Utahns have attempted to climb the highest summit in each of Utah's 29 counties. This book outlines another lofty goal.

The book groups the 21 peaks in four different groups. Rose believes each group's peaks could be bagged in three- to six-day backpacking trips each, meaning four outings to get them all.

"Pinnacle" Peak (13,068 elevation), located southeast of Trail Rider Pass and Kings Peak, looks like a haphazard fireplace chimney in one of Rose's photographs, yet the hike looks enticing.

With seven color photographs, 58 black-and-white pictures and 18 maps, this is an excellent reference book, and Rose's overview map of the 13ers is excellent.

The author also offers capsule advice on gear, camping, safety, hiking and camping manners, as well as estimated driving times to the trailheads.


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