cover of book

We Aspired: The Last Innocent Americans
by Pete Sinclair
University of Utah Press, 2017
Paper: 978-1-60781-565-5 | eISBN: 978-1-60781-566-2


Imbued with a sense of place, Pete Sinclair climbed mountains and rescued others trying the same. He thrived on the risky business of ascending sheer rock, of moving from one adrenaline-boosting moment to another. In this book he recounts his mountain-climbing and park ranger days from 1959 to 1970, a time some people call a golden era of climbing in America, a time when climbers knew one another and frequently gathered in Grand Teton National Park. There, Sinclair was the ranger in charge of mountain rescue, a job that, especially when it involved the North Face of Grand Teton, drew on all his young team’s climbing skills. Mixing adventure with personal reflection, Sinclair recounts expeditions taken with friends to scale mountains in Alaska, Mexico, and other parts of North America, as well as his work rescuing injured climbers in the Tetons. The book serves as a history of a past era in mountaineering as well as a meditation on what it all meant. Throughout the book, he challenges readers to consider their relationship with the western landscape. Originally published in 1993, We Aspired was a finalist for the Boardman-Tasker Award for Mountain Literature. The account of one famous rescue on the North Face of the Grand Teton is retold in The Grand Rescue, a film by independent Utah producer Jenny Wilson. 

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