Rock climbing throughout the Southern Sierra Nevada Mountains of California has been going about quietly for well over a century. The exploits of its pioneers into this beautiful mountain range have been infrequently documented in a few books, alpine journals, and magazines. The tales of these climbers in this area remain elusive in comparison to more mainstream places like Yosemite. Rites of Passage is a collection of those experiences written by a few aficionados of the Southern Sierra who have graciously shared their adventures for this book. Come join the campfire, kick back and indulge in the legacy of exploration, discovery, and adventure. - E.C. Joe. Angel Wings, Photo: David Hickey
While in the process of finishing this book, the climbing community and many friends were and remain saddened, by the passing of Sierra Climbing Icon, Richard Leversee on January 12, 2022.
Fittingly and correctly, this book is dedicated to Richard — since he was such wonderful friend, and an inspiring and decisive force, across the Southern Sierra Nevada and beyond. Although the term Stonemaster is somewhat over used, Richard embraced the ethos, and will be sincerely remembered as one. Thankfully, Richard’s first ascents are still with us. This lasting memory and fine legacy is now ours to embrace and discover, as he did — following your heart with dynamic energy, to do what you love.
- E.C. Joe and David Ohst
January 26, 2022 Photo: E.C. Joe
Eddie, “E.C.” Joe, a native of Bakersfield, started climbing in the Southern Sierra in 1974, and spent most of his free time exploring new climbing opportunities in the scattered locations in and around the Kern Canyon. He has established many first ascents and authored the Stonemasher Rock Climbing Guide to Kern Slabs (1981-82), and co-authored the Stonemasher Rock Climbing Guide to the Kern River Canyon and Environs (1983) with Richard Leversee. Back in the day, Eddie was generally regarded as the single most knowledgeable person for climbing information in the area. In the ’90s, he assisted in the research of Southern Sierra peregrine falcons and was a founding member of the Southern Sierra Climbers' Association. Photo: Jim Wright
Rites of Passage would not have been possible without the following people adding their 2¢
Forward by: Vitaliy Musiyenko
Linda E. Adams