Tobin, Dennis Books

About the author: Dr. Dennis Tobin is a cultural geographer who obtained his PhD from Kent State University. He has taught as a visiting faculty member in the geography departments of the University of Wyoming and the University of Akron. His construction of the cultural geography of belief systems involves extensive excursions into the Appalachian Mountains and Rocky Mountains of the United States.

Mountain Climbing as American Transcendental Pilgrimage
2003 0-7734-6755-6
Fifty-four 14,000-foot mountains, or 14ers, are the focal points in the cultural geography of Colorado mountaineering. Since 1920, climbers known as 14ers peakbaggers have climbed all fifty-four 14ers. Their personal narratives and literature indicate ties to American Transcendentalism, a religion promoted by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Personification of Colorado 14ers is achieved through archival, diachronic, and narrative approaches within a qualitative methodology. Two unique models developed by the author, the Transect Model and the Transcendental Ziggurat Model, assist in data retrieval and analysis. The archival approach relies upon Appalachian Mountain Club and Colorado Club literature. The Transect Model serves as an informational sieve for club literature. It identifies spatial, demographic, and narrative data of peakbaggers. A diachronic approach primarily focuses on Colorado mountaineering during 1912 to 1998 and the life span of Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1882. The Transcendental Ziggurat Model summarizes an analysis of both peakbagger narratives and mountaineering literature. It illustrates the transmission of Transcendental belief from ethnic religions to mountaineering clubs via Ralph Waldo Emerson and the American Transcendental Movement of the 1800s. The Colorado 14ers peakbaggers, by exhibiting Transcendental belief and pilgrimage activity, create a cultural geography supporting American Transcendental pilgrimage. Nature by Ralph Waldo Emerson is reprinted here in an Appendix.