I mentioned this article (link follows) earlier in this thread, but I thought this was as good as anything I've ever read about, or by, Brower-- except for Encounters with the Archdruid, which is the best. And if you only read one section of that short book, read the account of McPhee, Brower and Floyd Dominy all floating through Grand Canyon together after Glen Canyon Dam was a done deal. The Dominy v. Brower relationship/duel, and what it ultimately meant for what came to be known as the "environmental movement" makes great reading (also written about well in Cadillac Desert, among other places). Anyway, here's the '95 Outside Magazine article, The High Cost of Being David Brower:
Edit: Also a truly great read, and an incredible look back in time if you get your hands on a copy, is Brower's account of the Shiprock Climb in (I think) The Saturday Evening Post. Look it up in the periodicals guide. I read it about a decade ago (they did the climb around '39 but the article may not have appeared until 1940) at San Diego's old main library, which had a copy of the magazine. I think (but could be wrong) the article was titled "They Said it Couldn't Be Climbed"...or that was a quote early on in the piece. Brower did it with Bestor Robinson (who brought the bolts, which he had become acquainted with in a masonry/patio project at his home), Raffi Bedayn, and John Dyer. At the time it was considered (by Robert Underhill among others) the hardest rock climb done in North America.
There are several great articles by David Brower in Voices for the Earth including "Beyond the Skiways". Brower denounces the increasing popularity of resort skiing where men "slashed trails in forests, built elaborate lodges, gashed mountains with highways, wired peaks with funiculars. They conquered the wilderness. Men now ski superbly. But what have they lost?"
Brower goes on to describe, "Ski mountaineering" is a combersome term, but no other term so aply describes the grand sport that results when skiing and mountaineering are combined. The ski-mountaineer's recipe, complex but not exacting, is this: find out how to handle skis resonably well, gather winter equipment together, learn how to use it, find some trusted friends to carry most of it, then try to bread Old Man Winter in his den -out beyond the skiways. Out there one will find the timberline country, where temperatures are more invigorating, where snows are persistently drier and more powdery, where broad open slopes are tracked only by one's chosen friends, surroundings are rugged, yet marvelously adapted to ski-mountaineering. In such terrain even the most blase of resort skiers have been temporarily overcome with reverence."
I was lucky enough to hang out with Dave between1989 and ... well, until he passed. Anne too.
I have a few photos of him (as everyone knows) and some recordings. You're welcome to all.
"Booeee" (Boodawg) Ken is likely a better contact. He was there. He's smart about this stuff. I would like to be like the Dawg one day! (Best to you, Ken----need to get out and visit you soon.)
I once talked a little bit with him about climbing it was at a Sierra Club dinner in Merced in about 1995. He had just finished a talk. After, we talked briefly about what a shame that the Sierra Club had gotten completely out of teaching folks to climb, because of liability reasons. He said that he still had that on his to do list, but there were so many other pressing environmental issued to first take care of. I asked him if he still ever thought of climbing? He said that he still had a lot of pleasant dreams of climbing, and smiled. He then wrote in me and my wife's book, Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run. "To a couple of climbing bums--from ex ditto", David R Brower
In my mind, He really was a larger than life sort of person.