Maier, a Seattle resident who has spent nearly a decade hiking and climbing in the former Soviet Union and who directs REI Adventures' Soviet operations, has created a guide to trekking and climbing in that part of the world. The book's introduction includes information on trip preparation; Russian culture, food, and currency; health and safety considerations; and a fascinating discussion of the history of mountaineering in Russia. Three major sections cover hiking in western Russia, Turkestan, and Siberia and the Russian Far East. Each section provides information on the natural history and culture of the region and advice on when to go and where to stay. Because of the vast geographical area covered in this trail guide, many of the hikes are not presented in the detail to which American hikers may be accustomed, but this valuable guide fills a void in hiking literature and will be an important addition to serious outdoor adventure and Russian collections.-Pamela Bellows, Northwestern Connecticut Community Technical Coll. Lib., Winsted, Ct.
By way of 50 wilderness treks and several climbs up the former Soviet Union's highest peaks, this guide describes how adventurers can experience the rich history--both natural and manmade--of Russia and Central Asia. Among the highlights is a hike up Mount Elbrus to stay in Priut Odinnadtsati, the world's highest hotel. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)