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Experiencing the High Sierra Through Photography and Climbing With Claude Fiddler

Experiencing the High Sierra Through Photography and Climbing With Claude Fiddler
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Episode 49:Today I sit down with California landscape photographer and climber, Claude Fiddler, to chat about:

  • How an early experience on the John Muir Trail laid the foundation for his passion for the mountains and mountaineering
  • How to think about risk assessment and learning how to safely dig deep mentally and physically
  • The photographers and writers who influenced how he approaches photography
  • What makes a photograph a picture rather than just a photo
  • The key element that makes a composition compelling and impactful
  • The creative benefits of using a large or medium format camera
  • Behind the scenes of what it was like to create his new book, Inside the High Sierra, and the legacy of photographers and climbers of this region he hopes to share through it



Claude’s book: Inside the High Sierra

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Claude FiddlerProfile Photo

Claude Fiddler

Photographer and Mountain Climber

Since the 1970s and before he became a renowned photographer, Claude Fiddler was a prominent figure in the Sierra climbing community, with high-standard first ascents in Yosemite Valley, (Too-ah-lu-mee)Tuolumne Meadows and the High Sierra. He has co-authored a climbing guidebook to the range, and worked for many years as a ski patroller and mountain guide. He still lives at the foot of the mountains, with his wife and adventure partner Nancy.

His forthcoming book Inside the High Sierra (, is a meticulously produced coffee-table book that will delight anyone who loves the High Sierra, fine-art-outdoor photography, or beautiful books in general. Hard-bound in linen on the outside, with 55 full-color plates printed on Japanese archival paper on the inside. In addition to stories and extensive notes on the images by Claude, the book features diverse and insightful contributed essays by Joseph Holmes, Michael Cohen, Laurel Fiddler, Peter Croft, Dick Dorworth, and a foreword by Thomas Hornbein.