There is no end to how people seek the heights. Within such a continuum of mountain enthusiasts, the peakbagger is peculiarly focused on the summit-not just in classic alpine style but also in deserts, jungles, and everywhere a big mountain awaits, ticking off his lists. County high-pointing represents this obsession, providing the practitioner with all manner of rewards, perceived and tangible. His hobby is not for the timid, often entails difficulties beyond the norm, and always consumes inordinately large chunks of time. Part 1 describes the genre in five chapters. Part 2 reviews the author's multisummer project of reaching the highest ground for each of the 414 counties in America's west. It's a memorable accomplishment replete with many unexpected challenges. The required perseverance and will to achieve beyond the norm is his parting message to the reader. Part 3 reviews Alaska and Hawaii county high-pointing, followed by four appendices and a 330-entry glossary of terms. With 400 pages and 236 illustrations, A Tale of Twelve Summers is both comprehensive and visually attractive.