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Would you use this book

Submitted by angry on 2004-02-11

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I'm not going to publish a book on climbing, ever. So don't worry, this is just an idea. I can't stand most of the guidebooks I own so I wrote a foreword to a guidebook that might be worthwhile. Maybe writing a guidebook blurs the line of what one feels is right and wrong, they seem written to please everyone. Just once, I'd like to see an accurate simple guidebook with no wishy washy-ness, an author who believes in what he writes and doesn't care who reads it. This foreward could apply to many different climbing areas. Enjoy.


Rock climbing is dangerous, people get hurt, people die. These things happen. Most times these accidents are preventable. Climbers should prepare themselves for all calamity. Rocks fall, gear pulls, lightning strikes, blizzards blow, then it gets dark. This is nature. I tried to make the information in this book as accurate as possible. But as with everything this is only subjective. One mans sandbag is another mans pushover. Some people call highball boulders a route others call them a "problem." Don't listen to my gear beta, get at the bottom of a route and look up. At no time, EVER, should you the climber rely on anything more than your skill, premonition, and experience. I give a suggestion, I only want to help but when you screw up it is not my fault. Do not consider placing blame anywhere but on yourself. That said, if you do see a climber (or dumbass picnicker) in trouble, lend a hand.


There will be no obnoxious and wordy descriptions in this book. There will be no "clever" puns. I will not credit FA's to dead writers or musicians. Routes will be given the most pure name my research can discover. For example if another author calls a route Carpetbagger 5.11a but it was an unnamed crack and was 5.10b, this book will honor the first ascensionists right to leave a route unnamed. It will simply appear as Unnamed either the original rating or the consensus rating will be given. Grades will not be inflated or downgraded unless at least 3 other climbers agree it should be done.

Most route descriptions will include a short description of what the route looks like and where to find it, suggested gear, R or X rating if necessary, and how to get down. I'm not going to waste your time describing every foot of the route. When facing the rock all routes will be listed right to left.


I climb for the beauty of the route and the movement. Other people climb to impress the opposite sex, to brag, to commune with nature, to hang out with friends, to relax, to get stressed out, and to rappel off. I don't really understand most of these reasons for climbing but if it works, do it. Right about now is when I should start sounding like a motivational speaker, sorry I won't. When climbers start getting philosophic they make us all sound stupid. Whatever your reason for climbing is, try to remember a few simple rules.

You don't have to get to the top.
Just downclimb/down-aid or rap to get your gear. Come back when you are strong enough to honor the route. There are a lot of hangdoggers at (wherever). Try not to be one of them.

Respect the rock.
Don't chip, glue, or comfortize holds. Think about how you need to change your body and movements to do a route, never think about changing the rock. If I catch someone chipping, there will be a fight. Violent and bloody, I will throw more than my words. If I don't catch you, send me your address, I'll make up for it.

(Wherever) is not Rifle or the VRG. Don't bolt. There are good trad routes that need a bolt, there are good spots for anchor bolts. As far as new bolted routes, think it over. Toprope it first and make sure it is different from the other bolted routes. Regardless you will NEVER get acclaim for bolting, you only turn yourself into a target. Try to bolt on lead. This is becoming less popular as the human race gets weaker. If you bolt on rap make certain that each and every bolt is well thought out. Never grid bolt, never contrive routes, and never retrobolt. Always space your bolts out. There is a huge difference between safety and comfort. Keep it safe, comfort be damned.

Sometimes shit happens, idiots and ignorants with drills damage our precious rock. Chop as ethically as you climb. Strip the hangers on lead. Leave the ones you need and remove the bad ones. It is best to remove the bolt and fill the hole with epoxy. If your route gets chopped don't be offended, you screwed up, it's OK, everyone does dumb shit. Don't rebolt it. Learn why it was chopped to make sure you don't do it again. Chopping for spite gets ego's involved and creates bolt wars. If you want to start a bolt war, just strip the hanger and leave the stud. That way the rock isn't the loser, you just cost someone some money thatís all.

Talk shit, it's fun. Trash talk your friends and make sure they dish it out too. When kids are present, control your language. Hoot and yodel out loud, keep your vulgarities from ringing across the valley (inside voices). Don't scream in fear, tourists already think we have a death wish. Get your terms right. If I hear you say "this route sucks", I'll lower you. The route doesn't suck, YOU SUCK and so do I, lets be clear on that.

Pack out more than you pack in.

Most of the United States is part of a program I'll refer to as Welfare Ranching, running cows on public land makes good financial sense. I think it is funny as hell to watch dogs chase the cows. Don't let it happen when the rancher is around, don't let them chase wildlife, it can kill a deer to run it in certain seasons. If your dog chases me, I'll kill it. No question about it and no guilt. If your dog has territorial tendencies leave it at home. If dogs fight, leash them. If your dog sits on my rope or licks my belay hand, I'll kick it. You've been warned.

First Ascents
There are a ton of routes here that feel like an FA. They felt that way when it first got done 30 years ago too. Be very skeptical of an FA. Its probably been done, just nobody remembers by who or when. If you do a route that you feel needs a bolt, make sure it is YOUR route before adding it.

All that said---come to (wherever) and have fun. There is enough rock for everyone, the routes are as good as any I've done anywhere. Climb ethically, I'd like us all to be friends.


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