Forums: Climbing Information: Beginners: Re: [Hezekiel] Reading topos: Edit Log


Jan 12, 2012, 8:23 PM

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Registered: Nov 27, 2001
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Re: [Hezekiel] Reading topos
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This is not a stupid question. Learning to read topos and learning to read the rock are there own skills.

The "topos" you posted are just an approximation of the lines. The cliff looks like it's a sport/bolted cliff. The thing to realize is that the photo was taken from a long distance from the cliff. Meaning, you won't be able to tell much about the routes from the photo.

I dont' 100% agree with some of what has been posted on this thread about routes being squeezed in. Squeezed routes are the plague of the modern climber. "I MUST GET MY NAME IN THE GUIDE BOOK, THEREFORE I WILL FORCE THIS LINE FOR AN FA NEXT TO AN ESTABLISHED LINE."

Bad news, bad form.

The thing to understand about outdoor "topos" is that they are not always accurate.

What you posted is not a topo. It's just a picture of a line drawn up the rock.

Here's a classic example. This is a route I did today where the description in the guide book was wrong. Here's the wrong version:

Here's where the actual route goes. Sorry for the lousy job on my part (the red line) The line going to the ground is the rap:

If you look at this photo, where I put the red dot on the far right is the start. It looks like you could have a party up there under that roof. In fact, you could not even stand up there. That's a prime example of what to expect from photos of formations. They will look totally different when you get there.

I asked for beta and got the right beta from a friend. When I got to the area I saw immediately why the topo was wrong. The route in the guide book was off big time. There was no way what was show in the guide book could be a 5.7. Looking at the route I saw huge plates up above and good holds the whole way to the anchors. Again this just takes time to learn.

Be prepared for lot's of walking to the base of routes and looking up and saying "This doesn't look like anything in the guide book". I've been shutdown more times than I care to admit. It's just part of the process.


This is not the fault of the guide book author. In our area, with over 7000+ routes, there's going to be mistakes in the book.

It happens! Get used to it.

(This post was edited by socalclimber on Jan 12, 2012, 8:31 PM)

Edit Log:
Post edited by socalclimber () on Jan 12, 2012, 8:26 PM
Post edited by socalclimber () on Jan 12, 2012, 8:27 PM
Post edited by socalclimber () on Jan 12, 2012, 8:29 PM
Post edited by socalclimber () on Jan 12, 2012, 8:31 PM

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