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Brock/McMillen Guidebook for Red Rocks or Supertopo?
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*thriller*
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Dec 16, 2005, 6:49 PM
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Brock/McMillen Guidebook for Red Rocks or Supertopo?  (North_America: United_States: Nevada: Red_Rock_Canyon: A_Red_Rock_Overview)
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I've got a couple questions, mostly for those who have used the new Brock/McMillen guidebook for Red Rocks. My partner and I are headed down for 9 days in February (nice break from our cold Toronto winter), and we're looking to do mostly easy trad multi-pitch, but maybe some intermediate sport and bouldering too.

We're not familiar with the area, so we need a guide with fairly good approach and descent descriptions. I know the Supertopo is generally known for them, but how are they in Brock and McMillen's new guide?

Does the Brock/McMillen guidebook include most of the classis multi-pitch trad routes, and are the topos any good?

What about bouldering? Any info on this stuff in the new guide or is it only sport and trad?

Basically, if I want to do mostly multi-pitch trad and I'm only there for 9 days, should I get the supertopo or is everything from it pretty much covered in Brock and McMillen's new book?

And finally, not related to the guidebook, are we going to be able to find a campsite at the 13-mile campground at midnight on friday night in late February?

I tried to search for this info, but couldn't find much info about what's actually in the new guidebook.

Thanks,

Ian


vegastradguy


Dec 16, 2005, 7:30 PM
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Re: Brock/McMillen Guidebook for Red Rocks or Supertopo? [In reply to]
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The Brock book is....well, sort of like Swain's- big, all inclusive, and will get you where you want to go. It covers every route in every previous guide book plus another 200 or so, I think.

That said, I can't really recommend this book. The topos are decent, but many of the grades have been changed (for no apparent reason), much of the history is incorrect, and much of the terminology used is weird- 'mixed' refers to bolts and trad gear.

If you've purchased the book, it'll do you fine. However, if you have not, Supertopo is a far superior book and will last you several trips worth of climbing while you're here.

I do not believe that the Brock book has any real bouldering info in it. There is, however, a bouldering guide available at Desert Rock Sports on Charleston while you're here for like, $10, i think.


aimeerose


Dec 16, 2005, 9:20 PM
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Re: Brock/McMillen Guidebook for Red Rocks or Supertopo? [In reply to]
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The Brock guidebook is fine, just beware that some of the grades are off (tending towards the sandbagged side) so if you get on something and it feels harder than it's graded, this could be why. It's especially true at the Pier and the Gallery/Wall of Confusion.

As for finding a campsite late on friday, that could be difficult. I haven't camped there in a while, but last time I did, it was crowed late on a friday. If you have the means at all, it's worth getting a hotel. The camping there really sucks.

Good luck.


yetanotherdave


Dec 16, 2005, 9:42 PM
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Re: Brock/McMillen Guidebook for Red Rocks or Supertopo? [In reply to]
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I went with the old swain guide and a printout of the supertopo guide. My brother had the brock guide, and hated it - he was always borrowing ST pages. Having the printouts is super-handy for long routes - I had the topo in my pocket most of the time.

I found the ST guides were great for the routes, and OK for approaches. my recommendation would be the guides I used, but write more of the swain guide's approach details on the printouts.

Also, if you act fast, there's a special on the ST guide (this was in my email today)
Note that free shipping does include canadian destinations (I'm in BC).

RED ROCKS SPECIAL OFFER - EXPIRES IN THREE DAYS
Order now and take advantage of this special offer: order a Red Rocks
Climbing eBook and receive a free Red Rocks Climbing print book (allow 1-2
weeks for shipping). Not only do you get a free print book, but you get
free shipping and no sales tax (a 20% savings). Act now, offer expires
after December 20. Order before December 15 to ensure delivery by
Christmas. http://www.supertopo.com/packs/redrocks.html


jason_martin


Dec 17, 2005, 6:59 AM
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Re: Brock/McMillen Guidebook for Red Rocks or Supertopo? [In reply to]
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Though ST is the best book beta wise for long routes, it has little info on Sport Climbing.

We all hoped that with the new Brock book we would finally have a definitive book that we would be able to recommend without a doubt...but we don't. So my suggestion is to purchase both ST and the Brock book if sport climbing is a major goal.

Jason


flamer


Dec 17, 2005, 3:29 PM
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Re: Brock/McMillen Guidebook for Red Rocks or Supertopo? [In reply to]
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Hmmmm...I don't think any of the Vegas guide's are that bad.

Swain's can be very vague which is good for adventure.
Supertopo is more indept(although sometimes wrong) but covers far fewer routes.

The Brock guide list's all kinds of new stuf and has very detailed info on stuff that never did before....like the buffalo wall and stuff on the rainbow wall....but has some stuff that is flat wrong and pisses people off with the whole changing of route names/grades thing.


The Urioste guide's....best for approach and descent info....but no topo's and route Description are vague.

Your best bet? Get them all and cross reference!

But for you situation I'd just buy Greg's book(supertopo).....

josh


bobd1953


Dec 17, 2005, 3:46 PM
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Re: Brock/McMillen Guidebook for Red Rocks or Supertopo? [In reply to]
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Talking about guides to Vegas...I have a mint condition Joanne Urioste Red Rocks guide (old red one) for sale. Make me an offer!


tetons


Dec 17, 2005, 4:12 PM
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Re: Brock/McMillen Guidebook for Red Rocks or Supertopo? [In reply to]
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Supertopo is a very useful guide. It will get you to the trad routes you'd enjoy. I was just down there a couple of weeks ago and had a chance to use the Brock/Mcmillen guide and found alot of useful info so I give it two thumbs up. Local friends did say there are some glaring errors that detract from its overall success but we found it very helpful. I continue to think the original Urioste guide is one book I wouldn't be without, especially for trad routes. Maybe it's overkill, but have the '84 guide along with Brock, and someone will have the Supertopo -- I have all of them. Swain's book is the least valuable, plus he plagiarized alot of it so I can't really get behind it. You should be able to get a campsite at that time of year and be prepared for it being cold. OK, it's not Canada but don't get caught off guard. North facing routes are probably a poor choice, but it all depends.... Solar Slab and variations would be a worthy choice, check out the rules for the scenic loop, which are crueler and more $$$$. The peaks to the south like Windy Peak and the smaller crags avoid that damn loop road. You will have alot of fun. Velvet Wall would be kinda cold. Live it up!


*thriller*
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Dec 17, 2005, 4:22 PM
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Re: Brock/McMillen Guidebook for Red Rocks or Supertopo? [In reply to]
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Well it turns out we've got a friend who can lend us the Supertopo, so I went ahead and bought the Brock guide to go with it. I figure if we decide to do a couple days of sport, or some of the climbs people recommend that aren't in the Supertopo, we'll be glad to have it.

Thanks for all the input everyone - I appreciate it. If any of you are out there from Feb. 17th to the 26th and see a mid-twenty-something couple camping in a yellow MEC tent, come and say hi.

-Ian


iamthewallress


Dec 17, 2005, 4:41 PM
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Re: Brock/McMillen Guidebook for Red Rocks or Supertopo? [In reply to]
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In my limited experience in Red Rocks, it was useful to know which routes were in the Supertopo so that we could know where to expect crowds and climb elsewhere when crowds were to be expected.

I'm keen on the adventure factor of the Urioste guide (lots of verbal topos). Also, a reason why I've prefered it to Swain and especially the Supertopo is that it describes the top-out pitches of routes wheras the other guides may not even mention their existance.

I've only looked at the Brock guide in the store. I would buy it if I was taking a long trip there (already owning the others) just because it's such a lovely looking thing, and when tripping in the winter there is always so much time for fondling the guidebook.


ikefromla


Dec 17, 2005, 6:47 PM
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Re: Brock/McMillen Guidebook for Red Rocks or Supertopo? [In reply to]
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the brock/mcmillen guide is killer. stfu.

granted, I know them both so i'm likely to plug their book ... but seriously, it's a good publication.

fyi, sometimes changing route grades is appropriate, especially at Red Rocks.


landgolier


Dec 18, 2005, 12:43 AM
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Re: Brock/McMillen Guidebook for Red Rocks or Supertopo? [In reply to]
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RR Guides....ugh...

Just pick one, but for any long route find somebody with the others in camp and take notes, especially on approach and descent. Brock seems to have some pretty ambitious ideas about descents on some routes, we found "walk off left" to sometimes mean "pick which 25' section of 5.7 you want to solo down." Ask locals for approach beta as well, most of the guidebooks have the usual mediocre descriptions, but I would have been a lot better off if I'd been able to ask someone, "now, is the trail up to _____ area like a well worn thing, or are we talking about some barely visible BS?"


eljefe


Dec 18, 2005, 9:21 PM
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Re: Brock/McMillen Guidebook for Red Rocks or Supertopo? [In reply to]
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ike you are just plugging the book cause you got it for free. me thinks since you dont live anywhere near here during red cock season you should give your buddy jefe the book (not cause its good but so I have something new to look at while taking morning poops).
one thing is for certain at red choss... the rock is soft and consistantly breaking, everyone would be better off to just go somewhere else. i hear the super topo for lover's leap and donner is good (even though they are under snow).
for everyone looking for a give-me soft sport route at red rocks go get on Beyond Reason, piss easy--the holds keep getting better every year.
for all of you chuffs who think sport climbing is niether the route for yall is terminal velocity, red rocks is soft so this one should be a rest day event...
guidebooks are a lot of work, its easy to be critical of them. just remember when talking shit of this site that McMillen is super cool and didnt mean to hurt any egos by downgrading or misgrading peoples routes.


iamthewallress


Dec 18, 2005, 9:51 PM
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Re: Brock/McMillen Guidebook for Red Rocks or Supertopo? [In reply to]
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Well, why did they only change the grades at the popular areas?

Just to piss you off.


vegastradguy


Dec 18, 2005, 10:43 PM
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granted, I know them both so i'm likely to plug their book ... but seriously, it's a good publication.

its not that they didnt work hard (they did), or put together a comprehensive guide book (they did).

yet the most disappointing thing is the obvious lack of fact checking that went on in the book (the story about the naming of Sherwood Forest is my favorite), as well as changing of grades on popular trad routes that are hardly sandbags (Varnishing Point for one, is not a 5.9 in any world). why it is that they upgraded many trad routes and downgraded many sport routes, the world may never know.

in the end, we can nitpick it all we want, though, and it will still end up being the standard of the area- just like Swain's did. I suppose if you want the real history of the area, use the Urioste Red Book or better yet, no guide at all and go have your own adventure- it'll probably mean more to you at the end of the day....


tetons


Dec 19, 2005, 7:55 AM
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Re: Brock/McMillen Guidebook for Red Rocks or Supertopo? [In reply to]
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Another thought.... realize that many good trad routes get morning sun but fall into shade as the day progresses. Even if they face slightly north, there is some sun, very helpful. If 5.7 sounds good, start with Birdland in Pine Creek. The short routes in Willow Springs are many and fun and at various levels, and actually get sun if you are early. Do get the Urioste guide for an overall view even though the road descriptions are out of date. Chocolate Rocks at the southern end have lots to offer. I did not go through the Desert Rock store this last time but they have always been extremely helpful and friendly -- good advice from them. Do have fun which is hard not to do there, in my estimation. If the weather turns crappy Joshua is only three hours away and you can climb granite when it's wet, but not sandstone.


iamthewallress


Dec 20, 2005, 1:27 PM
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Re: Brock/McMillen Guidebook for Red Rocks or Supertopo? [In reply to]
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Oh, it doesn't piss me off. I guess it's kind of cool that I can do Threadfin almost every time I walk up to it and call it 12c! And I sent Fear and Loathing when it was 12a, so that's fine too :)

Wowwee. If you keep using the old guidebook, it will still be 12a. Write your own topo and call it 14b. Then you can really be really stoked about your bad self.

vtg, Vanishing Point, IMO is pretty reachy at the crux. I've been on easier 9's (and harder 8's), so I'm willing to give Roxana the benefit of a doubt that she was just grading things based on her own experiences and whatever feedback she personally had heard.


rudym


Dec 20, 2005, 1:32 PM
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Re: Brock/McMillen Guidebook for Red Rocks or Supertopo? [In reply to]
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All I know is that the new book ruined my day to walk up to "on the boardwalk" thinking i was going up an ez 10b since my mom was belaying only to spend a helluva lot of time looking for the "10b" solution up top. (the climb has always been 11b... good thing I could climb that - but misgrading something by a number grade is not nice as the whole reason we use guide books is to prevent having to leave gear or waste time on a climb... or test mom's newly learned belay skills sooner than anticipated). other than that... the book also was not very helpful in finding areas if you are not used to red rocks but i can't say another book is better since I don't have one


vegastradguy


Dec 20, 2005, 3:28 PM
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Re: Brock/McMillen Guidebook for Red Rocks or Supertopo? [In reply to]
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In reply to:

vtg, Vanishing Point, IMO is pretty reachy at the crux. I've been on easier 9's (and harder 8's), so I'm willing to give Roxana the benefit of a doubt that she was just grading things based on her own experiences and whatever feedback she personally had heard.

yeah....i suppose thats true. but, it seems to be pretty random which routes she chooses to change- and for no reason i can really spot. most of these routes are pretty standard at the grade. (I personally though VP was spot on at 5.8- although a tad spicy for it...)

eh, what can you do...whine and complain all we want, and it don't change a thing- it is what it is.


shorty


Dec 20, 2005, 4:17 PM
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Re: Brock/McMillen Guidebook for Red Rocks or Supertopo? [In reply to]
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Well, why did they only change the grades at the popular areas?
Just to piss you off.
wallress -- totally uncalled for, catty, and lacking tact



Especially since I have Pepsi up my nose, on my computer screen, and all over the keyboard. I have tears in my eyes, I can't breathe, and my sides hurt, too. Ruthless, I say. Ruthless.


jason_martin


Dec 21, 2005, 8:56 AM
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Re: Brock/McMillen Guidebook for Red Rocks or Supertopo? [In reply to]
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Anybody who puts in the time to write a guidebook should get a pat on the back. Most people wouldn't be on the rocks without them.

Every guidebook author gets criticized. The questions posed on this board -- like grade changing -- probably have a reasonable explanation. There is no doubt that the new book is the most comprehensive. Could it have been better? Sure. But every guide can be better. As vegastradguy said, it is what it is. Be thankful that there is something more comprehensive out there.

Jason


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