Review by: j_ung, 2006-05-12
[size=12][b] Full Disclosure: The company that manufactured this equipment provided it free of charge to RC.com and RC.com then provided it as compensation to the reviewer for his or her review. This company does not currently advertise on RC.com.[/b]
Warning: If you ever hope to onsight the Nose, run away. Seriously. Click your browser’s back button, go directly to the Community Forum and talk about politics or whatever. Just never read this review, and for godsake, whatever you do, never look at Han’s Florine’s [i]HOW to Climb the Nose Faster![/i] CD. Don’t even think about it. Likewise, if you’re one of those who detest excessive beta, run, don’t walk, away from here. If you’re smart and you clicked your back button when I told you to, you’re not reading this anyway and you may not even know [i]HOW to Climb the Nose Faster![/i] exists. Perhaps that’s for the best.
If, on the other hand, you harbor no aspirations to onsight the Nose, but your dream of all dreams is just to climb the Nose, perhaps as fast as you possibly can, then read on, playah. It’s your lucky day.
The level of beta in HCNF is remarkable. On two discs, one data and one audio, Florine runs down pitch-by-pitch info on everything from gear recommendations to pitfalls, must-see moves and everything in between. Where can you bivvy without portaledges? Which are the most comfy ledges? Which pitches can you run together? Where should you short fix? Where can you simulclimb? How should you divide the pitches among partners? “The first pitch starts out with a one and a half, two-inch slot. You can get a number one or two Camalot there,” begins Florine on the audio disc, pitch-by-pitch beta. And it flows like wine thereafter! Copy the PDF topos to carry along, for sure, but if you really want the running beta, plug the pitch-by-pitch audio files into your Ipod and bring it along, too.
[i]“So, pitch four… easy climbing up to this dihedral and then there’s like one single move. It’s like seven feet, eight feet; just almost out of your reach. Off the little end of the ramp there’s a placement for a piece so you have to kind of pull off a 5.9-plus move.” [/i]
OK, you get it… [i]detailed[/i] beta.
Florine spared some expense in putting this package together. Its goal is information – it is not meant to be a pretty, flowing, interactive tool – so don’t expect stunning design and breathtaking aesthetics. You won’t get it. The data disc has no autorun, so don’t sit in front of your ‘puter waiting for it to start. Go on in and open files one by one. Much of it is novelty content: statistics, Nose-based records and trivia, and also beta on Yosemite lodging, which may actually prove to be the crux of your expedition. The audio disc has several voiceovers, during which you may hear one or two words with inconsistent audio quality, but while those are a little distracting, they don't affect the overall quality of information.
HCNF’s true gems are the topos. Florine takes the already comprehensive Chris-Mac Supertopos and fills the white space with his personal notes and tips for making each pitch pass quicker and easier. And since photocopied topos are easier to carry than an Ipod, I think this is where users will also see the most value. But even the included JPGs are – with reference marks – worth their bytes in gold. [/size]
[i]JPGs included on the data disc provide many of the time-saving tips. [/i]
[size=12]I decided before writing this that I didn’t want to touch style issues with a ten-foot pole. Whether or not one could be considered “cheating,” by using this 2-disc set is of no concern to me. I don’t care if you hang a 3000’ rope from the top, jug all 32 pitches and then tell me you sent it; it won’t affect my climbing in the slightest.
I ignore the issue, even though some folks might not, in part because HCNF is targeted to such a narrow audience. How many people want to climb the Nose and want this level of beta before doing it? Florine couldn’t be hoping to make a killing on this project. The potential audience is just too small. No, I suspect instead that he’s doing this more as a service for those who are as inspired to climb this classic of all classics as he is. And those who do want to climb the Nose, but don't want all the beta, well, I warned you. You should have clicked away at the first paragraph!
I’ve never climbed the Nose and I don’t intend to. I’ve never even been to the Valley. Therefore, I don’t know how accurate Florine’s beta is, but I’m going to assume that, since he’s climbed the route over 60 times with more than 60 different partners, and since the topo basis is the highly-respected Supertopo, that the info is top notch and comprehensive.
[i]HOW to Climb the Nose Faster![/i] Is available [url=http://hansflorine.com/shop/NIAD.html]here[/url] for $17.95. [/size]