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#21548 - 06/12/06 01:26 PM Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide
Jim Lawyer Offline

Registered: 08/23/00
Posts: 157
Loc: Pompey, NY
A new guidebook to rock climbing in the Adirondacks is in preparation, due for publication in 2007. This comprehensive guide to crags in the largest park in the US will feature more than 20 new climbing areas and all the new routes of the last decade on better-known cliffs -- plus updates and corrections. Anyone with information to contribute can contact the authors at More information is available at .

Jim Lawyer & Jeremy Haas

#21549 - 06/12/06 02:18 PM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: Jim Lawyer]
learningtolead Offline
old hand

Registered: 04/16/02
Posts: 981
Loc: a wanna be kerhonkson-er
That is awesome!! Creating a good guidebook is a labor of love. Thanks for doing it.

#21550 - 06/12/06 03:31 PM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: Jim Lawyer]
strat Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/30/01
Posts: 4242
Jim and Jeremy, A thank-less job! Good luck!

Let me be the first thankless bastard to gripe

Can I make a request, no, beg, that in your guidebook revision you do not adapt the precision description approach for crags and routes that Dick Williams does in his guide books?

Can you somehow strike a balance between giving a climber enough information so they can make good decisions about destinations but leave much of the experience up to their own discovery?

For a climbing area like the Adirondacks, that is a collection of small cliffs with a couple REALLY big ones spread out all over, that generally lacks a centralized scene, has a smallish local climber population, and has lots of drive-to visitors, the guidebook very much sets the tone for the region. I have always valued the tone set by the Trudy Healy and Mellor books and have grown to appreciate the experience that results from the geology blended with the guidebook tone. Not that a new guidebook will change my approach and experience- but, it will for future climbers.

A question- will you be including bouldering into this guide (not that I am strong enough to boulder)?


#21551 - 06/12/06 04:21 PM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: strat]
Smike Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/01/01
Posts: 3143
Loc: in your backyard
Yes Thankless Job, that has at least one thank you from me.

I agree with strat 100% Please please keep the semi 'wildernessÂ’ aspect of the Burgundy bible. The need to find your own way (if even only part of it) in the Adirondacks makes it one of the best climbing locations for the anti cragger.

#21552 - 06/12/06 06:58 PM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: Smike]
Jim Lawyer Offline

Registered: 08/23/00
Posts: 157
Loc: Pompey, NY

Thanks for the suggestions. I could use some clarification, though. You say that we should strike a balance so that climbers can make "good decisions about destinations". What information do you think is important for climbers to make these decisions, and what to you consider too much?

We certainly like to hear suggestions; we're also looking for content at this point -- new routes, new crags, and so forth.


#21553 - 06/12/06 08:46 PM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: Jim Lawyer]
Chas Offline

Registered: 03/22/01
Posts: 1754
Loc: Flagstaff
guidebook writing is a labor f love, including the pain of delivery...

Kudos to Jim and look forward to it, especially some of the newer "ice" climbs

#21554 - 06/12/06 10:52 PM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: Chas]
Jim Lawyer Offline

Registered: 08/23/00
Posts: 157
Loc: Pompey, NY

Sorry to disappoint -- our guidebook is rock climbing ice.


#21555 - 06/13/06 10:34 AM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: Jim Lawyer]
D75 Offline

Registered: 03/18/05
Posts: 293
Loc: Holiday Inn Express
A guidebook should contain everything that its buyer would expect to find to plan a trip.
  • Weather
  • Maps
  • Food, camping, lodging
  • Climb locations
  • Approach info if the hike is longer than say 30 minutes, or tricky to find
  • For an area like the adirondacks, it might even be helpful to have a listing of climbs by length of approach. (Many climbers prefer to just climb, not hike.)
  • Climb routes and/or topos
  • Grades (including sorted listing)
  • Protection ratings
  • Normal rack for the area. Deviations or special needs per climb
  • Descent information
  • History - color and FA .

In short, the guide should have anything that a non-local planning a trip to the area would want to know to make for an efficient and happy climbing experience, and even alternatives for weather days. Look through all the guides that you have. Evolution applies to guidebooks, too. The weak ones should end up in folks quaint, little private libraries, the good ones should be used.

You should not be criticized for putting too much in the book. That way your buyer gets value. Locals have the option of not buying the book. Of course, if you know what you are doing, you could probably put it together in some abridged version as well that only had what the strats and smikes of the world want. But good luck selling it. Their best alternative is probably to just not buy the book, or they can buy it and leave it in the car. Probably an on-line product is best bet there.

See for a modern approach. The print publications are top-notch. On-line info is available in a way that does not directly compete with print. Consider using XML to allow you to focus on providing all the info, and some publisher to work out separately layout and formatting issues (especially if an online or electronic version is envisioned.)

#21556 - 06/13/06 01:33 PM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: D75]
brianlax Offline

Registered: 03/24/06
Posts: 31
I'm going to go ahead and toss out an underhanded pitch... D75, feel free to swing... but it doesnt seem to me you have climbed in the Adirondacks before (aside from Beerwalls or Spiders Web)... Having a supertopo guide to the area is probably the worst thing that could happen.

What makes the Adirondacks so special is the "Spirit of Adventure" (great climb btw) involved in the outings. Having someone lay down the exact gear beta, cruxes, fixed gear, and everything else for every pitch is beyond excessive and not what climbing in the adirondacks is about at all.

I am not a local by any means, but I have come to love and respect the adirondacks for what they are... and what they are not (the gunks).

#21557 - 06/13/06 01:42 PM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: D75]
Tom Breloff Offline

Registered: 03/28/06
Posts: 27
Loc: NYC
I have to agree with D75 here. If people want a more adventurous experience, they can continue to use the Mellor guide. Personally, I prefer to have somewhat detailed information about approach and descent. I want to know if the "hike" down is really a scramble down a 5.3 gully, or if I need to take a 3 mile loop to get back down. It will make a difference in what climbs I choose, and what gear/food/water I need to bring.

Guys, good luck with the guide. I'll look forward to it. Sadly, I can't offer any new route advice because I'm a wimpy Gunks climber.


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