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

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 jim@summsoft.com. More information is available at www.AdirondackRock.com .

Jim Lawyer & Jeremy Haas

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#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.

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#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)?

Sam

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#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 'wilderness’ 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.

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

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

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.

Jim

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

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

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

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

Sorry to disappoint -- our guidebook is rock climbing only...no ice.

Jim

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

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 www.supertopo.com 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.)

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

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).


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

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.

Tom

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#21558 - 06/13/06 01:47 PM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: Jim Lawyer]
strat Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/30/01
Posts: 4242
What D75 and Tom Breloff are asking for is not mutually exclusive to what I'm trying to say. More to come later.

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#21559 - 06/13/06 02:18 PM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: strat]
D75 Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 03/18/05
Posts: 293
Loc: Holiday Inn Express
The adventure argument always strikes me as whiny, at best. If one wanted adventure it would seem that the strategies are
  • Buy no book.
  • Buy a book only to be sure that you are not on a route already done. (For the vanity of FA or FRA.)
  • Solo
  • Free solo.


He swings and misses . Never been there. Weather killed only two planned trips.

The requirements of a rock climbing Guide Book are generic. They are not specific to any given area. Like bolts added to a trad line. Nobody is sticking a gun to your head. You do not have to read it. You do not have to read everything in it. But publishing less than the standard info in guide books is lazy, (or arrogant) and bad business.

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#21560 - 06/13/06 02:32 PM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: D75]
strat Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/30/01
Posts: 4242
Quote:

The adventure argument always strikes me as whiny, at best. If one wanted adventure it would seem that the strategies are
  • Buy no book.
  • Buy a book only to be sure that you are not on a route already done. (For the vanity of FA or FRA.)
  • Solo
  • Free solo.


He swings and misses . Never been there. Weather killed only two planned trips.

The requirements of a rock climbing Guide Book are generic. They are not specific to any given area. Like bolts added to a trad line. Nobody is sticking a gun to your head. You do not have to read it. You do not have to read everything in it. But publishing less than the standard info in guide books is lazy, (or arrogant) and bad business.




D75, why don't you just stop trolling. It really is ridiculous. No one is suggesting what you are calling bad business or arrogant. You really are a terrible troll, between your posts here and your posts on the SteriPen thread, it is ridiculous.

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#21561 - 06/13/06 03:29 PM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: Tom Breloff]
dalguard Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1515
Loc: CT
I think people who like more info in their guidebook are more likely to buy a guidebook. Put me in the more info camp. The one thing I don't like though is a guidebook full of ugly descriptions and dire warnings. There are some books that manage to turn you off of every route in them. Protection ratings and stars are a quick guide to what's dangerous or chossy. I like the route description to emphasize the positive.

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#21562 - 06/13/06 04:19 PM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: Jim Lawyer]
mworking Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/26/04
Posts: 764
To all: Is the Mellor Guide inadequate?
Why?

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#21563 - 06/13/06 04:35 PM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: Jim Lawyer]
mworking Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/26/04
Posts: 764
To all:
Is the Mellor Guide inadequate?
Why?

Just curious. Besides, the answers will be as helpful to the OP as any others.

PS: Has it really been 10 years since the last Mellor update?


Edited by mworking (06/13/06 05:01 PM)

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#21564 - 06/13/06 05:24 PM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: mworking]
Tom Breloff Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/28/06
Posts: 27
Loc: NYC
Quote:

To all:
Is the Mellor Guide inadequate?
Why?




The Mellor guide is missing many details which I feel could be expanded upon. For the most part, the approaches and descents are only hinted at, and route descriptions are kind of generic "Climb the crack just left of the crack, and just right of the crack, up to a crack, then traverse right 10-50 feet to a crack and up to the top." (Obvious exaggeration!)

Also, there may be some corrections and updates to be made. For example, I believe the Mellor guide describes the approach to Washbowl as going straight from the road up to the center of the cliff. My wife and I followed semi-worn paths from the road, and then bushwacked halfway to the cliff until she lost her motivation to climb Washbowl. We went to nearby Creature wall, only to have someone tell us that the "new" trail to Washbowl uses the same trailhead as Creature wall. A small detail that kind of killed our day.

I've spent enough time in the Placid area to know my way around the cliffs, but I've only climbed on the few cliffs with the easiest access. This is mainly because I wasn't confident I could avoid an epic with the information at hand, and I don't want to spend my precious Adirondack climbing days trying to find the cliff. I think one could strike a balance between too little and too much information by providing accurate trail maps showing approach and descent, and keeping the route topos and move-by-move analysis to a minimum. Maybe it would be best to give accurate topos for the easy access crags, and then just some general descriptions for the backcountry crags.

Tom

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#21565 - 06/13/06 06:01 PM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: brianlax]
chazman Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/07/02
Posts: 944
Quote:

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've used the Supertopos in the Valley a few times and never lacked for that "Spirit of Adventure" you seem to think they kill. Chris details the crap out of the North Dome Gully and East Ledges descents and I hardly felt cheated out of the adventure... and we had a guide (who got lost a few times). I'd vote for including all you can in the guide and let the adventure seekers opt out of purchasing it.

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#21566 - 06/13/06 06:19 PM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: chazman]
brianlax Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/24/06
Posts: 31
Lets see what Don Mellor has to say.... (taken from adirondackrock.com)

_____________________________________
Jim and Jeremy,

Best of luck in your project. The website looks great, probably a good indication of the kind of work you guys are going to produce. As I told you years ago, Jeremy, while I enjoyed my spot as guidebook guy since 1983, I have neither the desire, the time, nor the intimate knowledge of the last climbing decade to ever do it again. And it’s kind of pleasant slipping out of the center of things: no worrying about whether this or that route is actually on state land; no emails telling me that “I just backed off the 5.10 section of your “5.8” – do you sniff glue?”; no guilt about writing up routes that I hadn’t done. I leave all those niceties to you. And I’m glad it’s you, since you have the passion, the knowledge, and the technological skills to pull it together.

What was most important to me was perpetuating the image (or the myth?) that Adirondack climbing was different – inconvenient, unpredictable, irritating, at times; that it was the place, far more than the petty deeds of the people, that earned our respect. Taming routes or approaches didn’t help, in my opinion, since people come here for the struggle. I’d love to see that philosophy sustained.

I also fully appreciated my long relationship with the Adirondack Mountain Club. I still think they are our strongest advocacy voice. And for the time being, I think the red book is still pretty useful. I feel really good about what you are doing. If I can help in any way, don’t be shy.

Don Mellor
_________________________________________________________

Have any of you used the Joe Kelsey's Wind River Guidebook... written much in the same way that Don wrote his book... and it is excellent... to say that "The requirements of a rock climbing Guide Book are generic. They are not specific to any given area." I would say is very wrong...

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#21567 - 06/13/06 07:24 PM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: Tom Breloff]
Aya Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/18/04
Posts: 754
Loc: Climbing somewhere
Quote:

Also, there may be some corrections and updates to be made. For example, I believe the Mellor guide describes the approach to Washbowl as going straight from the road up to the center of the cliff. My wife and I followed semi-worn paths from the road, and then bushwacked halfway to the cliff until she lost her motivation to climb Washbowl. We went to nearby Creature wall, only to have someone tell us that the "new" trail to Washbowl uses the same trailhead as Creature wall. A small detail that kind of killed our day.




I don't understand your complaint - the 10 year old guide didn't detail the "new" approach? That the "old" approach was too difficult? Not well described?

I climbed up at Washbowl last August and after locating a path from the road (which was just abourt where the dotted line on the map on page 64 shows it to be) and mustering the courage to actually commit (my pack was really heavy!) to crossing the stream (described in the guide book as, surprisingly enough, a stream in a swampy area) via a fallen tree, the first cairn was very easily visible (actually, it was visible even without crossing the stream). The rest were very easy to find. No, it wasn't the 20 minute climb (not for an out of shape city girl like me) described in the book, but it was by no means a "bushwhack". It was a very clearly marked scramble up a huge talus field, and the features such as the prominent right facing corner described in the book were very obvious. My scribbled notes indicate that "ascent via creeature wall trail could avoid much talus??" (my conclusion after we chose to descend that way) but it's not like the "old" trail disappeared and became overgrown or something.

The problem is that a lot of the climbs are kind of a bit of a hike to get in to, and aren't exactly super frequently climbed - the approach trails can change pretty easily, so a turn-left at he forked tree, turn right at the elephant-shaped mossy rock type description isn't really possible, unless you're expecting someone to go in and create and maintain approach trails... not that I've exactly climbed a lot up there; that's just my impression...

Anyway, thanks and best wishes to Jim & Jeremy; I wish I climbed enough up there to help you guys out, but as it is I think the most I can really offer you guys at this point is moral support...
_________________________
Gunks T-Shirts!

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#21568 - 06/13/06 07:47 PM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: Jim Lawyer]
fallenglass Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 08/01/03
Posts: 276
Loc: cornwall
i think a guide book can really affect the culture of a climbing area. It can choose to celebrate some traditions and tone down others. of particular concern to me is the use of fixed anchors -- i'd hate to see bolted sport routes appearing on the spider's web, for example.

mellor's approach is an excellent one to follow.

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#21569 - 06/13/06 08:09 PM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: Aya]
Tom Breloff Offline
newbie

Registered: 03/28/06
Posts: 27
Loc: NYC
Quote:

I don't understand your complaint - the 10 year old guide didn't detail the "new" approach? That the "old" approach was too difficult? Not well described?



The person I talked to seemed to imply that the "old" trail is never used anymore...maybe they were wrong (and maybe my wife and I were just plain lost in the woods). The "complaint" was more that I'm sure there is information in the Mellor guide which is no longer accurate (or was never accurate), and it couldn't hurt have some updated descriptions. Even just a similarly vague, but rewritten, description may help in route finding.

Long story short...I'll be looking forward to using both guides when I climb in the Dacks.

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#21570 - 06/13/06 10:16 PM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: mworking]
Jim Lawyer Offline
member

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

Is the Mellor Guide inadequate?




Fair question, which is answered on the AdirondackRock web site. To summarize, I've been using the Mellor guide for years, and it is adequate for the information it contains. The new guide will include new crags (and there are many), new routes on existing crags, updated approach information, updated descent information, stories, photos, and lots of other goodies.

Thanks for all the good comments.

Jim

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#21571 - 06/14/06 02:55 AM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: Jim Lawyer]
phlan Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/11/00
Posts: 2778
Loc: Gardiner, NY
Thanks Jim. It will be great to see the new book. What's been going on at Azure Mtn. I love the Daks.

Chris (formerly Bill) Moratz
_________________________
Support Your Local Farmer!

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#21572 - 06/14/06 03:42 AM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: phlan]
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4276
Loc: Poughkeepsie
Quote:

Thanks Jim. It will be great to see the new book. What's been going on at Azure Mtn.




Now I can understand people driving to Chapel Pond, the High Peaks, maybe even to Poko and Moss Cliff. But Azure Mt is the northernmost ADK rock. That's quite a ways to go from anywhere downstate. I surprised to see anyone mention it here.

(to the rest of you, Azure is a 250 ft overhanging granite face near the northen edge of the ADK Park boundary, near St Regis Falls as you head to Potsdam. HUGE aid potential, and some activity there)

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#21573 - 06/14/06 12:44 PM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: Mike Rawdon]
phlan Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/11/00
Posts: 2778
Loc: Gardiner, NY
I liked Azure, admitted most people would never go there but I was attending engineering school at Clarkson so it was convenient.

That headwall is stupendous, really blank looking and kind of gently overhanging. It should be bolted, bring in Chris Sharma and there might be a couple of 5.14's on there. That'll put the ADK's on the map for sure.
_________________________
Support Your Local Farmer!

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#21574 - 06/14/06 12:48 PM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: phlan]
fallenglass Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 08/01/03
Posts: 276
Loc: cornwall
ok, push my buttons why don't you! (actually, i'm thinking of doing a little sport climbing at west point today for lunch -- i know, i'm a hypocrite)

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#21575 - 06/14/06 08:12 PM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: phlan]
Frank Florence Offline
addict

Registered: 01/05/00
Posts: 528
Loc: moved to Bend
Jim,

Great to learn about your project. You've mentioned to the two aspects I'd most like to see in a new Dacks guide: updated approach and descent information. Azure Mountain is a perfect example. The cabin's gone, the trail's been modified, and the distances in Mellor's guide were/are inaccurate. Close enough to get you to the place, but definitely in need of ground-truthing.

As far as a need for a new guide, I think the experience I had over the Memorial Day weekend points out why one is in order. Because of the extensive peregrine closure on Poke-O at the time, as well as on Moss and Washbowl cliffs, it seemed to me that there were an awful lot of climbers congregated on just a few crags along Route 73. True, that attests to a lack of imagination or an unwillingness to hike a little by the folks lining up. But I have to believe that a new guide will encourage more of us to head for new places to explore and new lines to try.

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#21576 - 06/16/06 01:58 AM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: Frank Florence]
ScottR Offline
journeyman

Registered: 05/27/05
Posts: 99
Make the hard sell. Lots of nice pics of classic routes at obscure cliffs and few pics of routes at crowded crags will help spread the crowds out.

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#21577 - 06/16/06 02:16 AM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: ScottR]
Smike Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/01/01
Posts: 3143
Loc: in your backyard
Just stop by Rock and River one morning and have Ed P dangle pic after pic of hardly known obscure routes off the beaten path and drool.


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#28014 - 04/02/07 11:19 PM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: Jim Lawyer]
Jim Lawyer Offline
member

Registered: 08/23/00
Posts: 157
Loc: Pompey, NY
The New York Times ran a piece on the project yesterday:
Click here

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#28016 - 04/03/07 01:16 AM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: Jim Lawyer]
fallenglass Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 08/01/03
Posts: 276
Loc: cornwall
neat article

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#28018 - 04/03/07 03:14 AM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: Jim Lawyer]
tokyo bill Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 793
Loc: Tokyo
Nice.

Looking forward to the book.

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#28019 - 04/03/07 03:36 AM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: tokyo bill]
Aya Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/18/04
Posts: 754
Loc: Climbing somewhere
Too bad the online version doesn't have the photos!
_________________________
Gunks T-Shirts!

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#28021 - 04/03/07 12:42 PM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: Aya]
empicard Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/29/01
Posts: 2955
Loc: LI, NY
i find mellors approach times rather amusing.
that man either FLIES or cant read a watch.
_________________________
tOOthless

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

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#28022 - 04/03/07 12:50 PM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: empicard]
strat Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/30/01
Posts: 4242
Both


Edited by strat (04/03/07 12:51 PM)

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#28023 - 04/03/07 12:52 PM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: Jim Lawyer]
strat Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/30/01
Posts: 4242
None of the previous editions put a time next to "The Weissner Route" on Noonmark.

Have you "historians" had a chance to find out which trip to the Adirondacks, Fritz did that climb?

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#28052 - 04/04/07 11:14 AM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: strat]
Jim Lawyer Offline
member

Registered: 08/23/00
Posts: 157
Loc: Pompey, NY
Actually, I'd love to know more about Wiessner's climbs, and other climbs from that era. Combing through what has been written over the years, I've only been able to come up with a few original descriptions (with dates) for his routes. Have any tips?
Jim

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#28057 - 04/04/07 02:10 PM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: Jim Lawyer]
talus Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 1259
sounds like you going to have a great guidebook can't wait till it comes out.
_________________________
John Okner Photography

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#28275 - 04/13/07 05:40 PM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: talus]
Jeff L. Offline
stranger

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 7
Loc: CT.
Jim: you asked earlier for format suggestions. Are you familiar with the guide books put out by Kevin McLane of Elaho publishing in Squamish,BC? His Squamish and Bugaboo guides are superb, giving all the necesary details to find climbs in very complex areas, while leaving plenty of "adventure". His history sections are also superb and I for one look for historical info in all the guides I purchase-- something to read and savor on "rainy" days, of which my experience tells me the Adirondacks have plenty. Thanks in advance for undertaking the job--I look forward to adding your guide to my shelf and often to my pack. Jeff Lea

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#28279 - 04/13/07 07:35 PM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: Jeff L.]
dalguard Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1515
Loc: CT
You know they laugh about his guidebooks out there? I guess it shows you can't please everyone.

Way back in this thread I mentioned that my pet peeve with regards to guidebooks is when all the route descriptions are negative. I was specifically referring to McLane's Squamish guide. I believe one of my trip reports says that he deserves a special award for making heaven sound unappealing.

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#28292 - 04/16/07 12:39 AM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: Jeff L.]
Jim Lawyer Offline
member

Registered: 08/23/00
Posts: 157
Loc: Pompey, NY
Jeff L - Thanks for the tip. I have this guide to Squamish, but I'm not sure I see the history sections your talking about. The cliff introductions are fun to read, but not "histories" in the typical sense.
Jim

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#28293 - 04/16/07 12:42 AM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: dalguard]
Jim Lawyer Offline
member

Registered: 08/23/00
Posts: 157
Loc: Pompey, NY
dalguard - I quickly skimmed the aforementioned guidebook (for Squamish) and didn't find the negative language you mention. Do you have specific examples of language that should avoided in guidebooks?

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#28297 - 04/16/07 12:31 PM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: Jim Lawyer]
Dillbag Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/02/06
Posts: 1130
Loc: "The Town"
I say... Tell it like it is!

If its a chossy pile, with only two good lines on it... Call it that! And if it's an awesome crag, with several dozen lines on it... Make it sound like crap, and then send me a PM ;\) \:D ;\)
_________________________
...anethum graveolens cucumis sativus!

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#28302 - 04/16/07 06:37 PM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: Dillbag]
dalguard Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1515
Loc: CT
It's not that he says the routes suck (they clearly don't). It's that every route description seems to have something like "tricky route finding" or "polished" or "hard to protect" or "awkward" or "top-roped to death" or something that seems to indicate that the route is harder or less well protected than the ratings suggest or less fun than the stars suggest. You'd never guess how good those routes are from the way he described them. Have you climbed at Squamish? It may be that you need to read some of his route descriptions and then climb some of the climbs to understand how much he's underselling them.

If there's something the ratings aren't telling you ("#3 needed for crux" or "take the lefthand crack") then put that in but otherwise I enjoy it when a guidebook emphasizes the positives of the route.

I'm reading travel guidebooks for Rome at the moment and there's a parallel there. A listing for an attraction tells you how much it costs and how to get tickets and may include a warning about long lines but the bulk of the description is why you'd want to go there and how best to enjoy it. If every listing said "vastly overrated", "just more stupid art", "mediocre work in a horrible setting" the guidebook wouldn't serve one of its two main purposes: to get you excited about the trip. In climbing guidebook terms, I figure the topo and the ratings serve the second main purpose (get me to, and up, the route safely). The rest of the listing should be climbing porn. Make me want it.

Here's a funny post from a Squamish climber about S (suckage) ratings. http://groups.google.com/group/rec.climbing/msg/358ca56725dfbc2f?dmode=source&output=gplain
I don't think he's really joking about McLane's habit of making routes sound worse than they are but I find the coincidence of him having picked McLane amusing.

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#28308 - 04/16/07 07:57 PM Re: Adirondack Rock - a new rock climbing guide [Re: dalguard]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2470
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Hoho, Andy's hilarious send-up reminds me of Joe Kelsey's parodies of Art Gran's guidebook, for example,

M.F.
Jim McCarthy has created a modern classic which makes this "the" climb to do. If a climber leads this route and you are with him, you will see an excellent example of calmness on sheer rock, for it will be the only tool that will save him from a fall. A border-line climb, it is probably the hardest example of this class of climbing. It is a perfect stepping stone to a higher level.

Art Gran, A Climber's Guide to the Shawangunks, 1964.

C.S.
Jim McCarthy has created a modern horror which makes this a climb to avoid. If a climber leads this route and you are stupid enough to be with him, you will see an excellent example of foolhardiness on sheer rock, for luck will be the only thing to save him from a fall. A bit hard for its class, this climb is a perfect stepping stone to the grave.

Joe Kelsey, A Supplement to A Climber's Guide to the Shawangunks, 1966.

Guidebook writers who decide to editorialize have to be prepared to take the heat. We certainly enjoyed making fun of Gran; his book provided many hours of hilarity as well as describing the routes, and so his commentaries might be viewed as value added, even if the value wasn't exactly what he had in mind.

I haven't read the Squamish Guide, but Andy's parody is evidence of its value as a source of merriment. Perhaps something there is worth celebrating, though I don't think one can aspire to it.

Please let us know where the routes go, how to get to them, and how to get back from them. More or less. The spirit of Adirondack climbing requires the lurking potential of a total fiasco. People who insist on a paint-in-the-numbers approach have the Trapps. Whatever else you want to do will add to the work for some and diminish it for others, so best to please yourself.

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