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#38551 - 07/20/08 03:05 AM new guidebook in August?
Alex Offline

Registered: 08/16/00
Posts: 192
I noticed a new "Climbing Guide to the Gunks" $35 advertised at Chessler Books that is due out in August. It's by the same authors as the splashy new "Needles" and "Devil's Tower" guides. I guess this is the new hip style for guidebooks. I've seen their other guides; some of the stories are funny and their cut and paste pictures too. But overall they're not for me. I prefer a guide that shows all the routes. And perhaps the hype is too much for me.
But, you can pre-order your copies now.

Edited by Alex (07/20/08 03:06 AM)

#38553 - 07/20/08 02:55 PM Re: new guidebook in August? [Re: Alex]
budman Offline

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 17
Loc: UT.
Bought both of the mentioned guide books as I'm headed to the Tower in a Week. Think they are the shit. Very accurate as well as having great photos and good rap beta for the Tower. Still have my Dingus McGee and The Last Pioneer Woman copy also and it will be in my pack as well. Headed back to the Gunks for 3 weeks of climbing in the fall and looking forward to the new guide book and a new perspective at climbing cracks that go in the other direction. Will be bring my Todd Swain guide book for some adventure as being miss lead is always fun. Remember no guide book is a substitute for good judgement.
not so famous cranky old dude

#38554 - 07/20/08 04:27 PM Re: new guidebook in August? [Re: Alex]
ShakesALot Offline

Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 258
Loc: NJ
That's pretty funny, nice marketing approach... "beta, beta, beta" "tear-out route cards to bring with you", "full color topos."

The only things missing are a free day-pass ;\) and a sticker.

Wonder when the Dick's guide to the Near's is coming out?

Edited by ShakesALot (07/20/08 04:28 PM)

#38555 - 07/20/08 04:28 PM Re: new guidebook in August? [Re: budman]
cfrac Offline

Registered: 04/26/08
Posts: 462
 Originally Posted By: budman
Will be bring my Todd Swain guide book for some adventure as being miss lead is always fun.

I have to say that the new Williams Trapps guide is an amazing work and resource but I still find that as a taller climber I find Swain's grades and protection ratings (for the most part) more accurate for me. Of course there are plenty of examples where things are just plain wrong. One of the biggest discrepancies at Millbrook is the route description and line for High Plains Drifter.

#38556 - 07/20/08 06:14 PM Re: new guidebook in August? [Re: cfrac]
Jim Lawyer Offline

Registered: 08/23/00
Posts: 157
Loc: Pompey, NY
I used the Extreme Angels books during a recent trip to the Tower and Needles. My opinion:

* Clear.
* Well laid out, routes easy to find.
* Tear-out cards were handy for a Tower-newby like me. Nice laminated coating too, so they didn't wear out with my sweating.
* Stories and history were interesting.
* Full color is pretty sweet.
* Rather fun and fresh, at least at first. Very eye catching.

* Heavy, thick pages.
* Lots of wasted space from unnecessary art, giant topos that could easily be reduced in size, and just plain empty space. The Needles book has a 7 page index that can easily fit on a single page.
* Wasted space and thick pages mean unnecessary bulk and weight. I believe these books could be 1/3 of their present size without any loss in clarity.
* Old photos didn't do justice to the areas. Sure, a few historical photos are cool, but how many butt shots do you need? The photo reproduction looks grainy and flat, not cutting edge as its price would suggest. These areas have been beautifully photographed by amazing photographers, so it's not due to lack of material.
* Wacky art was a novelty, but it wore off. Much of it is unrelated to climbing. After a while, I was just wishing that that space was used for rad and inspiring route photos.
* I couldn't buy the Tower guide at the NPS shop at the trailhead. (I was told this was because it has "porn". I'm not affended, but apparently some people are.)
* In the case of Needles -- frustratingly incomplete. When you summit one of the spires and see all those cool-looking routes around you, it sucks that they aren't in the guidebook. The book also has mostly moderate routes -- 5.10 and under. Where are all the classic hard routes?

With the ultra-thoroughness of Dick and Todd's offerings (and in such a small, portable size too), it's difficult to understand why the Gunks needs another guidebook. Having said that, I placed my order because I'm curious.

#38557 - 07/20/08 07:20 PM Re: new guidebook in August? [Re: Jim Lawyer]
Alex Offline

Registered: 08/16/00
Posts: 192
A assume their Gunks guide will be a lot like their Needles guide: just a small selection of routes, of interest more for visiting climbers not locals. Yosemite and Eldorado will likely be next!

#38558 - 07/20/08 07:27 PM Re: new guidebook in August? [Re: Alex]
MarcC Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/10/00
Posts: 3532
 Originally Posted By: Alex
Yosemite and Eldorado will likely be next!

Red Rocks! You forgot Red Rocks! An area that's just crying out for it's 36th guidebook!
- Marc

#38561 - 07/21/08 01:22 AM Re: new guidebook in August? [Re: MarcC]
chip Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2679
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
Is Dick's "Classic Climbs" guide still available? Seems to fit a similar niche.
I am most impressed with the "Trad Guide To J-Tree" which has 60 climbs from 5.5 to 5.9. Perfect for an area with an immense guide and that I'll probably get to only occaisionally. The color photos are glossy, sharp and very helpful. Maybe not a bad evolution in the guides, but hard to imagine anything nearly as well researched and documented as the Grey Dick.

#38562 - 07/21/08 01:33 AM Re: new guidebook in August? [Re: chip]
Alex Offline

Registered: 08/16/00
Posts: 192
I do hope we get some porn too! The Vulgarians certainly deserve some cut and paste skin pics.

#38563 - 07/21/08 01:43 AM Re: new guidebook in August? [Re: Alex]
Mark Heyman Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 1123
Loc: South Jersey (Pinelands)
To each his own, but I’ll buy a guide book to most any decent area I only might go to. What I’ve read here has not made me enthusiastic for any of these. In fact despite what sounds like limited but very accurate content, they still seem like books for me to avoid.

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