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#55293 - 09/27/10 02:20 AM "Gunks" Book
ChrisG Offline
stranger

Registered: 05/11/10
Posts: 5
I was in Borders the other day and saw a book in the local interest section called the "The Gunks" or "Gunks" (didn't pay much attention, sorry) it was a little large to be a guidebook, glossy, but with some new color pictures and route descriptions, along with some BITD obscure photos. Looking at some of the routes, the ratings seemed a bit odd, Betty- 5.6 PG, Easy O 5.4 PG and Cedar Box 5.8 PG. I know Gunks ratings are a bit "stiff" compared to other areas, but that seems a bit much. Does anyone know the deal on the book and these ratings? I'm crossing my fingers that I am now an overnight 5.8 trad leader! smile Thanks-

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#55299 - 09/27/10 11:20 AM Re: "Gunks" Book [Re: ChrisG]
Lucander Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 227
Loc: Stone Ridge, NY
Or Never Never Land at 5.11 R...while Yellow Wall remains at 5.11, or Modern Times at 5.10 while Doubleissima remains at 5.10.

The authors seem to have upgraded routes that they climbed, while not upgrading routes that were already at difficult standards. That guidebook is an accident waiting to happen.

DL

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#55300 - 09/27/10 12:30 PM Re: "Gunks" Book [Re: Lucander]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2677
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
I haven't been able to find the thread from when this first came out, but grades are concensus and not a perfect science. I can see what the authors were trying to do and there are certainly routes that have a traditional grade that may be viewed as harsh by the visitor. Shockley's (the divorce route) is a great example. The color, close photos are great but if Dick adopted this he would need 4 volumes to cover the Trapps, so there are trade offs. Take all ratings with a grain of salt and you will stay safer as well as have more to talk about over a cold one at the end of the day.

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#55303 - 09/27/10 02:28 PM Re: "Gunks" Book [Re: chip]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2677
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
I thought another good example of a climb that was upgraded appropriately is Laurel. It is polished as smooth as a mirror and without the fixed pin you now have to place a piece in the best handhold for the start. 5.8-9 seems about right to me.
Many of the changed grades I do not agree with at all, but I can appreciate the reasoning of how these climbs would feel to a visitor.

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#55305 - 09/27/10 02:44 PM Re: "Gunks" Book [Re: chip]
KathyS Offline
member

Registered: 01/10/08
Posts: 196
Loc: NY, USA
"Betty- 5.6 PG, Easy O 5.4 PG and Cedar Box 5.8 PG"

Wow. I lead 5.8 PG? This is news to me.

Kathy

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#55306 - 09/27/10 03:06 PM Re: "Gunks" Book [Re: KathyS]
SethG Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 710
Loc: NYC
There was a lengthy thread about that book when it came out.

Ratings selectively inflated, routes inconsistently and inaccurately described. It's a terrible book, and every time I look at it my opinion of the book gets even lower. Some nice pictures from Denis O'Connor, though.
_________________________
It's true, I have a blog. http://climbandpunishment.blogspot.com/

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#55309 - 09/27/10 04:19 PM Re: "Gunks" Book [Re: SethG]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2677
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
Seth, thanks so much for the link. I couldn't find it. In general, I agree with your accessment of the ratings, but I have found a few instances that I can at least see where they are going and why. Many of them leave me scratching my head.
It seems with each new guide we see a new innovation, such as the pro rating and the sketch of the carriage trail features to show which climbs you are under. Thank you Todd and Dick. I think the photos are great and would love to see these retained in future guides or as an addendum to cover the whole cliff, not just th author's favorites.

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#55313 - 09/27/10 07:09 PM Re: "Gunks" Book [Re: chip]
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4276
Loc: Poughkeepsie
Originally Posted By: chip
I think the photos are great and would love to see these retained in future guides or as an addendum to cover the whole cliff, not just th author's favorites.


Can you point to any Williams guidebook that doesn't have photos of the entire cliff?

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#55316 - 09/27/10 08:33 PM Re: "Gunks" Book [Re: Mike Rawdon]
ChrisG Offline
stranger

Registered: 05/11/10
Posts: 5
Thanks for everyone's input, didn't know there was a thread on this book already (thanks SethG). Chip's comments about visiting climbers is right, when I first started climbing (early 90's)my partner and I came up from VA for a week (with zero clue about local ratings) and took a gunks beat-down, we thought we were solid 5.8/9 climbers...I know, not the first or the last...

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#55318 - 09/27/10 10:36 PM Re: "Gunks" Book [Re: ChrisG]
Mark Heyman Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 1123
Loc: South Jersey (Pinelands)
Yeah, great book except for all the errors and inacuracies.

So if those problems did not exist it would be a book for your first few days at the Gunks, and then you could (should)throw it out - perhaps just after you cut the pictures you want save from it.

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