"Gunks" Book

Posted by: ChrisG

"Gunks" Book - 09/27/10 02:20 AM

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-
Posted by: Lucander

Re: "Gunks" Book - 09/27/10 11:20 AM

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
Posted by: chip

Re: "Gunks" Book - 09/27/10 12:30 PM

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.
Posted by: chip

Re: "Gunks" Book - 09/27/10 02:28 PM

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.
Posted by: KathyS

Re: "Gunks" Book - 09/27/10 02:44 PM

"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
Posted by: SethG

Re: "Gunks" Book - 09/27/10 03:06 PM

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.
Posted by: chip

Re: "Gunks" Book - 09/27/10 04:19 PM

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.
Posted by: Mike Rawdon

Re: "Gunks" Book - 09/27/10 07:09 PM

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?
Posted by: ChrisG

Re: "Gunks" Book - 09/27/10 08:33 PM

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...
Posted by: Mark Heyman

Re: "Gunks" Book - 09/27/10 10:36 PM

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.
Posted by: alan

Re: "Gunks" Book - 09/28/10 12:11 AM

5.3 at da gunks = 5.5 all over mid west.
Heck go climb the north west you will be a rock star!
Posted by: quanto_the_mad

Re: "Gunks" Book - 09/28/10 12:15 AM

Originally Posted By: Mark Heyman
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.


LoL... yeah, the picture of the NYC ticker tape parade (p172) is a keeper, always what I think about when I think about climbing.
Posted by: chip

Re: "Gunks" Book - 09/28/10 01:52 AM

Originally Posted By: Mike Rawdon
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?


Mike, I just think that the color photos were really well done and each was of a much closer pespective than the typical Williams photos. No offense to Dick but at my level I really want to make sure I'm not on the 10 or 11, as I would likely DIE! Well, that's a little melodramatic, but it could get ugly.