First of all, I would like to thank Joe for writing this book. Thank you for putting in the time and energy to create such a wonderful volume of history. You brought back memories of Tahquitz, swami belts, and pitons, just like crushing bay leaves in my hand brings back emotions of longing for climbing in Yosemite. It has been years since I read a book I enjoyed as much as Going Up.
For the rest of you, I strongly encourage you to read this book. I recommend this book: if you’re a young climber who wants to understand the roots of the “sport” of big wall climbing or if you’re a climber who enjoys an entertaining and well written climbing history book. And, I might add, this book should be read by those interested in the cultural anthropology of the 1950‘s-60’s and how the sport of rock climbing grew into such a popular activity.
For me, an old climber, the true enjoyment came from being reminded of a time when the cliffs were less crowded and happiness was as simple as Yosemite Lodge on a cold, rainy day.
I agree with what Phil said. The book is cool! I like Joe’s ability to decode and present some of the passions and experiences which drive and connect some climbers, some musicians, and some seekers who have been connected to a golden age. One gets the opportunity to reexamine their identity via the social fringe peer group, the attraction to certain realms of intellect and ideals, and the pursuit of challenge and glory through climbing.