Guidebooks That are Fabulous But May Never Have a Reprint


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Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 11, 2013 - 11:27pm PT
They lurk as exposed love letters to patches of the planet the author couldn't help but blurt out about, regardless of the code that a gentleman never tells...

- Baffin Island - climbing, trekking and skiing. Author, Mark Synott.

An island quasi - continent explained to the imagination of anyone for the cost of 26 dollars. The hipster MEC cashier smirked and was equally caught wondering at the idea of Baffin Island. It was where momentarily buying something sparked an interest in someone who had no idea how cool the path less taken could be.

- Black Canyon Rock Climbs - Author, Robbie Williams

This one is an incredible expression of a place and a time that includes route descriptions as a salutation to strangers, while telling about who, where, what and why. It's complete with Philo cartoons!

- The Waddington Guide - alpine climbs in one of the worlds great ranges - Author Don Serl.

The Dick Culbert Coast Range guide from the 60's is rare and brilliant. Don's book focusing on the high and wildly wonderful alpine crest of British Columbian granite is truly a love letter. It's delivered with a cadence best appreciated by listening while trying to keep up with him !

What's the one you can think of ?

Camster (Rhymes with Hamster)

Social climber
Apr 11, 2013 - 11:34pm PT
The Guide to the Mulanje Massif by Frank Eastwood.
Scott McNamara

Tucson, Arizona
Apr 11, 2013 - 11:44pm PT
Steiger's, Climbing Guide to Sabino Canyon and Mount Lemmon Highway.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 11, 2013 - 11:59pm PT
Right on !

The exotic JanBird and I found ourselves at Mt. Lemmon with great friends and no guidebook available.

It was a good experience. Being chased by the 5 pm setting Sun and cold Arizona wind that accompanied the settling desert winter gloom was bracingly motivational.

Tucson rocked though. Lots of spirit to tap into for the thick skinned... B.C. locals at home never get to appreciate alligator tail breakfast steaks with their eggs and toast. I liked it !
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 12, 2013 - 12:13am PT
Queen Creek?

Hey, Marty...

A long way from where I started
Apr 12, 2013 - 12:14am PT
I've got a copy of the old "Squeezing the Lemmon" somewhere. Has burn marks on the cover from an incident the previous owner didn't want to talk about.

Apr 12, 2013 - 12:37am PT

Definitely fits the thread title but out of place in the company so far.

Uses ASL for route names

Pietersberg has different name, now.

Mountain climber
The Deep Woods
Apr 12, 2013 - 12:39am PT
Mt Kenya Rock climbing guide.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Apr 12, 2013 - 12:55am PT
My wife owns this guide to an important rock.
We all like domes, right?
We all like domes, right?
Credit: Reilly

Trad climber
Reno, NV
Apr 24, 2013 - 03:24pm PT
Bellefonte Climbing Guide by Jim Bowers. Funniest and most redneck guidebook ever.

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Apr 24, 2013 - 03:57pm PT

How about Piana's guide to the Needles of South Dakota. . .

or the book on Alaskan ice climbing. . .????

Those two are almost priceless, if you can even find one.

Apr 24, 2013 - 04:09pm PT
Bellefonte Climbing Guide by Jim Bowers. Funniest and most redneck guidebook ever.

laurel arndt

Trad climber
Apr 24, 2013 - 04:46pm PT
Back Country Rock Climbing in Southern Arizona: Bob Kerry.
Despite all the online beta, still a must have for all the original stuff

portland, or
Apr 24, 2013 - 05:26pm PT
Rock Climbing in Oman - R.a. Mcdonald. Out of print, outdated (based on what you can find online) but sheds light on some huge cliffs in a region of the world many don't necessarily associate with rock climbing.

Then there was this guidebook to the Tres Picos National Park in Brazil. Recent but apparently a small release…took quite a bit of innovation & even more generosity of a Brazilian climber to get my hands on it.

Rock Climbs in the Pyrenees by Derek Walker – only guidebook in English for Riglos in Spain. Funny thing is that it (quietly) uses the British technical system whereas the modern Spanish guidebook uses French sport grades…quite a surprise once on a route :)

Social climber
Apr 24, 2013 - 05:29pm PT
Yosemite Climbs: Free Climbs

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Apr 24, 2013 - 05:35pm PT
The internet is going to pose quite a challenge to ALL futre guide books.
Magic Ed

Trad climber
Nuevo Leon, Mexico
Apr 24, 2013 - 10:32pm PT
The Dome Driver's Manual to Enchanted Rock.

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Apr 24, 2013 - 10:36pm PT
It's been reprinted, so doesn't exactly count, but the Nightclimbers of Cambridge would be very hard to find an original of...

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Apr 24, 2013 - 10:58pm PT
How about Piana's guide to the Needles of South Dakota

That would be:

Touch The Sky  Paul Piana
Touch The Sky Paul Piana
Credit: rgold

Still the definitive resource for the areas in Custer State Park. For later stuff, Mountain Project seems to be the only game in town.

Rushmore is a different story; there is a new and very much in-print guidebook.

Trad climber
Apr 25, 2013 - 05:00am PT
What about the 1984 Urioste guide to "The Red Rocks of Southern Navada"?
Lone Quail

Trad climber
Littleton, Colorado
Apr 25, 2013 - 07:38am PT

The original “Desert Rock” by Bjornstad (1988).

Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
Apr 25, 2013 - 08:34am PT
Bellefonte Climbing Guide by Jim Bowers. Funniest and most redneck guidebook ever.

Bowers redneck?

Hehe. Definitely funny and full of local color.

Did you live in the State College area Patrick?

Trad climber
planet earth
Apr 25, 2013 - 08:40am PT
These classics are still in my museum. Any collectors looking to buy?

A Brown Book of Lies: A Topographical Guidebook to South Platte Rock Climbs (1983)
Peter Hubbel
A Climbing Guide to Colorado’s Fourteeners (1978, 84)
Walter R. Borneman & Lyndon J. Lampert
Boulder Climbs (1981)
Richard Rossiter
Eldorado: A Climber’s Route Guide (1978)
Pat Ament
The High Peaks: A Climbing Guide to the Mountain Areas of RMNP (1981)
Dick Dumais
50 Colorado Ski Tours (1983)
Dick Dumais

Apr 25, 2013 - 08:50am PT
For me its Jim Waugh's red guide to Granite Mountain in AZ. What a book.. simple drawings that make all lines look sick. Which they are. The pages just don't rip. The book can live in a fish tank for a year and still be usable. It doesn't over indulge info and is always pleasant to pull off the shelf and relive it all.

I like local pamphlets that come out for tiny areas too. They eventually turn into books, but it sure is fun to have a bunch of copied, hand drawn fold out guides to areas that were once just chunks to dirt get us to bigger stuff later. Now, a lot of the places are destinations! Gotta love it.

The more the internet trumps guide books, the more guide books become of value to me. Who here doesn't want at least one stand up book case full of old guidebooks? Probably quite a few, but I certainly do.

Bob Jensen

Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
Apr 25, 2013 - 08:59am PT
Tim Toula's A Cheap Way to Fly was enjoyable.

Trad climber
Apr 25, 2013 - 09:28am PT
The High Peaks: A Climbing Guide to the Mountain Areas of RMNP (1981) Dick Dumais

The little white book of lies. ;)

Trad climber
Orland Park, IL
May 14, 2013 - 03:15pm PT
Anyone looking for vintage, unique guides should shoot me an email. I still have over 400 of the most rare, classic vintage guides in the world. Many are signed and most are very hard to find.

Shoot me an email and I can send you a price list.

Original Guide to Needles, Signed by Herb & Jan Conn
Original Guide to Needles, Signed by Herb & Jan Conn
Credit: Jimmer

First CG to Devils Tower by Midwest Mountaineering
First CG to Devils Tower by Midwest Mountaineering
Credit: Jimmer

some eastside hovel
May 14, 2013 - 04:23pm PT
Hey Jimmer..Cool Needles books.I've got a few myself,Piana book included(with maps still in it).How 'bout the John Page book,or the stapled together "Black Hills Bouldering" by Mike Olson,or the Mountain Mania 3 inc."Rushmore Needles"?? Yeah...I kinda like that place. ;-)

Trad climber
Orland Park, IL
May 23, 2013 - 12:18pm PT
I do not have the newer Needles guides. Most of my collection is from the 80's and 90's and before. I just let go of my copy of Touch the Sky by Piana (w Maps) A great guide!
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
May 23, 2013 - 12:28pm PT

Don't agree on the internet. I think the opportunities are amazing. Getting a book published is daunting, or has been. You can now self-publish, basically for free.

You can also create a digital book, and sell it without someone else's editing, for very cheap, and make 80% of the selling price...thru Amazon, or Kindle.

It will be a fabulous opportunity going forward.

Trad climber
Feb 11, 2014 - 12:13pm PT
Found this in my collection this morning. I thought I had lost it, pleasant surprise.
Credit: Batrock

Trad climber
SeKi, California
Feb 11, 2014 - 02:58pm PT
Credit: Radish
Out of Print local Needles Guide. Nice Book there Batrock! Would love to thumb through that one. A Collectable I'm guessing?

Trad climber
Feb 11, 2014 - 04:32pm PT
Yep, came out of the Kern County Free Library in Bakersfield in 1907.

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Feb 11, 2014 - 05:13pm PT
My father in law has a guidebook he wrote during an adventure to Greenland in the 1960s or early 1970s. Probably not more than a few copies in existence if more than his own.

It includes a translation dictionary from a local Greenland native dialect into Italian, and a list of their first ascent peaks named after little towns in Italy near their house.

Feb 11, 2014 - 06:05pm PT
By: Piana, Paul
Price $150.00 - Item # OP655

Chessler books
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