Looking for best instructional guides and DVD's??


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Messages 21 - 28 of total 28 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>

Nov 21, 2007 - 03:38pm PT
I find a lot of photographs in climbing instructional books to be confusing, due to poor contrast, busy backgrounds, graininess, etc.

The cartoon illustrations from Climbing (don't know the artist's name) are fantastic. Always well done and easy to figure out.

As an added bonus, those drawings can be treated as a coloring book, which helps cement the layout in my head and makes the drawing easier to "read" when referring back to it later.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Nov 21, 2007 - 11:46pm PT
here are my 2¢ Chris

you seem to state your motivation clearly enough: el cap has been a great part of my life, and i want to see more people who bail in the stovelegs or hold up other parties on 5 day ascents succeed while having more fun.

and you have to realize that your topo guides have opened up access to climbs in the Valley to a much larger set of people... the details are above and beyond what has existed previously. If you wanted to guarantee a good ascent up El Capitan, the old school way would be to find someone who had done it and go with them...

...it is a tall order to create a guide book/DVD to do that, but maybe you can.

First, you could illustrate the basic techniques in a gym, most people have access to gyms and probably could benefit from some relatively elementary exercises before going out on the rock.

It seems to me that practice is essential for moving quickly. You actually address this in your book Road to The Nose which provides a set of climbs illustrating different aspects of the challenges facing a climber who wants to do the Nose.

Perhaps you should expand that volume to include instructions on how to do the aid bits and bigwall techniques required for each of the climbs. The appropriate generalizations should be discussed, but you use each climb as an instructional demonstration.

The DVD would then follow you doing those climbs and showing people the techniques as they are actually practiced. The read/viewers would then be in a position to actually go out and do those climbs themselves.

Maybe you could be a video download on iTunes so people could load your instructions on their iPod or iPhone, well it gets a bit silly...

Just a thought... but it's exactly like your mother said: "practice makes perfect" and so it is for aid climbing.

Get Tami Knight to do your illustrations...


Nov 21, 2007 - 11:54pm PT
just title it "Big Walls for Yuppies", get REI to sell it for $39.95, and your retirement fund will swell like my c*#k when viewing Christy Canyon DVDs

any other way is the way of poverty
The user formerly known as stzzo

Trad climber
Sneaking up behind you.
Nov 21, 2007 - 11:57pm PT
Werner's comment takes the cake :-)

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
Dec 24, 2008 - 01:30pm PT
bump to "include solo techniques"
Bill Becher

Trad climber
Westlake Village, CA
Mar 12, 2009 - 12:49pm PT
Take a look at Craig Lubben's Rock Climbing: Mastering Basic Skills for a very well crafted how-to book. It won a National Outdoor Book Award. It's clearly written, well organized with clear illustrations.

Craig Connally's book Mountaineerin Handbook is intersting and I'm sure appeals to engineers, but he spends a lot of time taking shot at Freedom of the Hills (New vs Old School)..

I also like Mark Houston and Kathy Cosley's new Alpine Climbing book from Mountaineers. It's well written and includes some good stuff on choosing partners, risk management and other important mental, not just technique issues..

Trad climber
Mar 16, 2009 - 01:12am PT
I think you're on the right track with focusing on efficiency. I only learned to aid climb about a year and a half ago and many of the resources I used to learn gave good overviews of general techniques but didn't offer a whole lot on how to be more efficient. The best resource we found for that was Hans Florine's book "Climb On" - he details out many steps you can take to improve your speed per pitch, transition times, and overall speed. This information was extremely valuable.

That said, other resources we used that were also valuable.
1) Don Reid's "The Video Guide to Aid Climbing". In the absence of having a guru teach you personally, having someone demonstrate the techniques on video is priceless. I found the video well organized although lacking in specifics sometimes (many of which were commented on above). We would watch the video and then head out to practice, then watch the video again to figure out what we missed, go out and practice, repeat.
2) Pass the Piton Pete's online resources. A treasure chest of resources on how to refine your big wall system.
3) John Long & Middendorf's book "Big Walls". A good all purpose book with good diagrams.

But there is no substitute for practice on the wall. There is only so much that can be taught via books and videos. Sometimes you just have to suffer to learn.

Good Luck

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Mar 16, 2009 - 01:17am PT
I think the DVD supplement is the key. I'm not into aid-climbing, but a DVD of techniques would be invaluable to a noob. And it would make money....

The DVD of aid technique would be awesome. Do it!!!

I might even do a wall.
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