Climbing Magazine Review
February 1, 2002

Yosemite Ultra Classics

By Dave Pegg

I'm a computer dunce. The first time I tried to use a Mac I had to get someone to show me how to turn it on. So I was surprised to enjoy using a new high-tech web site,

The brainchild of Chris McNamara, who wrote the excellent Yosemite Big Walls: SuperTopos guide, sells virtual guidebooks, or e-books, online. But that doesn't mean you need a credit card to appreciate the site. also provides a treasure trove of free information on Yosemite and Tuolumne climbing. This includes all the Beta you need to plan a trip, as well as gigabytes of free inspiration, like photo galleries, route hit lists, and topos from Astroman, Snake Dike, and other must-do climbs.

Currently, sells four e-books: Yosemite Ultra Classics ($15), Tuolumne Ultra Classics ($10),and The Road to the Nose ($15). I chose Yosemite Ultra Classics, tapped in my credit card number, and waited for the inevitable error message. Instead, worked like a dream; within 20 minutes it pumped a full-color, 75-page guidebook onto my computer's hard drive.

Yosemite Ultra Classics provides topos for over 35 of the best routes from 5.4 to 5.10c, setting the agenda for a memorable three- or four-week trip. The topos are beautifully drawn and extensively annotated with the same attention to detail as those in the SuperTopos print guide. In addition, Steve Roper provides an entertaining history for each route or sector, enabling you to trad in the footsteps of the pioneers as you climb.

Although the e-book content is superb, it's the concept that most impressed me. No more tearing pages or photocopying from guidebooks; just print out the ones you need. Make a backup of the e-book and you have a mint-condition guide for life. Now if only I could remember where I saved the file.

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