Climbing Magazine Review
February 1, 2002
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, Supertopo.com.
The brainchild of Chris McNamara, who wrote the excellent
Yosemite Big Walls: SuperTopos guide, Supertopo.com
sells virtual guidebooks, or e-books, online. But that doesn't
mean you need a credit card to appreciate the site. Supertopo.com
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,
and other must-do climbs.
Currently, Supertopo.com 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, Supertopo.com
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.
© 2002 Climbing Magazine