We know this isn’t exactly fresh meat here but we were asked to do a review of the new edition of Fred Beckey’s Cascade Alpine Guide Vol. 3 more commonly referenced to as the “Red Beckey Guide”. Released in the Fall of 2008 this edition was rumors to be the last update of CAGs by Fred. It goes without saying that the Beckey Guides are the Bible to the Cascades, and while there is the occasional nebulous approach information there isn’t anything that comes close to the pure volume of information on climbing routes in the Cascades.
alcon Guides suck. That most Falcon guides are not worth the paper they’ve been printed on is a widely known truism in the climbing world. Yet they often have been the only game in town and we all grit our teeth and buy one anyway. A good guidebook should do more than get you located in a new area: it should entertain, inform, and interest you in the area it presents. The information should be clear, well organized and most importantly, accurate. A really good one will present history along with current information or where to find current info. An excellent one will do all of this, and do it in deep rich color! The new Falcon Guide authored by Alan Watts does all of this. It breaks with the Falcon Guide tradition of settling for mediocrity, and proceeds directly to sublime and amazing.