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A_Little_Off_Route

Essential Guidebooks...

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For a year now I have been a faithful second and belay slave, occasionally venturing out onto the sharp end of the rope. I have saved my pennies and now have enough of a trad rack (and enough skill) to go out as the leader! Now I need my own guidebooks.

 

What are the essential guidebooks for this area?

 

I like to climb at Vantage, Levanworth, and would try Bellingham or Anacortes, or other suggestions.

 

Which are the best guidebooks?

 

Off_Route

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If you want to climb anacortes/Mt. Erie, you can print off the topo for free. It's a pdf file and has been posted on here before. Search and you'll find it.

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Despite what others say, I think "Rock Climbing Washington" (Falcon Press) is really good (drawings, photos, descriptions, approaches, descents, trivia, and historical info). For now, it will cover you for all of WA. Squamish Select is good as is A.Watts smith guide.

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Leavenworth Rock by Viktor Kramar

 

My opinion on the Smoot book: Useful as couch reading to find a place to go check out, all but useless at the climbing area. See the utterly laughable Washington Pass section as perhaps the worst example of topos.

 

The drawings are bad.

 

Other useful guides include Jim Nelson's Selected Climbs in the North Cascades vols. I and II.

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The Vantage guide is great (Yoder & Ford). It's spiral bound. There is a new guide book due this late winter and early spring by Ford & Yoder. I think it is going to be called Tieton River Rocks. It is over 200 pgs. from what I hear.

 

If you have not climbed at the Tieton crags, then I highly recomend it. There are numerous 5.6-5.9 trad climbs (especially at the Royal Columns). This where I began placing gear and building anchors. There is also a lot of 5.10 -5.11 sport and trad climbing on the Tieton River.

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the essential guidebook for index is Sky Valley Rock, self published by Daryl Cramer ("sky valley publishing"). VK's leavenworth book is excellent as well. i am eagerly anticipating the new tieton book, i'm ready to upgrade from my 3rd generation photocopies of the long-out-of-print previous book... all of mcclane's squamish books are great, all guidebook authors should be required to take a class from elaho press on how to do a guide. the squamish select is probably all you need for occasional roadtrips from seattle, there's always someone around who has comprehensive guide book if you need more obscure route beta.

 

the smoot climbing washington book, while somewhat convenient because it collects many areas in one book, does have a number of errors (what guidebook doesn't?), but i think the main reason people don't like it is that there are those who say that it relies too heavily on the work of other guidebook authors. if true, this doesn't speak to the usefullness of the book so much as to the ethics of supporting such tactics with your purchase...

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David Whitelaw's guide for Darrington (available as a CD only) is the ticket for that area, though one could easily get by for an enjoyable introductory visit using Mattp's website.

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