Saturday, February 26, 2011

Essential Guidebooks: Adirondack Rock

When it comes to sheer number of routes one can take through the Adirondacks, rock climbing has got to have more opportunities than any other outdoor sport. Any guide that hopes to cover every single one is going to be a tome, and coming in at more than 670 pages, the newest edition of the seminal Adirondack climbing guide, Adirondack Rock, meets that description.

Adirondack Rock includes 242 cliff areas, many of which have never before been documented, and nearly 2,000 routes and variations. The guide’s authors, Jim Lawyer and Jeremy Hass, spent years visiting new and seldom visited climbs around the Adirondacks. Among the regions they turned their focus to was the Lake George basin, long neglected by regional climbing guides.

Because climbing around Lake George had not yet come to prominence, Don Mellior’s classic guide Climbing in the Adirondacks limited its coverage to the lake’s west side climbs at places like Rogers Rock, Deer Leap, and Tongue Mountain. But the Lake George’s east side has been attracting climbers in larger numbers in the past 15 years, to the point of playing host to the Southern Adirondack Rock Climbers Fest in 2010.

Adirondack Rock‘s chapter on the Lake George is impressive covering newly discovered and rediscovered areas like Pilot Knob (Stewart’s Ledge, The Brain), Buck Mountain (Upper Buck, New Buck), Sleeping Beauty, Gull Pond Cliff, Pharaoh Mountain, Barton High Cliffs, and more. Directions, warnings, access, accommodations are all included. There are full route descriptions in an easy-to-read, comprehensive format, aerial photos with route lines, approach maps, and cliff topos. GPS coordinates of every cliff and parking area are provided. Boulderers are not neglected, with six bouldering areas with 350 problems included.

Supporting all the technical aspects are short histories of the routes, an Adirondack climbing chronology and geology notes, almost 200 photos, drawings and paintings and 21 essays written by prominent Adirondack climbers. The forward is by Don Mellor, with a French foreword by Loïc Briand.

You can get a copy of Adirondack Rock online.

Almanack contributor Alan Wechsler wrote about climbing at Shelving Rock in October 2010. Alan also wrote a piece in 2007 while the guidebook was being written for Adirondack Explorer [pdf].

You can read all of Adirondack Almanack‘s coverage of local climbing by writers like Jay Harrison, Phil Brown, and Alan Weschler here.

Note: Books noticed on this site have been provided by the publishers.

 

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