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Best guide for RR?
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By drewford
From Wasatch Back, UT
Nov 6, 2009
Base of Stiffler's Mom
Lost my old Swain guide. There seems to be a lot of debate about which is the best guide (Swain, Brock). Opinions?

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By Andrew Carson
From Wilson, WY
Nov 6, 2009
Gallatin Canyon
Try Jerry Handren's book, Red Rocks, A Climber's Guide. I don't think any others come close, except for Joanne U.'s first guide, which is a great resource but clearly outdated. JH did a super job with this work.

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By Tavis Ricksecker
From Bishop, ca
Nov 6, 2009
Church of the Lost and Found, Left. Summer 2013
second that. Handren's book is amazing.

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By Tyson Anderson
From Las Vegas, NV
Nov 6, 2009
Rapping from the top of Cat in the hat
+1 on Handren's book

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By J. Albers
From Colorado
Nov 6, 2009
Bucky
Handren. One of the best guidebooks for any area I have ever owned. Shit, buy it for the copious amounts of eye candy photography if nothing else.

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By TomCaldwell
From Clemson, S.C.
Nov 6, 2009
Me on One Pitch Wonder at Whitesides.  Photo credi...
Handren's is the best and most accurate. Gearloop Topo is nice while climbing, instead of getting the book out every pitch, but can be out-dated. Saves a ton of time and you can consult it in the middle of a climb as well.

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By Brian in SLC
Nov 6, 2009
Climbing in Smuggler's Notch
Drew Bedford wrote:
Lost my old Swain guide. There seems to be a lot of debate about which is the best guide (Swain, Brock). Opinions?


Drew, there's no debate. Handren's guide is not only the best source for Red Rocks beta, but, it really sets the bar for guidebooks anywhere.

I look at mine with a drool cup...

When you going? What's on the tick list?

Cheers,

-Brian in SLC

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By Aaron S
Nov 6, 2009
Enjoying beautiful Red Rocks.
I don't think the Handren guide is near as good as some are making it out to be. That said, the Brock and Swain guides are complete trash and the Handren guide is far better.

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By Jake Wyatt
From Longmont, CO
Nov 6, 2009
404
Definitely Handren's.

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By J. Albers
From Colorado
Nov 6, 2009
Bucky
Aaron, what exactly do you dislike about the Handren book? I agree with Brian, Handren's book really does set the bar for what a guidebook can be. I don't know of any other book (though Marty Lewis' guides are also damn good) that takes such a complex area and provides such useful and beautifully presented info. Just the logistics of all of the photos of the walls in a place like RR is amazing itself.

Just curious.

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By drewford
From Wasatch Back, UT
Nov 6, 2009
Base of Stiffler's Mom
Thanks for the guidance. Sounds like I'll be picking up a Handren guide. Anyone know if they're available at Desert Rock Sports?

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By J. Albers
From Colorado
Nov 6, 2009
Bucky
Desert Rock will almost surely have copies.

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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Nov 6, 2009
I think that in terms of information on routes- both in quality and quantity, Handren's guide sets the new bar for Red Rock- Jerry pretty much compiled all the routes from all previous guides and off of this site and rc.com and put them into this book. He also added valuable information on a large chunk of them and corrected long standing errors.

The photos are top notch- especially approach photos/topos- those are really nice.

That said, Jerry's book has one big flaw- the lack of the 'R' and 'X' ratings. You need to read the entire description and interpret what he is saying to pick up on whether a route is dangerous or not. I personally think this is a pretty big hole in the book and could result in some pretty scary (and dangerous)moments for newer climbers.

One other note on Jerry's book- the routes he has pulled from Mountainproject. They rely heavily (edit) on the route description, which most of the time is no big deal and the picture topo is included which helps- but some of the new routes have very pertinent info missing as the poster didnt include it in the initial posting. So, a word of advice when using his book- if its an obviously new route- check in here for comments/beta on the route. (Celtic Cracks is a good example- originally rated .10d and a double rack to 6", it is more like .10b and a smaller rack is now suggested. This is a GREAT route and should be climbed, and the smaller rack and easier grade makes it much more accessible- after all, how many people own a pair of the big green cams?)

edited for clarity- i apologize for the previous wording as i think it misconstrued what went into Jerry's work.

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By J. Albers
From Colorado
Nov 6, 2009
Bucky
Interesting note about the R/X ratings John. I had not thought of that, but it is true that routes such as Drifting do not get an R rating in his book, but do include some runouts. However, as you mention, if you read the route description carefully, it should be apparent which climbs have some runout climbing. A minor complaint in my opinion, but valid nonetheless.

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By Aaron S
Nov 6, 2009
Enjoying beautiful Red Rocks.
No 'R' ratings and almost no topos is annoying and could be particularly so for someone new to the area. The star ratings seem really off and there are some minor errors in places, although these are pretty small complaints that could be made about pretty much any guide book; I just think it's over the top to be calling this the best guide book ever. The book does have the best information on a number of lesser known climbs. The pictures are pretty but when a book uses a cool picture of a route that isn't in the guide I get more annoyed than I probably should.

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By Shapp
Nov 6, 2009
While the Handren guide rocks and kicks the Brock and Swain guides squarely in the crotch, one should not visit red rocks without reading "Red Rock Odyssey" by Larry and Bill. Actually, I think the Odyssey puts all other guides to shame. Can you imagine if Handrens book was written to this level of detail for 100s of routes!, although it would take decades no doubt

verexpress.com/vp/rro.html

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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Nov 7, 2009
Aaron S wrote:
No 'R' ratings and almost no topos is annoying and could be particularly so for someone new to the area. The star ratings seem really off and there are some minor errors in places, although these are pretty small complaints that could be made about pretty much any guide book; I just think it's over the top to be calling this the best guide book ever. The book does have the best information on a number of lesser known climbs. The pictures are pretty but when a book uses a cool picture of a route that isn't in the guide I get more annoyed than I probably should.


I forgot the star ratings- he gave love to X-15, calling it the least climbed classic in the park and lord, calling that thing a classic is pretty generous- especially the final pitch!

I do think that some of those star ratings were associated with mountain project, but then again, maybe thats just what jerry likes. i should note that he has starred most of the classics- but there are some single star routes in that book that make you wonder.

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By Aaron S
Nov 7, 2009
Enjoying beautiful Red Rocks.
Is X-15 runout by any chance? There definitely seems to be a star bias towards routes that are less protectable among the ones I've done, but maybe I've just gotten 'lucky'.

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By John McNamee
Administrator
From Littleton, CO
Nov 7, 2009
Artist Tears P3
I hope he got permission from the owners of this site and acknowledges mountain project in the acknowledgements.

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By J. Thompson
From denver, co
Nov 7, 2009
Trundling a death block. Photo by Dan Gambino.
Aaron S wrote:
Is X-15 runout by any chance? There definitely seems to be a star bias towards routes that are less protectable among the ones I've done, but maybe I've just gotten 'lucky'.



Yes X-15 is runout....and the runout is a "low-probablity" pitch....No matter how good of a climber you are you might not pull it off, even if you have before. I took at least 2, 20 footers on a fixed RP.
I argee that Handren seems to give more stars to runout climbs and harder climbs.
Also some of the newer, harder routes were put up as Head points. They are runout and somewhat devious. They were Mini traxioned into submission....completely dial in before the "FA". Non of this is clearly stated in the Guidebook. Then the routes are given multiple stars and have awesome pictures, which will make more folks want to climb them. So this could cause some serious situations....if you are a solid 5.11 Trdaitional climber and get on a route that is really only 5.11 if you know the exact seqence, and it's runout....well you do the math.

I really like Handrens guidebook, it is an absolute step up (more like 10 steps up) in Compprehensive (excluding Supertopo)Red Rock guidebooks. But I feel it does lack some rather important information.

josh

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