In the opinion of many, the Book is the finest cliff on Lumpy Ridge. It certainly offers the best non-wide crack climbing (if you like them wide, head for Twin Owls!
). Many long, striking crack and dihedral lines grace the complex cliff, which rises to heights of 600'. Due to the cliff's predominant less-than-vertical aspect, many of these lines check in at under 5.10, though there are plenty of test-pieces at 5.10 and 5.11 as well. A few bolt-protected 5.12s are scattered about, and true hardpersons can attempt the 5.13+ crack line of Country Boy
, first freed by Tommy Caldwell.
Some recommended routes would include Pear Buttress
at 5.8; Loose Ends
at 5.9; Fat City, Cheap Date,
and many others at 5.10, and any of the 5.11 routes such as Howling at the Wind
that ascend in or near the Howling dihedral. The Renaissance Wall
and El Camino Real
are said to be good 5.12 routes. The Book also has many 1-pitch routes (including first pitches of longer lines) which are a good alternative if the weather looks iffy for a longer route. Fixed anchors seem to come and go, however...
DESCENT: From the very top of the cliff, one can walk east a ways, beyond a steep broken area, and then contour back to the base (long and easy). Many routes end just above the "Cave" on the right side of the Book. From here, scramble out on a narrow ledge east to its end, and downclimb a groove (or do a short rappel from a tree a little ways out). From the bottom of the groove, go southeast (easier but longer) to walking terrain, or head southwest down more grooves to a cairn at the top of a east-angling chimney/gully. Go down that and one more chimney to walking terrain. Like the east slabs descent in Eldorado Canyon, this shorter descent should not be attempted in the dark or when wet unless you are familiar with it. No rappel route exists that I know of and none is needed.
From the new parking lot, take the west trail towards the old Twin Owls parking lot ~0.6 miles. The Book is a complex cliff; here is an attempt to describe it. Starting from the east, as you view the south-facing cliff from the Black Canyon trail, note a broken area of slabs and gullies (the Cave descent). Just left is the beautiful J-Crack Slab
, sporting the very long parallel crack lines of Femp
, and several other excellent crack lines to their left. Above are some reddish overhangs on the right, a cavernous overhang (The Cave!), and to the left, a short, steep headwall capping the cliff. ~45-50 minutes to approach.
The next major landmark is the Howling at the Wind
dihedral, a massive, overhanging left-facing corner which extends about halfway up the cliff. Many superb and intimidating free lines attack this feature and the overhangs nearby. Left of it are narrow, smooth slabs, with an arching roof band about 150 feet up. The next section is obvious: an area of deep grooves which extend the entire length of the cliff, known as the Pages Wall
. Left again are two massive chimneys running the entire height of the cliff (Book of the Dead Chimney and Requiem Chimney). A narrow prow between the two, known as the Isis Buttress
, offers many excellent routes. The western-most chimney includes the brilliant Renaissance Wall
, home to numerous hard bolted & naturally protected climbs. Left of the west-most chimney the cliff becomes broken and unappealing for a long stretch and no routes are recorded here. Below this broken area is The Bookmark
, a subsidary cliff about 400 feet high, described elsewhere.
Weather station 1.8 miles from here
79 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',16],['3 Stars',25],['2 Stars',28],['1 Star',8],['Bomb',0]
Classic Climbing Routes in The Book
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Book
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Book:
Featured Route For The Book
El Camino Real 5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b CO
: Lumpy Ridge
: ... : The Pages Wall Area
An old aid climb called Fair Weather Friends (5.9 A3), this is now an incredible free pitch, with technical, strenuous finger crack climbing, stemming and liebacking.Start below the large dihedral of Howling at the Wind, climb moderate rock to the base of the outrageous overhanging crack in the right wall, and climb it. This requires fiddling with gear at the start of the hard part, then sustained and devious climbing all the way to the anchor. It is some of the best hard rock Lum...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
BETA PHOTO: Popular routes.
The Book area from the approach trail.
Rebecca and Omar climb somewhere on 'The Book' at ...
At least 6 parties around The Book. As viewed fro...
The upper part of The Book walkoff.
The Book and The Bookmark (left)
BETA PHOTO: Full south face of the Book.
The Book descent in "Mixed" conditions.
BETA PHOTO: View of Left Book, The Bookmark and the Book as se...
The Bookmark and The Book
BETA PHOTO: The Book from the junction of The Book trail and t...
By Brian Adzima
From: San Francisco
Aug 9, 2008
What route starts on a boulder straight downhill from the Book of the Dead? It has two bolts, then goes up a thin crack/left-facing corner.
By david goldstein
Aug 9, 2008
Brian, the route you're asking about sounds like Shinbuster.
By Bernard Gillett
Aug 10, 2008
My guess is that Brian is referring to Time Machine, which is located on a 40-ft block just right of the base of The Bookmark (not listed on this site as of 8-10-08; a 5.11b Lawrence Stuemke route from 1995).
By Jonathan Siegrist
From: his truck
May 4, 2009
It would be great to have a separate section in here for the Renaissance Wall. I would be happy to write it up as well.
By Lee Landkamer
From: Golden, CO
Jun 17, 2012
I found a pair of trekking poles at the base of the Book on 16-June, 12. Contact me with a description and I will get them to you.