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Best NorCal Sport Guide Book

Original Post
Raymond Moreno · · Millbrae, CA · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 140

Hey, Folks...I'm in the San Francisco area.

I was curious if there is a consensus as to the best sport climbing guidebook for this area.

Assuming San Francisco is the center. I would like something covering about a 100 mile radius around San Francisco.

I've got great guide books on bouldering. But I would like to have one or two great guide books for sport climbing or top-roping as well.

Any help or recommendations?


In Christ: Raymond

grabski · · N California · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 105

Jim Thornburg's book is the most common. Newest edition came out a year ago. Falcon also has a fairly recent edition of theirs, though I haven't had a good look at it.

King Tut · · Citrus Heights · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 430

Jimmy's book is da bomb.

Mike Mellenthin · · San Francisco, CA · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 70

yep jims book. the only bad thing about it he's too good at taking photos and everything looks way sweeter than it is :)

it doesn't have the pinnacles in it, which you may or may not care about.

it does have a bunch of boulders not in the other bouldering book.

imo falcon guide is not worth your money.

Raymond Moreno · · Millbrae, CA · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 140


I was familiar with the book by sight...but always thought it was a bouldering book only.

Jim's Book

Any other books y'all can recommend?

Anyone have comments on the below book...or any other suggestions?

California Road Trip Northern California Climber's Guide

In Christ: Raymond

Mike Mellenthin · · San Francisco, CA · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 70

That book is super select and very light on the details. Think of it like a guide to what is out there. You'd probably want a more detailed guide for anything contained within.

If you have jim's book, the bay area bouldering supertopo, and brad youngs pinnacles book (which is also really well done!) you've got close to everything within 100 miles of the bay covered.

Raymond Moreno · · Millbrae, CA · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 140

Thanks for the few responses.

I own the Bay Area Bouldering guide book...but it's super vague. It "kinda" tells you that this area has this, or that area has that. But nothing specific. And when it does tell you a certain rock has just names them WITHOUT showing you their lines/paths on the rock. So if you are new to an area and find the's still pretty useless.

Looks like I'll pick up Jims book the next chance I get.

In Christ: Raymond

splitclimber · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 5

If you are referring to the supertopo bay area bouldering guide, I'm not sure what you mean when you say it is vague. many of the boulders have lines overlayed and have maps showing where boulders are located.

supertopo also has a bay area topropes guidebook.

The norcal road trip guide is good as a norcal guide. For bay area, not as much.

Thornburg's guide is the best guide for sport climbs in the bay area.

Raymond Moreno · · Millbrae, CA · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 140

Yeah, I was talking about the Supertopo Bay Area Bouldering guide book.

I also own Bruce Morris' book, "Rock Climbing Guide to the Castle Rock Area". And compared to that book, the "Supertopo Bay Area Bouldering" guide falls way short.

I'd add a photo, but I'm not sure about the Copyright laws seems that Jim Thornburgs guide book might be what I was looking for.

Thanks again.

In Christ: Raymond.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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