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Trad course in April. Which book to read before?


Original Post
Will Bland · · Halifax, NS · Joined Jun 2017 · Points: 315

If you could recommend one book - only one! Which would you recommend ? 

Boulderer and sport climber, have pieced together a doubles rack with a set of walnuts and alpines. Registered for my trad course! Psyched. 

Looking to read a book before the course for some background knowledge!

also separated note, do any traddies cary gri gris up multi pitch with them for the piece of mind? Or does everyone and their grandmothers use a atcguide / reverso type deal. 


Thanks!

Ska Ggs · · NorthEast Stuck · Joined Dec 2015 · Points: 50

Bump ... curious on the book... 


Dont care to hear another debate on grigri vs atc 

Brian Stewart · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2017 · Points: 0

Freedom of the hills. Its a textbook, but its got all you’re gonna need for trad (and ice if it tickles yer fancy)

Andrew Yasso · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 215

Freedom of the Hills has been described as the "climbing bible." I think it's a great analogy, because just like the actual bible, much of the "old testament" is still in the book, and they don't clarify that the "new testament" actually replaces the old testament in many instances.

Religion analogies aside, what I mean is although FOTH is a good text, there is a lot of outdated information in there that no longer applies or isn't clarified well - so although it's a great resource, go to your course with an open mind and prepare to be told some of what you read is now irrelevant. 

If you need an example, here is the "boot axe belay." It's a belay that was a terrible idea when invented, with much better options, and for some reason it is still explained in FOTH. 

ClimbingOn · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 405
Will Bland wrote:

also separated note, do any traddies cary gri gris up multi pitch with them for the piece of mind? Or does everyone and their grandmothers use a atcguide / reverso type deal. 

If you and your partner are climbing a seldom-climbed spire or desert tower and need to simul-rap due to no anchor, both of you carrying a GriGri makes a lot of sense. Also, please do not ever say "traddie" again.

Dr Strangelove · · Bend, OR · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 30

The john long anchors book for sure.


for general trad advice "the trad climbers bible" by croft and long is a fun read.

Jaron a · · SLC · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 60
Sam Miller wrote:

The john long anchors book for sure.


for general trad advice "the trad climbers bible" by croft and long is a fun read.

Came here to say  this 

David Kerkeslager · · New Paltz, NY · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 138

I read the John Long anchors book and practiced placing gear and building anchors on cracks in boulders before taking a class, and when I took the class it mostly covered things I already knew. That's not a bad thing--it meant I got to practice and have professionals assess my work while some of the class was figuring out the basic concepts.

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,535
Will Bland wrote:

If you could recommend one book - only one! Which would you recommend ? 

Boulderer and sport climber, have pieced together a doubles rack with a set of walnuts and alpines. Registered for my trad course! Psyched. 

Looking to read a book before the course for some background knowledge!

also separated note, do any traddies cary gri gris up multi pitch with them for the piece of mind? Or does everyone and their grandmothers use a atcguide / reverso type deal. 


Thanks!

Yes, I carry a grigri almost exclusively for all belaying these days. 

As for a book...I'd say you're better off taking your course and then supplementing with a book. There's a ton of good knowledge out there, but I can't say I've seen much of it in 'how to' climbing books.

Michael Douglas · · Yucaipa, CA · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 40

Top Roping by Bob Gaines 

This book provides a very logical progression of gear, knots, anchor systems, and introduction to some rescue; the "top roping" title is quite misleading. It is really single pitch climbing. It is the AMGA SPI course without professionalism chapters. I request anyone who I am mentoring in climbing to buy the book.

David Coley · · UK · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 70

If you know how to place gear https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=amazon.co.uk/High-Advanced-…;ved=2ahUKEwiltprS8c_ZAhXKLsAKHWhjCwoQFjAAegQIBxAB&usg=AOvVaw3KCWDcqLLbD2sVnS2jAMF6

John Bosco · · Raleigh, NC · Joined May 2013 · Points: 0

Hey will, was in a similar boat a few months back. Had led sport and bouldered, followed a handful of multipitch trad routes over the years, but was looking for some good books to supplement some upcoming outdoor trips with experienced trad leaders.

Leubben's Rock Climbing Anchors is what I settled on and it's been an awesome resource. very obviously, it goes into detail about a number of anchoring scenarios, and has chapters on various types of pro, types of placements, etc. also good apendices for knots and general leading skills.

Highly recommended. Have fun.

DrRockso · · Red River Gorge, KY · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 356

John Long or Craig Leubens anchor book.  I typically belay lead and second both with a gri gri.

Hobo Greg · · My Van · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 175

Anything John long writes is going to be more entertaining than educational. Luebbens book all the way.

Andrew Hess · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Aug 2017 · Points: 0

I really like the Leubens books. My only gripe is that the photos aren't clear-it's really hard to make out what's clipped into what. Anyone else think so?

rgold · · Poughkeepsie, NY · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 526

I wouldn't recommend only one book.  No one book in any field covers everything ideally, and in something like climbing which has many possible good responses to each situation, having access to different viewpoints will keep you from becoming doctrinaire and will clarify the fact that the experts don't know everything.  Hardly anyone reads an entire how-to book anyway, it is more common to dip into sections of current interest, and having several books gives you several approaches to the topic you want to learn about.

Although climbing is not an academic subject, I think one should take an academic approach, which is that a climber should think in terms of acquiring a library, not this or that single text.  You should round this out with books on things related to but perhaps not at present your main interest, eg books on mountaineering, big wall climbing, and training, as any of these may havel very useful information about the things you do care about.

Here, more or less off the top of my head, are a few books I think should be in that library

  • Freedom of the Hills
  • Alpine Climbing by Cosley
  • Extreme Alpinism by Twight
  • The Mountaineering Handbook by Connally
  • Climbing Anchors  by Long and Gaines
  • Rock Climbing by Leubben and Donohue
  • Advanced Rock Climbing by Donohue
  • Advanced Multipitch Climbing by Coley and Kirkpatrick
  • Crack Climbers Technique Manual by Pease
  • The Mountain Guides Manual by Chauvin and Coppolillo
  • How to Big Wall Climb by McNamara
  • Speed Climbing by Florine
  • Training manuals by Anderson and by Horst
  • Training for the New Alpinism by House and Johnston
  • Self Rescue by Fasulo and by Tyson and Loomis
  • Vertical Aid (wilderness medicine) by Hawkins et. al.
Tim Meehan · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 285

"Rock Climbing, Mastering the Basic Skills", by Craig Luebben and Topher Donahue, is a great book. Several chapters describe essential skills for a new trad climber.

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2t4ceByXD1s


Into the Void is a good one to prepare you too lol.


YGD™ :D

phylp · · Upland · Joined May 2015 · Points: 617

OMG, Tut, as I was reading through the thread, the first thing that came to mind was Touching the Void, but then I thought, Annapurna would be even better. 

I’m not making this up. 

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

OMG, Tut, as I was reading through the thread, the first thing that came to mind was Touching the Void, but then I thought, Annapurna would be even better. 

I’m not making this up. 

  

wonderwoman · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2006 · Points: 88

Traditional Lead Climbing: Surviving the Learning Years is hands down, my favorite book.  I teach a love to lead course and recommend it to beginners who are just busting into trad.  

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Trad Climbing
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