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Here is the very first climber's guide to JT, ca. 1970
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Apr 2, 2015
Here is the very first climber's guide to JT, ca. 1970  
In this guide book, all the routes were rated using the NCCS, or "National Climbing Classification System. The Sierra Decimal System, later to be known as the YDS (Yosemite Decimal System) was in use over at Tahquitz, but not here...yet. So, the Damper was F9, and Mike's Books were F5. At the time this guide was written, there were no 5.10 routes in the monument...except for the Left Ski Track...but its rating of 5.11a did not evolve for several years, even though it got the FFA by Tom Higgins in 1967. The nation's climbing community was still tossing around a standard way for rating climbs, and we all know where that ended up. In his historically significant 1973 "Ascent" opinion articl-e, titled, "The Innocent, the Ignorant, and the Insecure", Jim Bridwell proposes for the first time- the addition of a letter (a-d) to further distinguish the rating of hard climbs...and that, Mr. Obvious, went rather well. Apr 2, 2015
Benjamin Chapman
Small Town, USA
Benjamin Chapman   Small Town, USA
The Wolfe guide to Joshua Tree had a number of great historical sections and profiles of eccentric and locally significant climbers. Jun 30, 2015

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