REI Community
Index and Rakkup: A New kind of Guidebook
View Latest Posts in This Forum or All Forums
Page 1 of 1.  
Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.

Email me.
Sep 26, 2013
A little while ago, I posted my intent to publish a new edition of sky valley rock (New Edition of Sky Valley Rock is the forum title). I had been trying to get in touch with Darryl for most of the summer, and it was fortuitous that I was able to through that post.

After receiving his go-ahead to publish a new guide, I recontacted Wolverine - who was originally interested in the guide - only to find that they had committed to other books, and now no longer had the financial resources to publish this year. But as a happy medium, they directed me to, a Seattle based company putting out the only climbing guidebooks in the world currently downloadable as a smartphone app.

I've decided to team with them to work on getting the download released by next summer. For those not familiar with the product, I'd encourage contacting Rob or Todd (from the website above), or possibly downloading Exit 38, or 32, etc. But in brief, you download the app for a fixed amount of time: (2 months, one year subscription, etc), for a pretty nominal amount of money. In return, you have gps guided navigation (does not require cell signal to function) to anywhere at Index you want to go (Ever wonder where wall of 10,000 insects is? How to get to the Diamond? where an Act of Strange Boar is located? Etc). Once there, you can click on a variety of classic, distinguishing lines for the area, and get beta on them, as well as Rakkup's new "Belay View" which shows a detailed photo of the first 20 feet or so of the climb. This is one of the major advantages of the app, as you can have really as many beta photos as you would like, whereas a print book is limited in that regard.

My main interest is still to release an updated print guide that focuses on aesthetics, first ascentionists profiles, interesting blurbs about history, full-page spreads on some special routes, and basically doubles as a coffee table book. A big advantage of starting with Rakkup is that for many people, they won't have to wait as long as they would have to for the print guide to come out to get good beta on Index routes. The other advantage is that all the work done for Rakkup will be directly exportable from their software into the Adobe publishing suite used to create modern style guides.

I encourage anybody with good beta, or questions, to message me on this website. I can definitely use all the help I can get! Just today, I found my trusty and well-loved copy of Sky valley rock insufficient to find many routes at Lookout Point's walls, and the Diamond Wall area; as well as discrepancies between route and wall names between SVR and So I really have my work cut out for me!

Thanks ahead of time for the support! While I cannot give definite ETA's of the new books, Rakkup and I hope to start releasing the Index download around May - and I hope to be printing and publishing about this time next year. Wish me luck!

Chris Kalman
Joined Mar 21, 2011
180 points
Apr 5, 2014
Thanks Chris for this much needed effort! Do you have any updates on how the guide is coming along currently?

Julian Barnett
From Seattle, WA
Joined Aug 22, 2013
0 points
Apr 6, 2014
Let's get this season going. I would be ampt to see a new book. Chris, call if you need a place to stay.
Index is the goods. I cant wait to get on Dead reckoning.
brian o'hay
Joined Apr 17, 2013
0 points
Apr 25, 2014
Any updates on this? Index is definitely in need of a new guide book. I would be happy to help in any way possible to get this thing moving! James Ellis
From Seattle, Washington
Joined Aug 26, 2008
45 points
Apr 25, 2014
Hi everybody, and thanks for the interest and support Re the new guidebook. Matt Van Biene and I just returned from each of our Patagonia adventures (see for Matt's video - awesome!), and we are moving in to an apartment at Index TODAY!

We are getting super-excited for the guidebook work, and are enthusiastic as always about any help anyone would like to offer. We are going to try to organize a couple crag clean-up days to work on buffing up some of the dirtier routes, and more complex trails, so keep your eyes open for news about that.

I am about to talk to Rakkup and work out a planned release date, which will initially include not ALL of Index, but most of the "classics" on most of the walls (I put classics in quotes, because, as we all know, EVERYTHING at Index is classic).

Matt and I are proud to be embarking on this project, and welcome any suggestions. Of course, the rakkup is just the first step - the end goal is a beautiful brand new print book that all Index admirers can love and cherish for years to come.

Happy climbing,
Chris Kalman
Joined Mar 21, 2011
180 points
Apr 25, 2014
Fixed Pin does a nice guidebook and seems to like the "less mainstream" areas a bit more.

I consider Viktor Kramer's L-worth guide a benchmark in terms of quality and artistry. The last version had the best mix of line topos and photo topos of the three I own. Worth trying to reach him.

The Handren Guides for Red Rocks and North Conway are also top tier and worth trying to aspire to.

Bourdon's Squamish Select is also a good example of a well done book IMO.

I think I got spoiled with quality books from the PNW as many subsequent guides to other areas are ho-hum photo topo books.

Index deserves more than the "Easy" photo topo's that Wolverine is moving towards these days. Fine for lots of single pitch stuff but the long routes deserve line topos as well. Don't get me wrong, wolverine does nice work but taller cliffs don't always translate well to photo topos beyond an overview map...

No longer in the PNW but will purchase an new print Index Guide ASAP.

Good Luck
From TX
Joined Jun 2, 2006
550 points
Apr 25, 2014
Hey Chris, welcome back. I'll look forward to seeing you at Index this summer.

Speaking of crag clean-ups, a few of us had an Earwax Wall clean-up a few weeks ago. There's still some lines to clean, but the wall is looking really good. And it was fun hanging out on a wall with a few people, simultaneously cleaning nearby routes. I hope to do something like that again.

About the "classics" that you will include, it would be nice to add in the newest routes, for no other reason than to give them a fresh chance at attaining classic status.
Jon Nelson
From Bellingham, WA
Joined Sep 17, 2011
4,490 points
Apr 26, 2014
Hi Matt - yes, I think those are all great books as well, especially the Handren guides. I think we will be looking for a fusion book that goes somewhere between the Darryl Cramer guide, and the Handren guides - taking the best of both styles. That means color photos - not just informative ones, but also climbing shots to showcase how beautiful Index is - AND rich and detailed writing and history. We will be providing hand-drawn (and then digitalized) topos for sure, as many of the multi-pitch cannot be really captured with a single photo due to tree cover near the walls.

Jon - I look forward to seeing you, too. I may head up to Earwax wall today to check out the new routes. Check your mountainproject email. Thanks as always for the work you do out here. Let's definitely try to set up some crag clean up days that happen ON the walls!
Chris Kalman
Joined Mar 21, 2011
180 points

Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.

Email me.
Page 1 of 1.  

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · People · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About
Terms · Privacy © 2017 Adventure Projects, Inc.