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Must have mountaineering books in 2005

NOLS Winter Camping

by Sean Hudson

March 28, 2005

Long considered by many as one of the best educators of outdoor skills and leadership, the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) teach many students about winter camping and travel. Each year, NOLS instructors take students on winter excursions to places like Teton Valley, Patagonia, the Himalayan Mountains, and other remote locations teaching them the finer points of surviving in extreme environments. Buck Tilton and John Gookin have taken the time to write a book based on NOLS curriculum so that everyone can learn useful things like: how to layer clothes, how to maneuver a pack sled, how to sleep comfortably in the cold, basic avalanche safety, and backcountry first aid.

To an experienced winter backcountry user, many of the lessons and techniques described in this book may seem too elementary to be worthwhile. However, even I was able to glean a few great tips that I didn’t know or had forgotten. My favorite new tip is the use of duct tape and klister wax on your skis 1) Scrape the kick wax from your ski. 2) Stick a strip of duct tape on the bottom in the kick zone. 3) Apply the klister over the tape. 4) When you no longer need klister, peel off the duct tape, and away it goes.

Like the mega-classic Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills is to newbie climbers and mountaineers, NOLS Winter Camping is the equivalent to neophyte winter travelers. If you are new to winter camping, this book coupled with some common sense can get you out the door and enjoying winter travel. Many tips in this book will help you on your next mountaineering or ice climbing trip that requires an overnight stay or extended travel in the winter wilderness.

About the Authors

Buck Tilton is a co-founder of the National Outdoor Leadership School’s Wilderness Medicine Institute and winner of the Paul K. Petzoldt Award for Excellence in Winter Education. He has written numerous books on the outdoors and is a contributing editor to Backpacker magazine. John Gookin is an instructor and curriculum manager for the National Outdoor Leadership School.

Published by Stackpole Books, 2005

The Trad Guide to Joshua Tree

by Sean Hudson

April 27, 2005

60 Favorite Climbs from 5.5 to 5.9

Charlie and Diane Winger have definitely done something different with this guidebook to J-Tree. While many guidebooks choose to use lengthy descriptions to describe climbs and locations, Charlie and Diane show you that a single picture can be worth a thousand words. Let’s see

Sixty climbs + 100 color pictures + 192 pages of detailed descriptions = thorough coverage

Many climbers who visit Joshua Tree spend as much time searching for good routes as they do actually climbing. This guidebook offers the moderate climber a fun, varied and challenging tick-list of 60 great trad climbs, and makes it easy to find your way around.

Key features of each climb are described, and you’ll even know what to expect when you reach the top of the route and want to set up an anchor and later descend. Is the weather especially hot or cold? Plan your day using the sun/shade chart to stay comfortable. Are you looking for and area with a concentration of certain grade or climb? Color-coded overview maps will help you choose your spot. Is the climb you wanted too busy right now? Alternate, nearby routes are listed for each area.

This is not the guidebook for J-Tree regulars or if you plan on spending extended time at Joshua Tree, but it is an exceptional guidebook for moderate climbers wanting to get the most out of their road trip to this desert rock oasis.

Published by The Colorado Mountain Club Press, 2004.

by Kelly Bates

March 17, 2005

I wasn’t certain what to think when I was handed this assignment. Urban Climber? Come on, we live in Colorado, we have Turkey Rocks and Eldorado Canyon and the Diamond practically within earshot. Why and what would we want a magazine about in-city bouldering and gyms and comps, and how can it possibly relate to us?

The new magazine isn’t as glossy or presumptuous as the Big Two, and doesn’t play to high-falootin writers trying to be overly artistic while only annoying locals in the areas they’re writing about. There are not pages and pages of coverage of climbs that 99.9% of us regular climbers will never be able to climb without suction cups. The writing is by regular climbers, the kind you’d bump into at the Gunks on a weekend, or hanging out at the gym trying to find someone to go out bouldering with. And that’s a pretty good thing, considering our alternatives.

Where another magazine might give a page summary about bouldering in NYC, the launch issue gives a full five, with current web references, ideas for places to go trad nearby on a weekend, a list of decent gyms to try out, and bouldering areas that might interest someone trying to get a fix on a business trip. Oh, and plenty of artsy pictures to set the mood.

The mood is slightly darker than other contenders, and the focus is clearly on the lower-budgeted non-yuppie crowd, those that just want to climb and not have to spend thousands of dollars on the newest cams, specialized shoes for different problems, a high-end SUV to drive the dirt access road a couple of miles to parking, or plane tickets to Ceuse. With as much negative feedback as the community has shown towards the Big Two in the past couple of years, this might not be a bad idea after all. It’s not everything for everyone, but it also doesn’t pretend to be.

Is there room for another magazine in the market, or is it saturated? If the interest that it’s sparked so far is an indication, there just might be.

More About The Magazine

“For the new generation of climbers, being a climber means climbing where we live – the city,” Matt Burbach, Urban Climber Magazine’s Editor explained. “The subcultures of climbing – bouldering, sport, indoor and competitive climbing – are so rich with their own techniques and ethos, they demand their own voice. Urban Climber Magazine is that voice,” Burbach added.

Jim Peskett, the Magazine’s General Manager said, “This has been one of the best received new launches in my 18 years as a magazine publisher. Ad pages in the first issues sold out within weeks of the Magazine being announced, and we’ve started to get cold calls from companies looking for advertising opportunities, which is a first.”

“We launched the Magazine’s website, http://www.urbanclimbermag.com, a full month before the Magazine hit the newsstand,” Mark Crowther, the Magazine’s Publishing Director, explained. “Through promotions on the website, Network26.com and partner sites, we’ve already generated a lot of interest in the Magazine and a base of subscribers,” he added.

The Magazine will be bi-monthly, and begins publication with the October/November issue, with a cover price of $4.99. As part of a special promotional offer, annual subscriptions are $19.95 in the U.S., for which subscribers receive 6 issues of the Magazine, an Urban Climber Magazine t-shirt and a DVD on bouldering in Fontainebleau.

 

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