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High Sierra Climbing

 High Sierra Climbing

by Sean Hudson

October 03, 2004

Chris McNamara does it again! Through his company SuperTopo, Chris has raised the stakes yet again in the world of guide book authors. In a past review of one of Chris’ last books Yosemite Valley Free Climbs, I got up on my soapbox and challenged other guide authors to take the initiative. The standards have been raised, but I will repeat my previous statement for those that did not read my first review of a SuperTopo guide:

“Hey guys! This is what a guidebook is supposed to look like. SuperTopo has set the new standard for guidebook quality. If you want to produce a quality guide - buy this book, study it hard and try to replicate the style.”

OK, that said, I will refrain from hopping up on my soapbox again. Instead I will tell you a little about the contents of this book.

This guide consists of 26 High Sierra climbing routes with clear maps, straightforward descriptions, climb ratings, and various charts. But what makes the SuperTopo books unique is that they offer so much added information such as climbing strategy, retreat information, descent topos, customized USGS maps, and GPS coordinates. Chris even includes information for your rest days like - places to go grocery shopping, a good place to get a latte, and even the local movie theaters when you finger tips are so trashed you can’t climb another pitch. In addition, it includes historical information garnered from interviews with first ascenders that brings these spectacular climbs to life.

Flipping through the pages of High Sierra Climbing rekindles my interest in a road trip to the Eastern Sierras. High Sierra Climbing includes many of the climbs on my California tick list like: Mt. Whitney’s East Buttress (5.7), Sun Ribbon Arete (5.10) on Temple Crag, and the incredibly long Matthes Crest Traverse (5.7).

To get more information on SuperTopo or to buy a copy of High Sierra Climbing, visit their website at

This comes from: Camp4
Live To Climb