I’ve found that one of the biggest challenges in preparing for major climbs is obtaining reliable information that allows me to make decisions about (1) whether or not I want to do the route, and if so (2) the best strategy and logistics. I’ve participated in the Usenet site “rec.climbing” for many years, and noted that a significant percentage of the messages are related to obtaining information (also known as “beta”) about the best climbs in a given area. Many of the requests are related to the routes in this collection. From the old adage that “a picture is worth a thousand words”, the images here should be the equivalent of about 2.5 million words of description. I would have found the web site and CD very useful when planning these climbs, so I built it in the spirit of sharing information on these superb climbs.
The proceeds from the CD-ROM go into ever improving the project, and towards public-spirited organizations, such as the American Safe Climbing Association. Check the web site at regular intervals for new information, and note that there is a discount for repeat customers.
This project was not intended to be a guidebook. There are many excellent guidebooks already out there that contain essential information for planning your climb. However, the most frequent feedback I’ve had from customers is “More topos!” I’m working on adding more route diagrams (topos) and descriptions, particularly when the existing ones in the guidebooks are not very well done. My recommendations for the most useful guides are listed with each climb. Guidebooks are great for text, maps, and topo diagrams, but lack the room (and budget) for useful photos. Photos give you a better flavor for the actual nature of the climbing, since they can’t be biased by the author’s subjective impressions. I hope you find the site and CD useful.
Gary Clark, Los Alamos, New Mexico