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Climbing Media Reviewed
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Big Walls
How to Rock Climb Series

Format Book Category Instructional
Title Big Walls  Pages 134 
Author John Long  RRP $20.00 AUD 
Publisher Chockstone Press  Reviews
Edition (February 1997)  Ave Rating ***** (5.00 of 5)


User Comments

There is not much available in printed form that covers this specialised genre of 'the game', so this handy little book from John Long and John Middendorf helps fills the niche-void admirably.
It won't make you an expert overnight, but it will give good guidance along the way from idle curiosity to -> hey, I actually want to do this!

It contains a wealth of tips that novice to expert can relate to. In fact I found its best advice was in re-reading it after I had put into practice a lot of what it said to do, as much of its nuance is lost on the armchair critic, no matter how straight forward it seems at 1st glance.

Its stronger points are the basics of setting up for the enterprise and dialling in your technique. Towards its end it deals only in cursory manner with such weighty topics as Style/ethics; Speed climbing and Solo Techniques. Perhaps its truncated in these areas deliberately so that the prospective participant is caused to learn more slowly by 'doing' rather than 'reading' the specialised techniques involved, (as a learning curve).

As a side note, if you can get your hands on another book called 'Climbing Big Walls' Edited by Mike Strassman (compilation of a host of Authors) ISBN 0-934802-59-9 Published by ICS Books Inc 1990; approx $20.00; Do so!
... although you will find significant overlap since both books have much in common, (in fact 3 chapters of the latter are written by John Middendorf), there is sufficient additional to make it worthwhile.
If you only get one or two tips out of either of these books then its money well spent when it comes to the real thing of being out there on a wall SAFELY.

Re both books;...
Clear diagrams, and easy to read text demistify the processes involved, but they are both tending to date a little due to their lengthy sections on the basic gear of yester-year (hammers and pitons etc). Clean-aid should receive more space in any future revisions.

My only gripe is that due to them being paperbacks, they do not stand up well to the rigorous re-reading that I have subjected mine too!


Further Reading:
Amazon - Details on purchasing, Reviews, etc.


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