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Climbing Books Reviewed
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Climbing Big Walls
Basic to advanced instruction for climbing Big Walls.

Format Book Category Instructional
Title Climbing Big Walls  Pages 115 
Author Mike Strassman, Jim Bridwell, Steve Grossman, Randy Leavitt, John Middendorf, Steve Schnieder  RRP  
Publisher ICS Books Inc  Reviews
Edition 1990; ISBN 0-934802-59-9  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 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. I found Steve Schnieders chapters particularly interesting.
Perhaps its truncated in these areas somewhat, 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 'Big Walls' (John Long & John Middendorf) ISBN 0-934641-63-3 Published by Chockstone Press Inc 1990; approx $20.00; Do so!
... although you will find significant overlap since both books have much in common, (in fact 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!



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