Fifty Classic Climbs of North America

Roper, Steve
Year Published: 

"I love this book. Bought it in Seattle when I started climbing 15 years ago. Many of the routes are really not that crowded. I spent days on end without seeing anyone on several of the routes. WARNING though, earlier comments are right about innacuracy. Abide by topos and trust your compasses -- or bring an extra day's food for some of the north facing routes described.

I remember when this book first issued, we carped about it then (being too much ""the classics of the writers' era"", not even contemporary at that time). In the late 1990s this is even more the case. The text should have been at least been updated as some of the route descriptions were wrong originally. Still, this book has inspired more climbing trips than any single climbing book/guide in the United States. People have thronged to these routes in the last two decades, causing them to be dubbed ""Fifty Crowded Climbs."" I imagine this will not change for a long time. Though I feel the selections are not the best, but until someone does a better job it is a classic book, well worth owning.

This book had a major effect on the climbing community when first published in 1981. It's influence continues with the 2nd edition, which has identical content to the original. Very strong on historical perspective, but much of the guide information is seriously out of date, so use more recent information if you're planning on doing any of the climbs.

A ten, of course! Actually, I just wanted to let you know that the Sierra Club Books has just reissued Fifty Classic Climbs. Paperback only, with a new cover but identical inside."

4.5 of 5

Info and links for a newer edition (April 1996)