Supertopo: Yosemite Big Walls

by dpm | 05/30/2011
 

Supertopo: Yosemite Big Walls

 

 

SuperTopo has unveiled Yosemite Big Walls: Third Edition by Chris McNamara and Chris Van Leuven ($29.95, supertopo.com), and as usual, they don’t disappoint.  Every page of this fantastic book reflects the quality and care SuperTopo is known for.  Besides rendering fourteen new routes with exquisite attention to detail, Chris Mac personally expanded all other routes with up-to-date beta, including GPS coordinates on many approaches.  The book pushes hard for clean aid techniques; you’ll find pitch-by-pitch clean aid ratings, rack requirements—you’ll even find a page of clean aid tricks to help keep the hammer in the bag, and to keep both you and the rock safe.  Likewise, it boasts the latest in Valley free climbing variations on trade routes like the Dihedral Wall, the Salathé, Magic Mushroom and the Nose, alongside emerging classics like Golden Gate, El Corazon and El Niño—even some new school routes like The Secret Passage—all in a clear, color-coded format.

 

As if that wasn’t enough, McNamara and Van Leuven dug even deeper into Yosemite history to reveal pages of gripping first-hand accounts by Tom Frost, Jim Bridwell, Layton Kor, Royal Robbins, Alex Honnold, Nico Favresse, Eric Kohl, Matt Wilder, Alex Huber and more, layering the book with the voices of some of climbing’s greatest.  The section entitled “The Players” chronicles many of these legendary figures with peer commentary and great vintage photographs.  But what makes Yosemite Big Walls truly a sign of the times is its integration with popular supertopo.com, expanding on the book’s content with gear reviews from the authors, an entire online ‘How to Big Wall’ video series, topos for even more routes, along with trip reports, beta, photos, and constant updates.  In a way, this snappy new edition reflects the voice of the climbing community in a way many guidebooks just don’t.

 

Ian Walters