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Guidebooks for Yosemite, Tuolumne, and Tahoe
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By John Groh
Aug 5, 2014
somewhere in the Gunks
Just moved to the Bay Area and would like people's opinions on good comprehensive guides for the big destination areas nearby. REI seems to carry mostly the SuperTopo "classic routes" guidebooks and the climbing staff there was less than helpful, so I thought I'd ask here.

I guess I should mention I'm probably not looking for bouldering or big wall guides. What should I buy if I'm looking for info on less-traveled routes but also would like to do some classics every now and then?

Climb on,
John

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By Owen Summerscales
From Los Alamos, NM
Aug 5, 2014
Gerle creek at loon lake
Its a good question. There are many guides out there but none really shines. And Im still waiting for someone to do yosemite jutstice with a more comprehensive guide for either the trad or the bouldering.

"California Road Trip: A Climber’s Guide Northern California" is pretty good in the sense of including a wide range of crags, including many proximate to the bay area. But it is very much a select/best-of guide and is pretty bulky to take around with you.

The ST valley and tuolumne guides are pretty good, although again they are select guides, but I wouldnt buy any other ST books. Their bouldering guides suck.

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By nkane
Aug 5, 2014
John Groh wrote:
Just moved to the Bay Area and would like people's opinions on good comprehensive guides for the big destination areas nearby. REI seems to carry mostly the SuperTopo "classic routes" guidebooks and the climbing staff there was less than helpful, so I thought I'd ask here. I guess I should mention I'm probably not looking for bouldering or big wall guides. What should I buy if I'm looking for info on less-traveled routes but also would like to do some classics every now and then? Climb on, John


The Reid guide for Yosemite and the Reid/Falkenstein guide for Tuolumne both have many more routes than the Supertopos, but at the cost of detail. But figuring out your own approaches and guessing as to how to descend is how we build character and develop our taste for adventure.

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By csproul
From Davis, CA
Aug 5, 2014
Summit of Wolf's Head with Pingora in the background
I've been going through the same dilemma since recently moving to Sac. I have the Reid guides for Yosemite and Tuolumne, which I owned from years ago when living in S. California. When used in conjunction with the Supertopo books you can get around pretty well. The ST shows select routes in detail and is useful for finding approach and decent information in relation to the popular routes. You can use the Reid book then, in relation to the routes that overlap, to find more obscure routes.

The Carville book for Tahoe is nice if you can get one and I also now own the N. Tahoe guidebook. Each of those has it's pluses and minuses, and ideally I kind of use both to figure out some of the Tahoe areas like Donner. Same with the Tahoe Supertopo. It's not comprehensive, but using that along with other resources (MP, Carville's book etc...) I seem to get around just fine.

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By splitclimber
Aug 5, 2014
Reid for Valley and Tuolumne, Carville for Tahoe.

You will want to supplement with the Supertopo guidebooks for these places and the newer Jackson N. Tahoe guide since the other guidebooks are not as up to date, esp. the Carville guide.

So, yeah, you'll end up buying 7 guidebooks if you want super comprehensive. ;)

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By John Jackson
Aug 5, 2014
Info on the The North Tahoe Guide can be previewed and purchased here: camp4press.com

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