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By Maxim S-C
From Temple, NH
Aug 21, 2012
Today at Otter Cliffs I saw someone with a full printout of Acadia: A Climber's Guide by Jeff Butterfield, and he said someone on these forums has the PDF. I have been using Stewart M. Green's New England guide, but Jeff Butterfield's book would be very helpful...
Thanks in advance for any help,
Max

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By HBTHREE
From ma
Aug 22, 2012
you could always buy the book,
my bad didn't know it was out of print

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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Aug 22, 2012
Rumney
Book is very hard to find, if even possible now that it's out of print.

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By Maxim S-C
From Temple, NH
Aug 22, 2012
I do know someone who has the book, but it would be much easier to print out a PDF than to copy the whole book, and it would also be nice to have it here while I am here a few days.

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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Aug 22, 2012
Rumney
I had a PDF on my iPhone and brought it to the crag with me. Had a print out too.

Looks like they may do a reprint soon, and there's a second edition coming in 2014. I probably won't be back to Acadia but would definitely buy it if I did. It does some things very well, although some of the descriptions aren't the best.

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By Maxim S-C
From Temple, NH
Aug 22, 2012
Thanks a lot!

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By ok2drive
Aug 27, 2012
I bought this guide from Cadillac Mountain sports in Bar Harbor last year. I admit it was tough to find. I called Cadillac Mountain sports half a dozen times to see if they had any copies and the folks on the phone were a little clueless.I finally went in once I got up to Maine to see for myself if they had any copies and damn if they weren't sitting on a few dozen copies in the climbing display case. It might be worth swinging by there if you're in the area to see if they have any copies left, but I suppose they could have sold 40 or more copies in a year.

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By wivanoff
Aug 27, 2012
High Exposure
ok2drive wrote:
I bought this guide from Cadillac Mountain sports in Bar Harbor last year. I admit it was tough to find. I called Cadillac Mountain sports half a dozen times to see if they had any copies and the folks on the phone were a little clueless.I finally went in once I got up to Maine to see for myself if they had any copies and damn if they weren't sitting on a few dozen copies in the climbing display case. It might be worth swinging by there if you're in the area to see if they have any copies left, but I suppose they could have sold 40 or more copies in a year.


I was at CMS in Bar Harbor on Saturday 8/25/12 and did not see any. But, I admit I did not ask if there were any copies left.

I've been using my original beat up 1978(?)Climbers Guide to Mt. Desert Island by Geoff Childs (I also scanned/saveas pdf that one to protect it) and the Pocket Guide by Pete Warner.

One of my partners has a copy of Butterfield's guide. It has way more routes that the two books I have but we both agree that some of his descriptions are a bit confusing.

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By Don MacKenzie
From Seattle, WA
Sep 10, 2012
I was in CMS on Friday Sept 7 and they confirmed it is out of print and they have no copies in stock. They have a store copy and let me take pictures of the pages with my phone, from which I was able to generate a PDF.

I was talking to a guide and he said their office used to have a few copies that they would loan out, but all of them were eventually borrowed and not returned (i.e., stolen) by various dickheads (my words, not theirs...)

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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Sep 15, 2012
Rumney
If staff doesn't object a digital copy of the guide can be posted online. If it's officially out of print and not being reprinted I'm not sure how I feel about copyright. As long as the content isn't taken and used in another guide (for profit, and without permission) I don't see the harm in just sharing it.

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By Jeff Butterfield
Sep 17, 2012
If anyone intends to visit and climb in Acadia, please feel free to email me at jeff.butterfield@gmail.com and we can arrange to meet when you arrive so you can borrow a copy of the guidebook for the duration of your stay (I have several copies for that purpose, so multiple folks can take advantage if needed).

As far as a reprint, it is still possible we may do that before the 2013 season -- it's just that it is such a small market here (it took over ten years to sell 5,000 copies) that it may not be financially viable given that I intend to do an update the following year.

As to confusing descriptions and other criticisms or suggestions, please feel free to share the same with me so that the next edition is an improvement.

Keep climbing.

Jeff Butterfield

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By Don MacKenzie
From Seattle, WA
Sep 17, 2012
Hi Jeff,

It's great to have a guidebook author engaging on these forums.

I had a couple of suggestions based on my recent visit and use of your book:

1. The numbering system, which resets to one every couple of pages, gets pretty confusing, especially in areas where there are lots of sub-areas and densely clustered routes (i.e. the Precipice). I think that using a single numbering sequence for the routes has worked pretty well in e.g. the Williams Gunks guide, and Tony Barnes' Seneca guidebook.

2. Pitch by pitch ratings are nice.

3. Rating were pretty inconsistent from route to route and area to area. e.g. Trotsky and Old Town, both at 5.7, were noticeably harder than Moraviana 5.7 or even Gargoyle 5.8, and WAY harder than routes like Story of O 5.6. But maybe this ratings are there for historic reasons and you don't feel it's your place to rewrite history... fair enough!

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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Sep 17, 2012
Rumney
Jeff, since it sounds like the old guide is officially dead/sold out/no more cash to be made from it, would you consider having a PDF version uploaded until the new guide comes out?

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By lucander
From Stone Ridge, NY
Sep 17, 2012
Lucander off the GT Ledge on p. 2 of Keep on Strut...
Would people really buy the new book if they had a PDF of all the "classics" already? Especially if you're from hours away and only visit every few years...

I got an original Acadia book - signed by Butterfield. It can be yours for $200 =)

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By wivanoff
Sep 18, 2012
High Exposure
Jeff Butterfield wrote:
If anyone intends to visit and climb in Acadia, please feel free to email me at jeff.butterfield@gmail.com and we can arrange to meet when you arrive so you can borrow a copy of the guidebook for the duration of your stay (I have several copies for that purpose, so multiple folks can take advantage if needed).


That's a very kind offer. Thank you.

Jeff Butterfield wrote:
As to confusing descriptions and other criticisms or suggestions, please feel free to share the same with me so that the next edition is an improvement.


I don't have a copy, so I'm going from memory. It may have just been us, but we found some of the start descriptions to be confusing in the Precipice Area - especially for folks like us that only get to Acadia for a few days once a year. For example, we started up The Ramp Traverse" thinking it was the start to "Story of O". After starting, we were like: "This ain't it". As mentioned, it would make more sense if the route numbering was simply sequential instead of restarting.

Jeff, years ago (1978?) I followed Tom Soloka on "Gunklandia/Birch Aid". Didn't know you were supposed to use the birch tree ;) But, I definitely remembered there was an easy walk off to the the right and down the stairs. Last year, I found the stairs from the bottom just fine but after climbing Birch Aid again could not find the walk off at the top. Ended up rapping down by Old Town. Do people not walk off Precipice anymore?

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By Nick K
From Somerville, MA
Sep 18, 2012
lucander wrote:
Would people really buy the new book if they had a PDF of all the "classics" already? Especially if you're from hours away and only visit every few years... I got an original Acadia book - signed by Butterfield. It can be yours for $200 =)


I'm pretty sure I'm the climber mentioned by the OP, and I will absolutely buy this book the second it's reprinted. I'm more than happy to support our guidebook authors.

To Jeff, have you considered setting the book up with a print on demand publisher? It seems like it would be a viable way to extend the availability of the book without being locked into a huge print run, even if the cost per book goes up a little. I'm somewhat surprised that this doesn't seem to be commonplace in the guidebook world, but then I also really don't know much about the economics of guidebooks or print on demand publishing.

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By lucander
From Stone Ridge, NY
Sep 18, 2012
Lucander off the GT Ledge on p. 2 of Keep on Strut...
Those who want an in-print guide to Acadia should consult Stewart Green's "Rock Climbing New England" on Falcon Press. Crisp pictures of routes and decent route descriptions. It covers Precipice, Otter Cliffs, and South Bubble. While far from comprehensive, this should get you by for a week or so on Mount Desert Island.

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By Maxim S-C
From Temple, NH
Sep 18, 2012
When I was there (when I started the thread), I was using Stewart M. Green's guide until I got the PDF. It has good descriptions (sometimes longer and a little more detailed than Jeff Butterfield's), but even at The Precipice and Otter, it lacks many routes, and some of them are among my favorites. However, I found that while most of the routes in Stewart's guide are well climbed, some of the otherwise very good climbs from Butterfield that are not in Stewart are covered in lichen. (Hopefully this will be fixed when the new edition becomes the dominant guide to the area). Another advantage of Stewart's guide is that it convinced me to finally get guidebooks for some areas near me...
By the way, I will certainly get the new edition, even though I live in southern NH.

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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Sep 18, 2012
Rumney
lucander wrote:
Would people really buy the new book if they had a PDF of all the "classics" already? Especially if you're from hours away and only visit every few years...


Whether people abuse something doesn't necesarily preclude ever distributing it in a particular manner. People steal MP3s but many more MP3s are sold through legal channels and/or streamed using subscriptions.

I'm not advocating stealing the guide. The money was made from the sale of the printed form, and obviously they didn't get rich enough to move out West in the process, so I would think in the spirit intended it's about offering/sharing the information than it is owning the information.

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By lucander
From Stone Ridge, NY
Sep 18, 2012
Lucander off the GT Ledge on p. 2 of Keep on Strut...
I am not attacking climbers for using M-proj or infringing on copyright and downloading guidebook pdf files.

My comments are intended to address the reality of a shifting publishing world. E-books and digital databases are gradually supplanting printed texts, and publishers that sell to small markets (climbers, academic presses, etc) have to calculate risks (read: lost sales) when choosing whether or not to print a book. The question isn't "is the book good?", it's "will we sell enough copies to make it worthwhile."

Face it, most Mount Desert Island climbers will visit a couple of times in their life. The crags are far from an airport, and even farther from major population centers. From nearly every city, there are closer A-grade crags than Acadia. It is reasonable to conclude that visiting climbers looking to spend time on the best and most known routes will prefer downloading a dated (though not obsolete) pdf to spending $20-$30 on a new book. Publishers and authors have to consider this reality when thinking about if they want to start a major project.


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By tradjunkie
Sep 18, 2012
Don MacKenzie wrote:
Hi Jeff, It's great to have a guidebook author engaging on these forums. I had a couple of suggestions based on my recent visit and use of your book: 1. The numbering system, which resets to one every couple of pages, gets pretty confusing, especially in areas where there are lots of sub-areas and densely clustered routes (i.e. the Precipice). I think that using a single numbering sequence for the routes has worked pretty well in e.g. the Williams Gunks guide, and Tony Barnes' Seneca guidebook. 2. Pitch by pitch ratings are nice. 3. Rating were pretty inconsistent from route to route and area to area. e.g. Trotsky and Old Town, both at 5.7, were noticeably harder than Moraviana 5.7 or even Gargoyle 5.8, and WAY harder than routes like Story of O 5.6. But maybe this ratings are there for historic reasons and you don't feel it's your place to rewrite history... fair enough!


1. The Williams guide has separate numbering systems for separate major crags (Trapps, Nears, Millbrook...). I think a separate numbering for each major crag would be best, and I wonder if one could put letter prefixes (e.g. P1 for Precipice #1 vs SB1 for South Bubble)? That may not work in reality.

2. Absolutely. Most books also indicate pitch length and any runout bits. I'm a fan of those simply because they may help reduce rescues etc.

3. Historic ratings can be noted in the text, if consulting historic guidebooks is not considered efficient. Jacob's Ladder in the Uberfall at the Gunks, a 5.10X, is noted for originally being graded merely 5.8! I think more than a few accidents may have been prevented by using correct grading. Consistent grading benefits everyone. And if you feel a need to preserve sandbagged grades, keep it to G-rated ones like Gunklandia. Likewise, accurate info about descents (and high water) would be great, and a competitive advantage vs. the Stewart Green guide - like, on the Precipice, if a rappel "requires two 50 meter ropes", could you do it with one 60 meter or one 70 meter, or do you need 2 60 meter ropes, or can you scramble over 20' to a single-rope rappel?

Also,
I'm sure Jeff has noticed recent guidebooks like the Williams Gunks guides, the excellent Adirondack Rock guidebook, or the new North Conway guide, where the quality and quantity of the information is really a step above the days of old. Accuracy is highly prized and details like pitch-by-pitch grades, or a guide to the quality of the non-classics (e.g. zero to 5 stars, so you know which obscure ones are really terrible), are pretty awesome. Still plenty of adventure left even with that.

I'd personally be happy to buy/rent a PDF of the guidebook for personal use until the new one comes out, if it won't be out in time for next summer. I hope that anyone who Jeff accomodates with his kind offer would consider contributing as well. In fact, both the Adirondack Rock guidebook and the North Conway guidebook (as well as the new Vermont book, which I haven't seen) offer websites where you can buy the book directly, so it may be worth talking to Jim Lawyer about how to make it happen. Setting up a site like that might allow you to sell a limited-use PDF in the interim as well as source corrections and new route info from a wide audience.

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By Barrett Stetson
Oct 2, 2012
I think this is one of the better guidebooks out there. Only thing I might add is pitch lengths and rating to gauge how many draws you might need for yourself at that grade. Perhaps not as crucial for this area but at the Gunks I like to know if I'm climbing a 140' pitch at my limit vs a 70' pitch.

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