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West coast USA without guide books.
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Jun 11, 2013

My girlfriend and I are doing a two month road trip on the west coast USA, starting with a week or so in Canada (Squamish) then hitting as many major climbing areas on the way down to Yosemite, along with some hiking and site seeing, maybe Utah/inland if it isn't too hot in September. We fly into Seattle in August and mainly doing trad since we don't get the chance much living in Switzerland.

While I normally enjoy collecting guide books, I don't want to amass a huge collection over the trip. We aren't going to stay in the one place for more than a week so the cost would build up quickly, not to mention the weight/bulk trying to get them home.

How do you guys think we will get along without guide books? Obviously there is mountain project, and the thecrag.com for route info, but are there any other alternatives like cheap mini guides? Could we count on taking a peak at guide books from other climbers at camp or at the crag?

Thanks in advanced for any info.

Joined May 30, 2012
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Jun 11, 2013
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after...
A lot of people have mini-guides to crags online. This is particularly true for the east. Out west the case may be the same but I'm unsure. I would google the shit out of the places you want to go for a little while. Google books sometimes has excerpts or even whole guidebooks for free. Also, sometimes areas on MP have links to online sources that offer more information. Sorry I can't offer a more definitive source. Perhaps some guys out west will chime in. Good luck. Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Joined Jul 30, 2011
1,147 points
Jun 11, 2013
Me Climbing
Hit up index right outside of Seattle. Here is an online guide book:

Mountain Project can be hit or miss some places are well documented while others arn't at all. You could try getting general guide books that cover multiple areas with just enough info to get you by. This one is pretty good for Washington has all the main areas and classic routes.
Alex Mitchell
From Cincinnati, OH
Joined May 14, 2012
1,649 points
Jun 11, 2013
alpinejoy wrote:
Could we count on taking a peak at guide books from other climbers at camp or at the crag?

Matt N
From Santa Barbara, CA
Joined Oct 20, 2010
501 points
Jun 12, 2013
Thanks for the info everyone.

Niel PMed me about the "Climber's Guide to North America: West Coast Rock Climbs", so I ordered a copy. Sounds like a good guide and even if each area is only briefly covered it will be great just for planning where to visit. State guides like Washington would also be a good option, definitely get more use than a guide on a specific area.

Thanks for info about index Alex. I had stumbled across some topos for it before, but having never heard of it I wasn't sure if it was worth a visit. I'll add it to list.


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