Yosemite Valley Free Climbs Supertopos Review


Yosemite Valley Free Climbs: Supertopos Book Review

In the spring of 2012 I met some friends in Yosemite and we spent almost two weeks climbing. We climbed a lot of great routes, including After Six on Manure Pile Buttress, The Grack on Glacier Point Apron, Sunnyside Bench near Lower Yosemite Falls, and Moby Dick on El Capitan. During our time climbing in Yosemite we primarily used the Yosemite Valley Free Climbs: Supertopos as our guide. If you are planning on climbing in Yosemite and are not climbing big walls (for that you’ll want Yosemite Big Walls: SuperTopos), you’ll definitely want Yosemite Valley Free Climbs: Supertopos!

Yosemite Valley Free Climbs Supertopos Organization

Yosemite Valley Free Climbs: Supertopos by Steve Roper, Todd Snyder, Greg Barnes, and Chris McNamara is organized by climbing area. The book has a description of how to get to each of the climbing areas that are covered. Within each area, the routes are listed from left to right or right to left. For example, the route The Grack is listed within the Glacier Point Area section of the book. This makes it easy to see what routes are available in the crag you’re climbing. Each climbing area also has a map that shows generally how to follow the route. Some pictures are also included, as is some interesting history of Yosemite climbing from the authors.

If you’re not sure what area you want to climb but would prefer to search for routes by grade, name or The book also has useful pages that list all the climbs by grade, crux technique, and alphabetical order.
Every route is described by letter (each route is indicated with a letter within each crag), name, rating, first ascender and year of first ascent, and a paragraph or so of description. For example, this is an excerpt from the description for The Grack (5.6):  This is the best 5.6 in Yosemite. Such incredible moderate crack climbing is rare, which makes the route extremely popular. This climb is well-protected until 15 feet of unprotected friction at the top… Route descriptions also include the height of each pitch as well as information on how to get down from the top, such as whether to hike off or rappel, and even where to bail if need be.

Who Needs Yosemite Valley Free Climbs: Supertopos?

Yosemite Valley Free Climbs: Supertopos is a valuable resource for any Yosemite free climber. It’s a well-researched book that includes the important beta you need to climb confidently and safely in Yosemite. This book also includes a few interesting anecdotes about the history of yosemite climbing.

Is the Book Helpful?

Yes, this book is great. Three climbers new to Yosemite were able to successfully climb a number of multipitch climbs there with no serious problems in locating crags or routefinding. I attribute much of that success to having solid info about the area and routes.

Any Negatives?

Not really. It’s clear that the authors put a lot of work into researching and writing this Yosemite Valley Free Climbs: Supertopos. Although this book doesn’t cover every possible route and route variation in Yosemite, it seems to cover everything that the average climber would need. Yosemite climbers, check out Yosemite Valley Free Climbs: Supertopos.

Looking for more book reviews? How about: Climbing Anchors

Yosemite Valley Free Climbs Supertopos

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