North American Classic Climbs

Motivation for the Project

I've found that one of the biggest challenges in preparing for major climbs is obtaining reliable information that allows me to make decisions about (1) whether or not I want to do the route, and if so (2) the best strategy and logistics. I've participated in the Usenet site "rec.climbing" for many years, and noted that a significant percentage of the messages are related to obtaining information (also known as "beta") about the best climbs in a given area. Many of the requests are related to the routes in this collection. From the old adage that "a picture is worth a thousand words", the images here should be the equivalent of about 2.5 million words of description. I would have found them very useful when planning these climbs, so I built it in the spirit of sharing information on these superb climbs.

From 1998-2007, the content was sold as a CD, until it became more work than profit. I decided to donate the content to my climbing club, the Los Alamos Mountaineers, with which I have had a long association, and am a life member.

This project was not intended to be a guidebook. There are many excellent guidebooks already out there that contain essential information for planning your climb. However, the most frequent feedback I've had is "More topos!" Since I've never plagiarized the work of others, producing a topo is a major project in iteself - I basically have to climb the route and draw as I go, or receive a topo from a contributor I trust to do a good job. It is unlikely that the topo collection will grow much in the future. My recommendations for the most useful guides are listed with each climb. Guidebooks are great for text, maps, and topo diagrams, but lack the room (and budget) for useful photos. Photos give you a better flavor for the actual nature of the climbing, since they can't be biased by the author's subjective impressions. I hope you find the project useful.

- Gary Clark, Spring Creek, Nevada