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574 100 Favorite North American Climbs 2012-02-08

Beckey's 100 Favorite Climbs

Fred Beckey's name is synonymous with mountaineering. Born in 1923 he has climbed his entire life and is still climbing at the age of 89!

In the late seventies, Fifty Classic Climbs of North America was released by the Sierra Club as a large format paperback book. The book became known as the 50 Classics. The routes were chosen by two distinguished authors and the climbs carried the weight of being known as classics. The authors had not climbed all of the routes, they chose the routes because of their historical significance, popularity or notoriety. All the moderate climbs included in the book became insanely popular. Six of the classics were first climbed by Fred Beckey.

Beckey has now released his coffee table book, 100 Favorite North American Climbs. Whether the book receives the same notoriety as 50 Classics is yet to be seen; but if any climber is qualified to write such a book, it would be Beckey.

The book begins with an introduction by Barry Blanchard in which he tells a brief biography of Beckey and his climbing history.

The rest of the book is devoted to the routes. With each climb Beckey gives the history of the route or the first hand tale of when he climbed it, the access route to the climb, a route description, and "Beta and Caveats". He also includes statistics in the sidebar for the route including: elevation, first ascent info, difficulty of the route, gear used, time, beast season to climb the route, maps to use, and route references. Some routes also include hand drawn topos, or maps of the climbs.

A few 100 Favorite North American Climbs tips ...

The book is not available on Kindle. The large volume would be easier to read if it was available on an ebook reader.

Being a coffee table book, 100 Favorites has great pictures and is fun to flip the pages and browse. In seconds, you find yourself longing for the mountains.

Most of the climbs in the book are serious rock, ice, or mountaineering routes. Even if the climbs are too hard for me to ever attempt, the writing still inspires me to climb. The book makes it fun to be an armchair mountaineer.

Though the book is not necessarily a guide, it does have pertinent information to help the climber with a prospective route.

The book is expensive; but makes a great gift or wish list item.

Beckey included the Nose route on Looking Glass as one of his Favs.

The best that I can tell, Beckey actually climbed all of the routes in the book.

What is even crazier is that Beckey could have written 1,000 Favorites too! Now, that would have been a big book.

The book is published by Patagonia Books.

It would have been nice if the book had included a chart of all the climbs and pertinent information at the end of the book, or at least an index.

Happy armchair mountaineering trails


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