Every time I visit the Front Range, I’m overwhelmed by the amount of rock there. Sure, we’ve got a lot of climbing around here, but it’s nothing compared to what’s waiting on the other side of the mountains. We were headed down for a weekend of visiting friends, checking out some shows, and climbing, and I had the daunting task of deciding which guidebooks to bring.
Now, let it be known that I am a guidebook junkie. I prefer to have the complete tome to an area I visit, versus a bunch of Mountain Project print outs I’ll probably lose, or some skinny select book that shows me what this climb is, but not that one next to it. However, heading down for the weekend like we were, if I wanted comprehensive beta, I’d need to bring at least a half dozen large books to cover all the crags in the area, which seemed a bit absurd for two days of climbing. Instead, I decided to roll with a copy of the recent Best Climbs Denver and Boulder, figuring that should get us where we wanted to go.
With mornings and afternoons free, but shows in the evenings, we wanted something with a quick approach, that wasn’t too far from I-70, and in the shade. We settled on Clear Creek, as I’d climbed there once before and really enjoyed it. The steep, featured stone feels just like home, and some of the routes are LONG, which is always nice. We checked out two different areas in the book, and the beta was spot on.
Perusing the pages of the other areas it covers, it’s got all the usual classic spots you would expect to find in a book like this: the First Flatiron, Castle Rock, Redgarden Wall, etc. The full color photos make finding routes a snap, and there’s some great action shots sprinkled throughout, including one of local Nick Chan getting after it on his way up the Naked Edge. The directions seem to be accurate, and there’s fun tidbits of “trivia” like info scattered throughout.
As I said before, I generally prefer to have the complete beta for an area I’ll be visiting, but in this case, a “select” book was perfect. Anyone spending a couple days on the Front Range, looking to hit a variety of classics will likely find this a helpful book. And at $18.95, it’s WAY cheaper than the several hundred dollars you’d have to throw down to get all the guides you’d need otherwise.