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Secor-like Cascades guide?

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Secor-like Cascades guide?

Postby seano » Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:58 pm

I'll be in the Cascades in July, doing some class 3 - 5.easy scrambles. Summitpost and the Washington top 100 list together supply plenty of ideas, but it's nice to have a book with peaks and paths organized geographically, and with brief route descriptions. For the Sierra, Secor meets this need. Is there something similar for the Cascades? Thanks in advance.
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Postby sharperblue » Thu Apr 29, 2010 5:31 pm

yes, and they put Secor's book to shame by a mile: the famous Beckey Bibles:

http://www.chesslerbooks.com/item/5601- ... dition.asp
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Postby seano » Thu Apr 29, 2010 5:42 pm

Thanks, sharperblue -- that looks like what I am looking for. Better still, you can get a non-signed version on Amazon for about $70 rather than $250.
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Postby ExcitableBoy » Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:26 pm

The Beckey guides are the closest thing that comes to a comprehensive guide to the Cascades. Descriptions of approaches, climbing and descent routes are often very minimal for all but the most popular climbs. Rack recommendations and time estimates are often not very helpful.

For climbers new to the Cascades I recommend the following guide books which have good driving directions, approaches, best time to attempt the climb, good rack recommendations, good route and descent descriptions:

http://www.amazon.com/Selected-Climbs-C ... 630&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/Selected-Climbs-C ... 630&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/Classic-Climbs-No ... 819&sr=1-1

Although not as well researched or written, the Jeff Smoot's guidebooks may be useful as well:

http://www.amazon.com/Jeff-Smoot/e/B001 ... sr=1-2-ent
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Postby sharperblue » Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:21 pm

yeah, but i try not to link to amazon after their (so far unsuccessful) attempt to force change printed material into their kindle piece of crap. support Chessler if you can - they sell standard editions as well, but their specialization is in moutaineering rare and collectables (check out the signed pitons :) anyway, they're a superb resource. excitableboy's rec.s are spot-on
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Postby Snidely Whiplash » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:03 pm

ExcitibleBoy wrote:The Beckey guides are the closest thing that comes to a comprehensive guide to the Cascades. Descriptions of approaches, climbing and descent routes are often very minimal for all but the most popular climbs. Rack recommendations and time estimates are often not very helpful.

For climbers new to the Cascades I recommend the following guide books which have good driving directions, approaches, best time to attempt the climb, good rack recommendations, good route and descent descriptions:

http://www.amazon.com/Selected-Climbs-C ... 630&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/Selected-Climbs-C ... 630&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/Classic-Climbs-No ... 819&sr=1-1

Although not as well researched or written, the Jeff Smoot's guidebooks may be useful as well:

http://www.amazon.com/Jeff-Smoot/e/B001 ... sr=1-2-ent


I concur with the Nelson/Potterfield choices. Beckey's guide is the only all-inclusive guide for all major summits, but to get inclusivity, he had to sacrifice detail. Beckey never climbed a lot of the climbs documented in his books, and had to rely on other climbers' descriptions. Nelson and Potterfield give a "Best of" approach, and give much more detail. And since you're not spending a lifetime up here, there is no need for 3 volumes of Beckey. I also like the Smoot Book a lot for list of great scrambles. Peggy Goldman's book, 75 Scrambles in Washington is also another excellent source for the most part, although the book does contain some errors.
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Postby seano » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:58 pm

Thank you all. The Beckey books look the most Secor-like -- comprehensive and terse -- but Nelson and Potterfield looks like it might also be a good guide, if a bit wordy. I'll have to think about what I really need, and how much time I will be spending in the Cascades in the future.

sharperblue -- I haven't been a fan of Amazon since the one-click patent days, but it's hard for me to justify paying a 50% ($35 vs. ~$23 each) premium to support Chessler or another alternative.
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Re: Secor-like Cascades guide?

Postby Fred Spicker » Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:34 pm

seano wrote:I'll be in the Cascades in July, doing some class 3 - 5.easy scrambles.


Based on this statement, I am going to respectfully disagree with the suggestion that the Nelson Potterfield guides are what you want...

They are excellent guides, but include mostly technical climbs and climbs involving glacier travel which are not the type of climbs that you indicate that you want to do. You would be buying books including very little of what you want.

For instance, if you want to climb Mount Stuart, the Nelson Pottefield guide only includes Ice Cliff Glacier, Girth Pillar, North Ridge, and Stuart Glacier Couloir - none of which fall into the Class 3 to 5 easy scramble range...

You aren't that specific about the areas in which you want to scramble, so I am not sure what to suggest - there is a book entitled 75 Scrambles in Washington. I'm not sure what all is in it.

The Smoot guide contains more of what you are looking for, but apparently contains some errors. I can't confirm that, but I do like the photo of Mount Stuart that he uses on page 191 (though it doesn't come out too well in small format black and white).
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Re: Secor-like Cascades guide?

Postby seano » Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:45 pm

Thanks for the info.
Fred Spicker wrote:
seano wrote:I'll be in the Cascades in July, doing some class 3 - 5.easy scrambles.
You aren't that specific about the areas in which you want to scramble, so I am not sure what to suggest - there is a book entitled 75 Scrambles in Washington. I'm not sure what all is in it.

The area doesn't matter, since I have at least a couple of weeks. I have some unfinished business with Fernow and Maude, and would like to do Forbidden, but I'm not too particular. Many of the northern peaks look awesome, but there's the problem of glacier travel. I'll be solo, which means nothing harder than about 5.4 or involving serious crevasse risk.

My preference is for a comprehensive guide that I can use, along with a topo and people's online TRs, to explore and put together interesting days. In CA, I started with the 14ers and SPS list, chose peaks that looked interesting and doable, and used Secor and the web to figure out the details. That seemed to work well, so I'd like to do something similar in the Cascades. I'll try out the suggestions in this thread (via online previews), and see which seems most useful.
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Postby OJ Loenneker » Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:45 pm

ExcitibleBoy wrote:The Beckey guides are the closest thing that comes to a comprehensive guide to the Cascades.


Only if you are interested in the "Washington Cascades"...

It's really too bad Becky never wrote a volume for the "southern Cascades" in Oregon and California.
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Postby rpc » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:35 pm

one of the earlier editions of his bible was more comprehensive I think. for example, it included Steins Pillar.
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Postby TimmyC » Wed May 05, 2010 11:22 pm

I'll second the recommendation of the 75 Scrambles book. I have the 1st ed from 2001, and despite the age, I haven't found any major/confusing discrepancies when I've used it lately. I am no where near as hard/core as I used to be, and part of what I love about Peggy Goldman's descriptions are that they are pretty honest about time and difficulty. Plus, there are plenty of scrambles that, if one is moderately experienced and sensible, one can feel comfy doing solo.

The Smoot is a great overview, but, necessarily due to its scope (the whole darn state, which, as noted, is an enormous wonderland for climbers and hikers), isn't as in-depth as a guide for a specific are can be. The maps and topos are excellent, though, and even if you have other guides, the Smoot is a great idea bank. I haven't encountered errors, but that's just my experience.

The Beckey bibles are essential reading, and mandatory components for the library of any mountaineer, armchair or otherwise. And if you question the odd tendency of PNWers to refer to Beckey's work as a "bible," just give one of the volumes a skim. You'll see.
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