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duskerhu


Feb 9, 2003, 5:08 AM
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What's the BEST Climbing Guide Book for JTree???  (North_America: United_States: California: Joshua_Tree_National_Park: _Joshua_Tree_National_Park_Overview_)
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...and where can I get it?

My partner (fo_d) and I are coming out to JTree this spring and, even though he's been there before and knows a lot of the routes we will probably do, I would like to get a Guide Book.

Yeah, I know Les... Just being my same old ANAL self...

Anyway, I like to "study-up" on stuff when I go somewhere. Does it help me? Maybe not, but I like to look at it as part of my "experience" as a whole.

So, what do the locals recommend? What do the NON-locals recommend? If you've been there before and used a guide book, tell me what you liked or disliked about it.

Thanks in advance people!

duskerhu


socalclimber


Feb 9, 2003, 6:03 AM
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Without question, the best guide book(s) are the ones by Allan Barlet. Each book is for a given area. The cost about 13$ US each. Alan has hiked every area in his books, done almost every route in his books. They are as accurate as any guide book you will ever find! I think there are 5 in the series! The Vogel guide is certainly not bad, but no where near as accurate!

Robert


socalbolter


Feb 9, 2003, 8:25 AM
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I agree. The bartlett books are great and generally a little more detailed on trails, etc. However, they are a little out of date if you're looking for current info from the last year or so. They also are more of a "budget" format. The fact that the Park is split into sections and separate guides prevents you from having to carry around the Vogel bible-sized book.

Randy Vogel is also in the process of updating his guide and my understanding is that this will be out in the next few months.

Have a great time on your trip.

[ This Message was edited by: socalbolter on 2003-02-09 08:32 ]


mreardon


Feb 9, 2003, 9:55 AM
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I lived by the Vogel guide originally (both the 80s version and the bigger bible done in 92), but flipping through it when I was doing the videos, I realized how many handwritten notes I had in it regarding routes and trails. I've spoken with Bartlett and a few others, and then used a few of his books, and hands down Bartlett's are the best. Particularly when trying to find routes and to get details/ratings of the the routes. The only problem is that you get great details on any given area for the park, but you don't get an overall feel unless you buy several of the books. I'd recommend Bartlett's guide, but familiarize yourself with the whole area otherwise you might end up with a book you wouldnt' need.


duskerhu


Feb 9, 2003, 5:22 PM
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Thanks guys...

Well I think we're planning on climbing mainly in the Hidden Valley areas so, which Bartlet guide/s would work best and where can I get it?

duskerhu


pywiak


Feb 9, 2003, 5:34 PM
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Last I checked, Alan Bartlett's place is just outside the park on the road from town. I imagine his number is in the phone book. I'd be surprised if Nomad Ventures in Joshua Tree didn't have copies of his books, as well as info on how to get a hold of him if they're out of stock. He's a good man, and a great drummer.


ffaallliinngg


Feb 9, 2003, 6:16 PM
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I'll add to the list of those who prefer Bartlett. More route descriptions, occasionally less sandbagged ratings, easier to carry. Main advantage to Vogel is he tries to tell you the descent. Bartlett books can be ordered off the Vertical Adventures website, vertical-adventures.com


murf


Feb 10, 2003, 8:35 AM
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It depends on your use. I would say for out of town users, who don't want to be restrained to an area, the Vogel guide is the way to go. It is the most comprehensive guide, as it contains areas that Barlett does not cover. As mentioned, Randy Vogel is furiously updating his guide, and the word is that is will be out in the next few months. Another difference is that the Vogel guide has photos while Bartlett has hand drawn topos. The photos might be more helpfull in some instances for an out of towner.

Murf


socalclimber


Feb 10, 2003, 9:14 AM
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I wouldn't advise calling him directly. I know Alan and I don't think he would appreciate that.

Nomad has copies of his books for sale. He has released a 2001 update to his Hidden Valley guide book.

Robert


michaelpaul


Feb 10, 2003, 9:43 AM
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Yeah, I was at Al's yesterday and he has "Tons" of guides.So if Nomads is out, tell them to contact Al! His guide is way more concise than Randy's and one plus is the first ascentionists listings, certain individuals were known to sandbag(underrate) while other's grades were softer! Plus just for Historical Value! My friend from San Diego had Vogel's guide, and we were trying to find a route from where it was marked in the photo, Nowhere Near! Bartletts guide had it right where it should be.


murf


Feb 10, 2003, 9:52 AM
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Its also worth noting that the to-be-released Vogel guide will also contain FA information. All known errors will be corrected as well.

Murf


kindredlion


Feb 10, 2003, 9:54 AM
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Also if Nomad is out go across the street to Coyote Corners.... Y'know, those nice long haired folks, who offer cheap showers, and even (if your nice) allow you to look at the showers without actually using them.

Oh yeah those guys with the free and tasty spring water. The pretty hula hooping girl in the front is not there to scare you away, in fact she shares quite the hug. They even let you play their drums.

Yes my point... I'll get there....

You can buy your Bartlett guides at the corner (next to the saloon), if you choose, or if Nomads has none...


Until then... (say hi to Elise - The hula girl from me)

Take Air,

Adam


mreardon


Feb 10, 2003, 10:28 AM
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Coyote corner is the place to go. So many people were annoyed at Nomad's prissy attitude to climbers (basically the same attitude as that kid you disturbed at the record store to actually help you rather than just stand behind the counter) that CC were surprised that climbers would ask them for climbing gear. So they started selling the gear (and nowhere near the mark-up that Nomad's had at the time). The shower, hugs, and general "feel free to hang out and grab a shower if you need it" isn't a bad atmosphere either.


offwidth


Feb 10, 2003, 6:21 PM
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I have both the Bartlett and Vogel guides. Both are good. If you want one tome that covers the whole park and includes some of the bouldering, then Vogel's is the way to go. But if you are going to stay near HVCG then I'd just get the appropriate Bartlett guide.

As of two weeks ago, Nomad Ventures had many copies of the Barlett guides. I seem to recall seeing the Vogel guide there too.


duskerhu


Feb 11, 2003, 3:04 AM
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Thank you everyone for your helpful advice!

See, this is what I was talking about as "part of my experience"...

Thanks ffaallliinngg for the web site where I can actually get one before I get there (cus, I gotta study up ya know...).

...thanks for the info on Nomads and Coyote Corner. I'm sure we'll stop in there to check out the local scene (and maybe a shower, depending on our "living" arangements for the week). kindredlion I will for sure say "HI" to Elise for you when I meet her... Or, if you're free, maybe shoot down, climb with us and then you can introduce me to her...

Thanks people! More comments welcome if you have them...

duskerhu


kindredlion


Feb 28, 2003, 10:14 AM
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Hey Dann, (duskerhu)


Let me know when you are heading to the Tree... I would be glad to show you around... I would also be glad to see Elise again....


I hope all in all you have a great Trip, if you haven't been to the Tree yet..... It won't be your last time...

Heaven on Earth...
Like Moses Picked From Birth...


Take Air,

Adam


michael crowder
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Mar 5, 2003, 6:35 AM
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my two cents,
if you are going to be travelling to j-tree to climb you should buy your book from someone who has concern for out of town climbers and a little hospitality. i may never go back to j-tree just because of a run in with mr. vogel back in 92. my partner and i were trying to get to the airport to fly back home and wanted to do one last route, walk on the wild side, on our way out. there was a group of gumbys on it when we got there and we had to wait 1.5 hours for them to reach the first belay. by the time they had just gotten out of site and we were roped up fixing to step on the rock randy walked up and told us he was going to break in line in front of us. we told him we needed to get on up it because we had a plane to catch but he wouldn't have any of it. he said he had climbed the route dozens of times and could get out of our way quickly. he had what looked like a girlfriend climber with him and we doubted she would be as quick as he would be. besides, if some lives nearby and has done a route multiple times they should bow out and let the out of towner take a crack. it is only polite. well the arguement got out of hand with even the climbers on the next route and his girlfriend telling him to give it a rest. i have never seen anyone act like that at a crag in my life. we proceeded to climb and he tried to pass us on the first pitch of a 200 ft. route. the word swapping continued until we made the belay at the top of p1 where we elected to rappel off of the climb and leave rather than stay and finish the route. climbing is no fun at all if you are having conflict with other climbers. all he could do is spew about how he had written the guide book we were using and thought that we should bow to him. i know of at least one other east coast climber that has received the same treatment from him. i would recommend buying a book from an author that actually wants you to enjoy your trip to j-tree rather than just take your money then be pissed just because you beat him to a route.
michael


stewbabby


Mar 5, 2003, 11:20 AM
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What a DICK!!!!


murf


Mar 5, 2003, 2:05 PM
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You wanted one more route before the plane ride and you sit in line for WOTWS. Say what you want about Randy, but you aren't the sharpest tool in the shed are you?


michael crowder
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murf,
we were in line before 8 am and there was only one party ahead of us. we had plenty of time. our flight wasn't until after midnight but we wanted enough time to find a shower and a meal before we hopped on the plane. my intellegence level has nothing to do with the fact that the man treated us more rudely than i have ever been treated by another climber. as a "unofficial" representative of an area, a guide book author should be polite and helpful, not harrasing the people that have paid him money. i know two other climbers that have received the same treatment from the same person. it establishes a pattern in my mind. maybe in the past 10 years he has mellowed out, i hope so, or maybe we caught him on a bad day. it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth about the entire trip.
the bottom line is that we qued up and sat patiently so he could too. if you catch me moving slow on a big wall i'll gladly let you play through but don't try to break in front of me in a line whether it be at a climbing area or a ski lift. it is not polite and i will not stand for it. the sad thing is rather than letting it drop when 5 of the 6 people within earshot all were asking him to, he continued pressing until we had to leave or get drastic and that is not an appropriate way for climbers to act. it was like he had some kind of point to prove. i am normally just a happy little hippy with no ill will towards anyone. just don't be rude or i return the favor.
michael


fredbob


Mar 6, 2003, 7:45 PM
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Wow! All I can say is that over the ensuing 11 years, the story (and this is a story) bears little resemblance to the facts of what happened.

The girlfriend in tow (my wife, who is sitting here equally flabbergasted by this post) has a better recollection than me and reminded me of the following.

Here is what happened: This guy was already on the route (leading 1st pitch, low down) when my wife and I showed up. I asked him if he minded if we climbed after them (sharing the belay). He seemed bothered by the suggestion (my wife told me to let it go as he was very aggressive). He said that's not how we do it in the South. I told him we wouldn't interfere at all with his climb.

I never said who I was. I waited until his parter was about halfway up the pitch (following) before setting off. By the time I got to the belay, he and his partner were rapping off, telling me I had ruined their experience.

At some point, he asked me if I was Randy Vogel, to which I said yes. Those are the facts. In retrospect maybe we should have waited longer to climb after them, but as for the behavior attributed to me, well...


michael crowder
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randy,
i think you are trying to downplay this a little. i have been climbing for 25 years and have never been treated so rudely while out on the crags. when we said we didn't want to share the route with another party then that should have been good. it's not like j-tree is a big wall area. if you don't remember raising your voice and being very rude then you have the memory problem. you admit having to be reminded of what happened by your wife. i know two other individuals that have received the same hospitality from you as we did so maybe you just come across rudely as a basic personality trait. i still want to know why it was so gosh darn important for you to pass us when you live local to the area? and yes, we don't treat folks like that down here in the south. i can remember almost every word you said so don't start backing up now. at one point you told us you had climbed the route dozens of times and you could get out of our way quickly. if you had climbed the route that many times then you should have deferred to the people that were there first and had qued up waited their turn patiently and may never get another chance to climb it. you seemed peeved that we didn't bow down and step aside.
when we arrived at the climb earlier that day there were two local guys that were getting ready to climb one of the routes to the left of w.o.w.s. when they picked up on our southern accents they asked us where we were from and what our deal was. when we told them we had time for only one more route they offered to step aside and let us do the route they were on but we declined as we had heard that wows was a must do. you must not remember them chiming in more than once asking you to chill. your wife even asked you to let it go and you didn't. i was there and i'll never forget it like you did. i even know folks in the business that you repeated your side of the story to soon after it happened. my story is exactly as it happened.
michael


tradguy


Mar 7, 2003, 2:29 PM
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Man, you guys both need to relax and let it go. Things happen, and people change.

Back to the original point of the thread... the best way to go with Joshua Tree is for one person to buy the Vogel guide, and the partner to buy the Bartlett guides - get the whole set of 6. That way you split up the cost and get the benefits of both. Personally, I own the Bartlett guides because, even though they cost more, I like having the descriptions and topos of the routes, and it seems like EVERYONE has the Vogel guide, so if I need to see something in it, I can just ask any other climber in the park.


michael crowder
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tradguy,
i am very relaxed. i just made a guide book recommendation based on past experience. i have actually downplayed how far my encounter with randy degenerated to. i have never been able to shake it off. i am completely at a loss to explain what went down. we had waited almost two hours to get on the route, he walks up and we are already tied in starting to climb and he wanted us to step aside so he could drag his then girlfriend up the route. it just doesn't make sense that he got so angry when we said no and didn't just wait for us to get out of the way like we did the for the previous party. he just ignored us and attempted to pass us anyway. if we had been on the nose in yosimite it would have been different but it was a j-tree 5.8, give me a break. my partner and i both were onsighting 10d at the time and it wasn't going to take us long to get up it.
just a few years after our encounter there was a letter published in climbing magazine about a "renown j-tree climber" treating other visiting climbers the same way. i can't say for sure who it was but i have heard from more than on source who it was and that is why i refer to it. they were as displeased as i was. i have been told by others that this may be a pattern and just want to know why any one individual has the right to break in front of anyone they want to at any time. if you want to get on the climb first then roll out of bed earlier.
michael

p.s. there were six people that witnessed our incident so accuracy will be important in future posts.


murf


Mar 10, 2003, 7:58 AM
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Mike,

I can't really figure out where you are going with all this. 10+ years later you feel the need to bring up ugly incident at the crags? Do you feel like you handled it the best you could have or are you a martyred saint? We all get your gist, you think Randy was an a-hole 10 years ago and you know other people who do as well. That's fine, that's your impression. I know for a fact there are plenty of folks who think I'm an asshole. how about you, nothing but love in the world? IMHO all strong personalities tend to leave disturbances in their wake. For the record, all my interactions with Randy have been very pleasant. I, however, always let him lead first!

I do have a problem with the recommendation that you shouldn't buy his guidebook on the basis of your single 10 year old encounter. Randy is the regional coordinator of the Access Fund. He is a member of the Joshua Tree National Park Climbing Committee. These activities are unpaid and take time and effort. He has spent countless hours not only putting together the guide book, but updating it as well ( keep in mind, Stephen King novels these aren't no ones making much money on climbing guidebooks ). If you've climbed Swept Away, Figures on a Landscape, or many other JT classics, you owe Randy some thanks.

So there it is, more information than anyone wants about their guidebook author. If you are coming from far away and want the comprehensive guide to JT, get Randy's, that's my recommendation.

Murf

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