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Chongo’s Big Wall Book
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Partner kimgraves


Jan 31, 2005, 9:22 AM
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Chongo’s Big Wall Book
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Hi Gang

Ever since I got interested in aid I’ve head rumors about this guy Chongo who lives as a dirtbag in Yosemite who’s written T.H.E. definitive how-to book on big wall methods. Apparently he now has a website where you can order the book. However, the book costs $100 and you send a postal money order to a PO Box to get it. As a big-wall wanna' be, I’m interested in the book if it’s real and has good stuff in it. Does anyone have the book? Is it any more rigorous than the 3-4 books available? Or, as it all been covered by those books, the PTPP archives and his Dr. Piton columns in the mags?

Thanks, Kim


superdiamonddave


Jan 31, 2005, 9:47 AM
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Wow. I thought the book didn't really exist. From all the hooplah on this site a couple of years ago, if it really exists, it should be one hell of a comprehensive book. I would love to peruse through it, but I don't think I will be shelling out a hundred clams just yet...It would make a fine addition to my collection, however...hmmmm.


wallghost


Jan 31, 2005, 9:57 AM
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I bought a copy. It is extremely detailed, some would say too much so. It has also been said that some of the systems are too complicated and that simple is better. I like to pick and choose the ideas that I feel would do me the most good. If you have the money, it is an excellent resource. If you are tight on bucks, then go the Long/Middlecamp book for the on the cheap solution. Don't worry about sending the money and not getting the book. For all the negative things people say about Chongo, him being dishonest is not one of them.


epic_ed


Jan 31, 2005, 10:26 AM
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Some guys over on Supertopo have purchased from him recently and Chongo delivered as expected. I've expressed my thoughts on the matter in other threads, but for the record, Chongo may be a kook but he's certainly not a scammer. If you pay him for the book, you'll get it.

I looked though another person's copy of "the ground maunal" when I was in Yosemite last summer. There's a tremendous amount of good info in there. Most of it is geared toward advanced wall systems, but the info on setting up your belay station and tips on a successful bivy are very pertinent for the wall n00b.

Is the book worth it? I didn't think it was for my needs, but YMMV.

Ed


epic_ed


Jan 31, 2005, 10:47 AM
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Some guys over on Supertopo have purchased from him recently and Chongo delivered as expected. I've expressed my thoughts on the matter in other threads, but for the record, Chongo may be a kook but he's certainly not a scammer. If you pay him for the book, you'll get it.

I looked though another person's copy of "the ground maunal" when I was in Yosemite last summer. There's a tremendous amount of good info in there. Most of it is geared toward advanced wall systems, but the info on setting up your belay station and tips on a successful bivy are very pertinent for the wall n00b.

Is the book worth it? I didn't think it was for my needs, but YMMV.

Ed


Partner kimgraves


Jan 31, 2005, 10:56 AM
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I’m actually *not worried about Chongo’s honesty or eventually getting the book. I’m more concerned about value added. $100 is not that much money to make a mistake with. But, in all honesty, I’d be disappointed to get the book and feel that it didn’t offer me that much more than I’ve gotten from other sources. I guess, realistically, none of you can help me with that. I am relieved to hear that Wallghost has a copy and finds it a good if flawed resource. I hear rumors that it’s way over written and poorly edited – as would my book be if I’d self-published. :wink:

Thanks, Kim


olympicmtnboy


Jan 31, 2005, 11:08 AM
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The real question is: how does he write 70 pages on "Big Wall Carabiners"???
:shock:

"Big Wall Carabiners (70 8½”x11” pages, staple bound) $20.00"


lambone


Jan 31, 2005, 11:20 AM
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The book probly is as advertised, the most comprehensive collection of big wall technique available.

now, that doesn't mean that you couldn't find all that information elsewhere...at least the key points, through the internet, talking with people and asking questions.

If you are a beta junkie, then i'd say go for it...you'll probly be happy with it.

For me I have a tight tolerance for jargon and rambeling in instructional material. Knowing first hand Chongo's potential for wind bagging, I can imagine that 100 pages of how-to's is probly half key information, and half bullshit.

For me there is definately a such thing as too much information. Consice writting is a worth alot of $, blah blah blah is not.

cheers


superdiamonddave


Jan 31, 2005, 11:34 AM
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In reply to:
The real question is: how does he write 70 pages on "Big Wall Carabiners"???
:shock:

"Big Wall Carabiners (70 8½”x11” pages, staple bound) $20.00"

I assume that he uses the same lengthy disclaimer in each of his books that he used to access his website. Has to be a good 30 pages? :P


lambone


Jan 31, 2005, 11:55 AM
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that disclaimer is pretty funny..

I mean what are people going to sue him for? his beater bycicle and 20 year old laptop!? :lol:


smearhound


Jan 31, 2005, 1:22 PM
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In reply to:
It is extremely detailed, some would say too much so.

If the disclaimer is any indication, you are certainly correct.


stymingersfink


Jan 31, 2005, 9:14 PM
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He'll leave it for you to seperate the grain from the chaffe. What those grains might become is up to you. Plant the seeds, give 'em some care and attention, months later you may be suprised what you harvest.

DEFINITELY a character. What KIND is for you to decide.















ME? ....

I'd pack one for 'im any day. TREES, baby!


exposeur


Jan 31, 2005, 9:59 PM
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what you really need is one of his books on philosophy/quantum mechanics. i started reading it one time while drunk.. :roll:


gunked


Feb 1, 2005, 7:11 PM
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The book sometimes reads like stereo instructions, but it's a shining example of COMPREHENSIVE!!!

Lambone - I wasn't aware that his laptop was that new!

It has some very valuable info in it and if info is what you're looking for it IS worth the price.

just my opinion
-Jason :D


far_east_climber


Feb 2, 2005, 5:56 AM
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'A Homeless Persons Interpretation to Quantum Physics' is the title of his other book (I think?). There is an ad for Metolius in Climbing Magazine with a pic of a guy on a portaledge reading the book.


slackattack


Feb 2, 2005, 11:29 AM
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I bought Chongo's book last year and I still haven't finished it. But if you’re really obsessed with Big Wall climbing then it’s a good purchase. There is a lot of good information that I haven't found anywhere else although its should be noted that his book is really a ground manual and is mostly concerned with rigging all the gear you need for big wall travel.
PTPP has also posted a lot of the information from the book on this website (Pete actually learned a lot of it from Chongo). So if you’re cheap, you can poke around in the archives and find a lot of the good stuff.
Finally I found Chongo to be a very generous person who gave quite freely of what he had, so $100 didn't seem too painful.

Karl


guanoboy


Feb 26, 2005, 8:23 PM
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forget the book, spend some time with the dude then just give him a $100. What a character.


fatman


Feb 27, 2005, 12:14 AM
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I consider Chongo to be a friend, and I recommend any of his books. In fact the two of us had quite a few talks about his quantum mechanics works over breakfasts in the cafeteria. His children's book should be a great read, though may be too scary for children (although I don't know if he's publishing any copies of it yet.)

In reality, his books are entertaining and interesting, and he puts a lot of effort into writing them. Also, a friend told me he's not around this winter, or is in Joshua Tree, so I guess that's why he hasn't written back to me. Anyone who sees him please tell him Mike says hi and I hope to see him this summer


ceramiclover


Oct 14, 2005, 2:28 PM
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does anyone still have a decent copy chongo's book that they would like to unload?


yosemite


Oct 14, 2005, 3:15 PM
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I was given "The Complete Book of Wall Climbing - Volume One: The Ground Manual" as a gift. Please note that this 600-plus page tome is only the first part of the Chongo Big Wall Opus. Companion volumes to follow include: Leading; Cleaning; Traversing; Descent; Approach; Fixing; Bivouacking; Passing Knots; Ascending a Rope; Rappelling With a Load; and Emergency Procedures.

My sources tell me that the whole mess will be translated into Italian and an opera will be written.


Partner kimgraves


Oct 14, 2005, 8:53 PM
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When I finally met Tom Frost in person last Spring (instead of just talking to him on the phone), he lent me his copy of Chongo's book. It's great. The real stuff.

Best, Kim


justsendingits


Oct 14, 2005, 9:51 PM
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Check out Jarede Ogdsen's new big wall book, piblishwed by falcon I think.

Chongo's book is a must read,I don't use much of the tech. in the book but it gets your brain turning for big walls.

I will say that I think the far end hauler for solo on low angle rock is the shit!!

PTPP stuff here at RC.com is a must read also.


healyje


Oct 15, 2005, 12:41 AM
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I've looked over a friend's copy and while rambling (Pete was an editor so you know he wasn't scratching words out with abandon) it has lot's of good info; how you integrate that info into your system is the name of the game.

My impression is a lot of it is overkill, if you followed every shred of advice you'd be leaving the deck with 42 locking biners about your person securing everything including your underwear and that's before adding gear...

Good stuff though, and I'd give it a thumbs up if you have the patience to wade/weed through it all for what works for you...


areuinclimber


Oct 15, 2005, 5:41 AM
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if you want the bigwall book you'd better get it soon, chongo isnt gonna be in the valley much longer by the looks of things...


ceramiclover


Oct 15, 2005, 7:53 AM
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what does that mean, "by the looks of things?"

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