If you're just starting out on open rock, then this book really outlines some extremely important safety techniques, as well as useful anchor building, belaying, and knot tying instruction. Goes a little bit into rappelling as well, but not in very much depth. The only problem I had was that sometimes he writes about knots and then doesn't tell how to tie them. It's my guess this book is best used before a trip out with a guide, or at least someone who knows whats going on. Use the techniques and start out easy, 5.4, 5.7 or such until you get a feel for the way the systems work. I highly recommend this book for people who meet those needs.