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An Ice Climber's Guide To Southern New Hampshire and Eastern New York
By Todd Swain
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Contact: K. Daniels & Associates Publishing
An Ice Climber's Guide To Southern New Hampshire and Eastern New York
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An Ice Climber's Guide To Southern New Hampshire and Eastern New York
By Todd Swain

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An Ice Climber's Guide To Southern New Hampshire and Eastern New York
K. Daniels & Associates Publishing
$$44.95

Published and available in late summer of 2020, could this be the perfect guidebook for the times? With social distancing now the norm, and with the ever growing popularity of the sport, An Ice Climber's Guide To Southern New Hampshire and Eastern New York will no doubt help you find places to climb that are off the beaten track. As someone who is getting tired of running laps on all the ice that's climbable up in this area, having new places to visit is very welcome. Hey - I feel the same about rock and mountain biking...it's great to touch new rock and ride new trails.

Known as a prolific new route finder, Todd Swain's OCD tendencies are perfect for hunting down almost all the ice climbs throughout the nooks and crannies of New Hampshire and Eastern NY state. Todd has 11 spent years talking to climbers all over New England and tweezing out their oft-times close-held secrets. With over 200 areas and literally thousands of routes, it's hard to imagine any one person visiting and climbing them all, but I'm sure someone will try.

There is a nice forward by climbing legend Henry Barber. The 15 pages of ice climbing history and associate pictures are very cool, with the historical pictures of the gear almost worth the price of admission alone. The massive numbers of climbs are spread and well organized over the book's almost 500 pages. There are maps, GPS coordinates and tons of black and white and color pictures - some recent and some historical. The edge of the book is even color coded by state!

But wait - there's more... The table of contents at the front of the book is organized by state, nice right? But in the back there are 3, count 'em - 3, indexes! The first is climbs in each state organized by ice ratings in alphabetical order, the second is each state organized by mixed rating in alphabetical order, and the third a straight list of all the climbs in the book in alphabetical order. This kind of attention to detail is, or should be, the gold standard for guidebooks. SWEET...

Conclusion:  So... Is it any good? Well, based on presentation and quantity alone, it simply must get 5 thumbs up - it ticks all the boxes. But is it accurate? Well, it just came out (at this writing October 2020) so that's yet to be determined. But if the time it's taken to bring it to fruition and the research that went into it provides any indication, it should be fantastic. I would be remiss if I didn't point out that in the past several of Swain's guides somewhat radically underestimated the time it took to get to some climbs and areas - Todd's a very fast hiker. But that's a pretty minimal quibble, isn't it.

My thought is that if you are an ice climber in New England, you should get this book.

Details: 496 pages, soft cover
200 climbing areas in 7 states
Tons of color pictures
Forward by Henry Barber
Short history of ice climbing in New England

ISBN: 978-1-7344373-1-7

Al Hospers
October 2020

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