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Whitehorse Ledge Topo
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Whitehorse Ledge Rock Climbing Topo Map
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Whitehorse Ledge Rock Climbing Topo Map
TMC Books
$9.95

Last fall S. Peter Lewis brought out the new edition of the Ice Climber's Guide to Northern New England. Now another one is out bearing his name, the Whitehorse Ledge Rock Climbing Topo Guide. If this productivity is any indication, that man must not do anything but sit in front of the computer.

This may easily be one of the more unique solutions to the guidebook conundrum that I've ever seen. In fact it may set the traditional concept of the thick heavy tome on its ear. Looking for all the world like one of the Esso roadmaps that have been around since my grandfather's time, it weighs nothing, folds up smaller than a headlamp and yet contains all the info you need for a day a week or a month at the crag. It doesn't have every obscure route on the cliff, but what it doesn't have you probably don't need or want to do, Southern Belle at 5.7X being one. It's also made of a completely waterproof plastic and feels amazingly substantial! The topos, drawn over attractive watercolor cliff paintings by TBR Walsh, are intricately drawn and seem quite accurate.

Lewis seems to have become enamored of the icons from Jerry Handren's Rockfax guide to Cathedral and Whitehorse. I didn't like them then, and I like them less now. Trying to remember that an Hourglass icon means "sustained" and a chess piece Rook means "technical/tricky" just seems to me to be just a bit over the top. In addition as there is no index, and of course it isn't really possible, if someone says "Dude, you really have to do Coffin Nail." you might spend 5 minutes searching for it unless you know it's in the Inferno area.

Conclusion:  I really like the quality and format of this guide. I've pretty much quit hauling around a guidebook, but at only $9.95 and so tiny this one may find a permanent place in my pack. You really should pick up this guide. If you can't find it at your local store, check on the TMC web site for availability.

Details: plastic paper, 4x9 opens to 18x24, full color

Al Hospers
April 2004

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