Back in December, I announced exciting plans that would finally create a guidebook for the Georgia crag called Rocktown. Until the fruition of this guidebook, climbers relied on “topos” that lacked a comprehensive understanding of the entire area. I remember toting around a few sheets of printed climbing guidance in my backpack, and always ending up missing a few pages or spilling water all over the darn thing. Basically, it wasn’t really working. So the news of a proposed guidebook brought excitement to the entire southeastern climbing community.
Until we heard the crickets.
Months passed, and so did the alleged release date of the book. It was promised to be in print by March, and yet as April passed, we began to lose hope. I had contacted the publisher in hopes of snagging a few copies to give away during the Save the South bouldering compeition I organized at the end of March, and his “we’ve hit a few snags” e-mail was the last I heard about the guidebook.
My intial thoughts on the guidebook? It is generally AWESOME. The maps are comprehensive, and frankly, the guidebook has opened up my eyes to a whole section of Rocktown that I never even knew existed. Browsing the book unleashed a tick list of new routes I had never heard of before, and by the time I was done thumbing through the freshly printed pages, I was already scheming a plan to make my next climbing trip up to Georgia to send some of these sweet routes.
However, I did have a few qualms with the book – as any climber does when a guidebook comes out for a favored crag. First of all, The Vagina (V8, thank you very much) was downgraded to a V7. Seriously? I have watched Niko project that route for years, and it has proven to be one of his greatest conquests. And yet, he walked up to Nose Candy (also rated V7 in the book and otherwise) and flashed it. Clearly, those two problems are not of the same caliber. Right behind The Vagina, there’s a fun little route that had always been the “Unknown V3.” I climbed it years ago, years before I ever sent my first V4 – and now the Rocktown guidebook is calling the route a V4 too. I call blasphemy.
But enough moaning and groaning. My favorite part of this glorious guidebook? I’m in it! My lady friend Libbi is photographed on page 12 of the book, and her photographer, John Putman, got a little bio in the back of the book. Most photographers linked up to their own websites, but since John doesn’t have one, he went for the blog where he is most frequently featured – TheMorningFresh.com! Flip to the very last page of the book, and you’ll see a little blurb about my ‘adventure blog.’ Pretty darn sweet if you ask me. I’m sure less than a handful of people will ever read that part of the book, but knowing that I’m in it is satisfying enough.
Do you have a copy of the Rocktown Guidebook? Feel free to comment with your thoughts on the book release, gripe about routes that you think deserve different ratings, or talk about how much you can’t wait to get out to Georgia to do some good ‘ole southern bouldering.