I spend a signifiant portion of my life sitting in my office looking through guidebooks trying to get psyched for my next climbing trip. For the past couple months, I’ve been reading both the St. George and Hueco guidebooks for my winter trips there. I’m not going to lie. I’m a guidebook wh0re. I love books I love making books, I love seeing photos in books, I love dreaming about trips to places I’ve been and places I’ve never been.
I was pleasantly surprised to see the “Chatt Steel” by Micah Gentry and Cody Averbeck – Rockery Press, a new publishing company out of Chattanooga. Being a book publisher myself, its always a pleasure to see new, good looking books. There are definitely books out there that just make me want to weep with terrible layouts and bad photos, but I was really impressed with the Chat Steel book. The book holds to the current industrial standard of good topo photos and descriptive … well descriptions. One of my biggest pet peeves in a book is single line, non-informative descriptions. “Chatt Steel” makes it very clear for a person who has never climbed at the area “that being me” to figure out where the heck the route starts and where it goes!
I’m mostly impressed with the size and scope of the book. It covers an impressive amount of areas with an excellent amount of detail. The only negative thing I can nit-pitch is that the cover paper could be heavier quality, but that’s about it!
So for me – a good guidebook has to make me psyched to climb at an area? Success? Yes! Lots of good to awesome action images and topo images that really give a good nature of the climbing at each of the areas.
I can’t wait to see their second book “Chatt Brass” or “Chatt Trad”!!
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Here are several sample pages: