Review: Southern Nevada Bouldering Guidebook

One of my favorite climbing-related activities has always been reading guidebooks.  I really enjoy learning about the different areas that are out there, and since visiting them all isn’t an option perusing the guidebook seems like the next best thing at times.

One of the trends in guidebooks over the past few years has been an exponential increase in quality both in terms of content and in terms of the paper they are printed on.  While the hand drawn topo will always have a special place within the community the move towards high quality, color guidebooks is a big plus to me.

Now, I’ve read a lot of guidebooks over the years, but when Tom Moulin sent me a copy of his Southern Nevada Bouldering guidebook last month I was pretty blown away.  Moulin started with the template of a guidebook with color photos, good maps and clear descriptions and took it to the next level.  At over 400 pages the book features an incredibly in-depth history section that covers not only climbing history but geological and native history as well.  Covering over 2,000 problems in several different areas across southern Nevada like Red Rocks and Mt. Charleston, the book includes detailed maps and bouler topos along with tons of great action shots, many of them taken during a given problem’s actual first ascent.  In addition, Moulin has written up several handy circuits of high quality problems based on the length of your stay and the difficulty you are looking to climb which I imagine would be quite handy.

All this content does come at a cost, as the book will set you back around $40 and its 400 pages make me a little pumped just holding the thing open.  With that said, if you are looking for a book that will help you make the most out of the bouldering in southern Nevada I wouldn’t hesitate to pick this thing up.

If you’ve already got the book, or are looking for general updates on new problems in the area, the publisher has setup a forum where additions to the guidebook are being posted.

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11 Responses to Review: Southern Nevada Bouldering Guidebook

  1. MattM December 16, 2010 at 8:21 am #

    Glad to see someone else recognizing the great improvement in guidebooks that’s occurring. I make a point to buy quality guidebooks that are out there even if I won’t be there for a long time if ever. It helps the “little guy” and lets people know that Top quality guidebooks are worth the cost (typically a tank of gas or two if that). This one looks stellar as well.

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  2. Dylan December 16, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    Oh man this gets me psyched. I’ll be going to Red Rock right after Christmas and I’m now pretty sure I’ll have to pick this up. Between this guide book and the stellar route book Red Rock could be one of the best-covered places around as far as guidebooks go, but you’d have to pay nearly $80 (!).

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    • Narc December 16, 2010 at 2:38 pm #

      I know what you mean about the cost but I guess that is tradeoff for Red Rocks having such an absurd amount of climbing. Have fun on your trip!

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  3. randy December 16, 2010 at 1:23 pm #

    a great addition. other top-notch “new” guides (some are 5 years old): the new red rocks guide (not roxanna brock), the RRG (ellington), indian creek (bloom), hueco (wilder).

    on this topic, in recent years instructional books have also taken a big leap in quality. examples: rock climbing basic technique and anchors (luebben), sport climbing (bisharat), big walls (ogden), training for climbing/maximum climbing (horst). it should be noted that the luebben, bisharat, and ogden books are all made by mountaineers press.

    any books i’m missing? i’d love to hear.

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    • Narc December 16, 2010 at 2:40 pm #

      The Super Topo guide to Zion Big Walls is a pretty beautiful book that is more a work of art to me than a guidebook since I likely will never climb there.

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    • SP December 16, 2010 at 3:49 pm #

      http://www.adirondackrock.com/

      The park covers 6 million acres (yes, it is by far the largest park in the lower 48), and the climbing is very spread out. While not as colorful as the new RRG book I have, for a climbing guide to cover that much land mass it’s fantastic. They also update new routes and conditions on the website above. Definitely a must have for the area.

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    • peter beal December 18, 2010 at 10:34 am #

      Randy, thanks for the mention of The Mountaineers. I am working on a book on bouldering for them. Find out more at http://www.theboulderingbook.com

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  4. Keenan December 16, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

    Just got mine in the mail the other day, and it is probably the best guidebook (most in-depth and clear) I own (more so than the Bishop or the Hueco guides, which are both quite good). Tons of awesome photos, good descriptions, and tons of problems!

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  5. Alex December 16, 2010 at 6:00 pm #

    The book is awesome! Was only planning to stop through vegas for a week or two but I’ve been here for a month and I’m coming back in january! So many hard climbs here.

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  6. Patrick December 16, 2010 at 9:47 pm #

    Just came back from Red Rocks and I wish I had purchased a guide book! I was climbing so much excellent rock but had no idea what it was. That’s fun for me most of the time but I couldn’t help but think “is the most unbelievable boulder right around the corner?” I fell in love with desert climbing…

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  7. GC December 20, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    It’s nice to see the Southern Nevada Bouldering guide receive some attention. I believe it is one of the nicest guides I’ve seen. Also, prior to this guide, I wasn’t even aware there were this many different bouldering areas around Las Vegas / Red Rocks.

    As noted above, so far, the author’s website seems to update regularly with new media and FAs. Worth checking out…

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