The Complete Rock Climber - Malcolm Creasey

I've been trying to learn to climb for a while now, in an on-again, off-again (mostly off) fashion for quite some time. I've been wanting to improve my technique, and don't go climbing with good climbers to learn from, so Caroline got me this book. The book covers the wider sport, so there is plenty beyond the indoor top-roped climbing that I do. This means that in terms of things that are directly applicable, it's a bit thin, but it's made up for in the fact that it helps me understand the sport in its generality.

The starting section is an introduction to climbing and technique, and even here there's a bias to real rock. This then moves on to rope-work, techniques for climbing in the wild (including orienteering and understanding weather systesms), emergency rope-work, training techniques, and a guide to rock-climbing sites areound the world.

While it starts off as an introductory book, it really does deserve the title of 'complete', as it covers so much. I'm now getting used to the idea that the sport is something you fundamentally learn by doing, and this book is really just a way of filling in the gaps of things that you either might not pick up off others, or need reminding about. In other words, despite my novice level meaning I can't really judge the subtle details well, it does seem a handy reference, and I look forward to revisiting it when I am more experienced.

Posted 2009-06-28.