A Climber’s Guide to the Rocky Mountain National Park Area, by Walter W. Fricke, Jr. Boulder: Paddock Publishing Co., 1971. 225 pages, 29 photographs, $5.50.
Climbers can now sort out their wall of choice with comparative ease in Rocky Mountain National Park and the surrounding area. It’s all due to Walt Fricke and his diligent investigations directly with those responsible for many of the fine routes described in his guide.
The book is bound after the European style in vinyl and is easily pocketable. It is organized into sections which divide the area into high peaks, low cliffs and shorter climbs described from south to north. Most of the photographs have lines imprinted on them to define the routes.
The guide will be an ongoing project, and as the routes are more visited they will become more objectively graded and defined. A first edition is a launching point. It is a skeleton onto which the sinews of information on repeated ascents will be added.
Fricke knows of what he writes: he is a seasonal ranger in “Rocky” entrusted with rescue operations. His writing is a reflection of his entertaining personality—crackly colloquialisms of a wizened story teller.
Cleveland M. McCarty