Rock Climbs in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Second Edition. Ed Webster. Mountain Imagery (PO Box 210, Eldorado Springs, Colorado 80025), 1987. 564 pages, 85 black-and-white photographs, 2 color photographs (on cover), 5 maps, bibliography. $21.95 (paper).
Once again, Ed Webster has produced one of the finest guidebooks in the country. This second edition of Rock Climbs in the White Mountains of New Hampshire far surpasses the 1982 guide, in both accuracy and quality. The quantity and clarity of the action photos is excellent. Not only do they show the current activists on some of the newer routes, but there are also a host of historically significant pictures taken during first ascents, or first free ascents. The historical photos should give some of the younger set food for thought. Try leading Crack in the Woods without Friends (page 314), or Interloper without “sticky shoes” (page 145) ... I can’t do them that way!
My criticisms are few and far between. A detailed map to Band M Ledge would be helpful, as would a map of the Crawford Notch crags. Since reviewers are allowed to quibble, here are the inevitable gripes about ratings. Birch Tree Crack (Whitehorse) has to be harder than 5.10; Lookout Crack & Little Feat (Cathedral) must both be easier than 5.9; and finally, Science Friction Wall (Whitehorse) sure felt like 5.10 rather than 5.11.
For those of you that still haven’t made it to New Hampshire, it’s time to buy this newest guide, and go. You’ll be in good hands with Webster!