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Rock Climbs of the Sierra East Side

Rock Climbs of the Sierra East Side. Alan Bartlett and Errett Allen. Chockstone Press, Denver, 1988. 170 pages. Photos, topos, maps. $14.95

Until recently, information on rock climbing in the Eastern Sierra has been very sketchy. Unless you happened to walk into Rick Wheeler or James Wilson in Bishop and ask if there was any good climbing around or had an extended stay in Tuolumne where you could find out where the best Deadmans climbing is, you were pretty much lost. If you mentioned casually that Cardinal Pinnacle had some of the best crack-and-steep-face climbing anywhere, climbers wouldn’t know what you were talking about.

Now that Chockstone Press has published Rock Climbs of the Sierra East Side, these superb climbing areas are now accurately described with topos, photos and maps. With Bartlett’s extensive knowledge of the Whitney to Rock Creek areas and Allen’s familiarity with Deadmans, they have put together an excellent guide to an enormous region.

The guide covers the area from Lone Pine to Lee Vining with no true backcountry routes listed. Every form of climbing is represented from steep, knobby face-climbing at Whitney Portal on superb granite, flawless steep crack- and face-climbing on Cardinal Pinnacle (you must climb here!), steep, hard (5.11 and up) crack-climbing on the rough granite of Little Egypt, to pocket- pulling on the vertical and overhanging welded tuff in the many Deadmans areas. This is a great guide to many superb climbs. Make sure you sample what the East Side has to offer!

Alan Roberts