Thursday, November 20, 2014

Leavenworth Bouldering Guide Update

A couple people have asked me about the status of the Leavenworth Bouldering guidebook recently, so I thought I'd provide an update.  I'm proud to announce that the guide is... DONE!!  Well... SORT OF!!


What I mean is that I sent the manuscript to Sharp End Publishing roughly one month ago, and they are in the process of doing the layout and sending the book to print, each of which will take several months.  But the book is, in substance, done:  The text, maps, and photos are all finished, and with the exception of a few minor additions (thanks Jimmy Webb!), my work on it is essentially done.  Fred Knapp, the owner of Sharp End, is really excited about getting the book out to stores by the early spring, and has already lined up a graphic designer in Boulder and a printer.  Though I never really doubted it would, it is really exciting to see this project coming together!

As I've mentioned on this blog and in innumerable conversations before, the Leavenworth Bouldering guide should be a huge improvement over the Central Washington Bouldering book.  For one, the guide will be in full color, will include more action photos and more "topo" photos, and will (according to current plans) be printed on the same nice glossy paper that was used for Jamie Emerson's exemplary Rocky Mountain National Park guide.  The book will also include several innovative elements like GPS coordinates for each boulder and (again, according to current plans), and QR codes for certain areas that will direct your smartphone to a Google map for the area.  Whether these are innovations or corruptions of the outdoor experience, only time will tell, but there will definitely be less people getting lost trying to find the Pretty Boulders.  Most importantly, the new book will massively increase the amount of published bouldering in Leavenworth.  The Central Washington Bouldering guide included 548 problems in Leavenworth; the new Leavenworth Bouldering guide will include 1,228 problems, including 87 open projects (assuming Jimmy Webb doesn't continue to create work for me).  The old guide contained beta for 35 areas; the new guide includes beta for 74 areas, 48 in the Icicle alone.  I am so excited for people to climb on all these new, amazing problems, many of which are as good as anything that was publicized in CWB.

I want to take this opportunity to note that nearly all of the credit and goodwill for this book should go to the individuals that have been actively developing new climbs and areas around Leavenworth in the past few years.  This book was definitely a team effort, and as with the last book, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to those guys and girls who demonstrated the motivation to find and develop new areas, and to share them with me, knowing that I would likely turn them over to the masses.  I am also personally proud of the mere fact that I produced this guide while working as a junior associate at a law firm and maintaining an active pro bono practice with the King County Neighborhood Legal Clinic network, the board of the Washington Climbers' Coalition, and as the legal chair for the Blue Ridge Neighborhood Club.  The past year in particular has posed some special challenges as I've struggled to accommodate a 50-80 hour per week work schedule with the demands of wrapping up this book in the evenings.  But I'm extremely pleased that it's more or less done, and I've been honored to have the support of the community up to this point.

As always, feel free to email for Facebook me with questions re: directions to new areas, and don't be shy about spreading the word about Leavenworth.  The next few years should bring great things for the area's bouldering community!