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New Book on How to Big Wall Climb

Chris McNamara just debuted his new book How to Big Wall Climb. The guidebook takes readers through all the steps from doing their first aid lead to going up their first big wall.

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Leaning Tower at sunset. Photo by Chris McNamara.

Chris McNamara just debuted his new book How to Big Wall Climb. The guidebook takes readers through all the steps from doing their first aid lead to going up their first big wall. You can read an excerpt of the book here on the Rock and Ice website.

“After a few years in Yosemite and 30 or so ascents of El Cap, I noticed that people were bailing all around me not because they were incapable, but because they just used inefficient techniques and arrived unprepared,” McNamara tells Rock and Ice. “I then talked with Tom Frost and realized that he, Royal, Yvon Chouinard climbed walls 40 years ago faster than many people do today (even though their gear was far less advanced) because they used such simple techniques.”

McNamara spent over 10 years writing the guide, and eventually decided to pair the text with photos and instructional videos. While he says he will add more complex techniques to the second edition of the book, McNamara encourages aspiring big wall climbers to focus on the basics.

“90% of this book is road map that takes you from having never seen a pair of aiders to getting to the top of a big wall. There is also a “master checklist” of skills to learn and how many times you should practice each technique. I often get the question ‘how do I know if i am ready to climb’ and now there is a check list. Complete the checklist, and be able to do each technique efficiently, and you are probably ready.”

Click here to read an excerpt from How to Big Wall Climb by Chris McNamara.