I must say first I know Peter Zabrok (Pass the Pitons Pete or PTPP) very well because he talks a lot and writes a lot. And he is a friend!! Fabio Elli I do not know him so much. So in this review I always say PTPP this and PTPP that. And never Fabio… Sorry Fabio! You done an AMAZING JOB on this book!!!! Fuck yea! I am sure you cut a lot of PTPP text to make it reasonable eh?
Go to https://www.versantesud.it/en/shop/hooking-up-3/ for a 44 pages preview WOW!!
YES! 672 pages. And I do not think anything would be irrelevant. Just some very useful content in very much details. With Great pictures and Great stories by Jim Bridwell, Eric Sloan, John Middendorf, Chris McNamara, Andy Kirkpatrick, Mike Libecki, Libby Sauter and David Alfrey and many more!
A future book could be climbing big walls free. Strategies, ethics, ground up, onsight, rehearsed, single push, one day, shoes, skin, partnership, etc. I do not think any is covered in this book but I did not read cover to cover…
I wanted to go through all the pages and write a review to enable you to decide if you want it or not.
I must say first: the book spells Big Walls in TWO WORDS. Big win right here LOL. (I like it anyway) Below is a part by part review of the book. I cannot change myself for anyone, I am an Engineer!!!
Foreword by Jim Bridwell (2 pages)
Nice to see a contribution to this book by a Ledgend. 🙂
Introduction to the Original Italian Version (4 pages)
Nice to have in the English version: it give the European perspective…
Introduction to the English Version (6 pages)
A 6 pages of introduction on top of the Euro introduction? Big Wall book is a Big Speech book too LOL. This can be expected from PTPP ;-).
1- A brief history of Aid Climbing (28 pages)
Well documented, good pictures. It will be a great read that is for sure 🙂 If you do not want to actually go climbing but you are interested in the mountain and Big Wall culture, you will still enjoy reading this.
2- Aid Climbing Rating System (17 pages)
I did not know there were so many! Definitely a reference if you want to understand any aid rating system…
3- Heavy Metal and Tinker Toys (104 pages)
We all love the gear. 104 pages is 11% of the big book. Includes the 4 greatest aid climbing innovations of the last 20 years 🙂 . Aid ladders: staggered, aligned or russian style?? This is all discussed. Includes the gear photos and the placements for pitons, cams, Nuts. It names the big bros and the Gypsies but lack the proper information on how to place them and judge if they are good. Hooks, heads, rivets and Cam Hooks are well covered especially in my opinion a recommendation I have never seen about cam hooks from Chris McNamara. I have to go test it! Pulleys, ledges, bags, hammers, screamers, cheat sticks, harnesses. All well done in great details! Only I do not find mention of the Cadillac by Misty Mountain: I have never seen / tried it but I know a lot of wall climbers rave about this one!!! Camping, knots, etc. All fine without too much unnecessary!
4- Leading on Aid (60 pages)
I need to read it all because it seems to cover everything with great details. I am running out of time so I keep short. Includes progression, testing of the different kind of anchor points, pendulums, transitions from aid to free, etc.
5- The Job of the Follower (38 pages)
Basically how to be efficient, do a good racking job, and most importantly: stay safe!
6- Championship Pig Wrestling (45 pages)
I will have to read since the 1:1 method has a lot of details to make it great and I rarely do it. The 2:1, not sure it tells you you can use a simple pedal to haul if you have the proper pulleys and cord/sling to do the Chongo ratchet. All these details are missing in my opinion: it can make you hauling much more efficient. I have to make a YouTube video about this!!! The 3:1, not enough details. Do NOT use the “example of a 3:1” image. Do the other shown: the “Spanish Burton”. I have seen climbers being very efficient with it. Just use the same recommendations I have to put in my future YouTube video 🙂 . Space haul special PTPP invention: I have to read it because I do not understand!!! Seems promising 🙂 Far end hauling: not a big wall book if not there … It is there therefore GREAT! You may need this one day…
7- The Nylon Highway (23 pages)
Great details apparently. All the good stuff you want to know to be efficient at going up fixed lines!
8- Living on the Wall (41 pages)
Taming the cluster and keeping safe… Enjoy the Margaritas LOL… PTPP climbs soooo heavy!!! Also a big one here: save your hands! Save your hand! Ok I think you get it… Buy the book !!!
9- Descent (22 pages)
Mostly great. I have to read it all and especially the Mike Libecki rappel story that seem spicy.
Ok we all know how to rappel on 2 strands with an ATC and prusik (we should anyway). But how to do it with a Grigri??? The way to tie the rope p.462 is not the most simple. And the picture is not so clear. But it will do it. Come see on BlissClimbing Facebook page for a lighter way to tie it (https://www.facebook.com/BlissClimbing/posts/2778678038869865). Or look at Petzl 3 other options here: https://www.petzl.com/CA/en/Sport/Belaying-and-descending-on-multi-pitch-climbs-on-a-single-rope
10- Alpine Aid Climbing Tips (13 pages)
Many great tips. Also some notes about suffering LOL!
11- Solo Aid and Big Wall Climbing (59 pages)
What! 9% of the book! That is a lot! OK ok for free climbing: buy my online courses here: https://blissclimbing.com/en/online-courses/ . A lot of Yer gonna die here! Very great read!!! The most current about solo tagging. I want to learn this! The continuous loop system is described. But better look at my illustration here “an image is worth 1000 words” https://www.facebook.com/BlissClimbing/posts/2618266428244361
12- How to Read a Big Wall Topo (4 pages)
I wish there were more illustrations. May be enough!
13- How to Learn Stuff (12 pages)
Good read! Put it into practice!!!
14- Speed Climbing on Big Walls (7 pages)
The pakistani death loop makes for a good laugh! (in my opinion) And definitely not the reference book for that subject (PTPP is one of the slowest climbers) (But he did the NIAD and I did NOT) so…
A- Bitchin’ Places to Climb (26 pages)
Missing Pakistan and other Karakoram climbs big time guys 😉 The rest is there more or less in my opinion. Please comment others missing!!!
B- Dr. Piton Ultimate Big Wall Checklist (5 pages)
Good stuff. But then try to cut some otherwise you may climb the wall at a slow rate like PTPP does.
C- Glossary of Big Wall Terms and Dr. Piton-isms (12 pages)
D- Big Wall Songs (4 pages)
E- Big Wall and Aid Climbing Websites (3 pages)
If you want to read more
Bibliography (1 pages)
If you want to read more again!!
Acknowledgments (2 pages)
Nothing to say.
+++ Stories (124 pages in total)
Total of 17 stories that will make you want to go outside and to get it!!! Or will chill your bones 😉
BUY THE FREAKING BOOK IT IS THE BOMB!!!
Please buy it from verticallstore.com . The owner is awesome to the community!
Hope you like this review!
Yann Camus, Avid Climber