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Camp 4: Recollections of a Yosemite Rockclimber Paperback – November 30, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 255 pages
  • Publisher: Mountaineers Books (November 30, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898865875
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898865875
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #149,944 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By David L. Nelson on July 31, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was a Yosemite climber in the 1970's and met a number of the major characters (Frost, Chouinard, Robbins, Harding). Steve Roper has done an incredible job of capturing the ephemeral facts and essential spirit of the climbers and times. He is frank about their weaknesses: "We were thoughtless and immature"(pg 154) and "...we were puerile youths. We had been taught the correct values at home, yet we rebelled against everything," (pg 155-6), referring to the troubles they caused in the Vally. He is honest about his own failures, both in his own character and on climbs he could not do. He is enthusiastic about the successes of the pioneers and freely gives credit to those who deserve it. Steve not only gives you facts, he gives you feelings and insights. You can't get better history than this.
The only criticism I have is that the book ends. I could have kept reading for many more days. If you want to FEEL what it was like, buy this book. I will bet you can't read it only once.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sabrina Oesterle on January 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
If you want to understand rock climbing, this book is a must read. Roper's "Camp 4" describes where it all began. This book should be part of every climber's education. It may not be written in the most beautiful prose and some may not always agree with Roper's perspective, but this book is packed with pictures, facts, and stories - many of them exciting, often funny, and some of them tragic and sad. Reading this book has only deepened my fascination with Yosemite and climbing in general. I wish there was a follow-up that tells the story about what happenend since the "Golden Age".
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rodger Raubach VINE VOICE on November 22, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wow! Steve did an excellent job of portraying the 'climbing scene,' as well as accurately describing the many colorful characters of the era.

I spent some time in Camp 4 during the summer of 1965 and met many of these wonderful characters. But...as an earlier reviewer pointed out, this was an extremely closed society, and non-California climbers were treated with disdain. Younger "wannabees" were pretty well ostracized, and women? Well, women climbers really didn't know how to climb! Living on next to no money, sleeping under a rock, hiding from the rangers, confronting bears, scarfing food in the cafeteria and coffee shop, stealing tips from the restaurant tables were all "normal" for many of these gifted lunatics. Many of them were my friends, and a good number of them haven't survived to present day and I miss them. Pratt, Fredericks, Sacherer, Roper, and numerous others; they were certainly unique individuals.

This was a heart rending book for me--reminding me of days gone by and the experiences I had in Yosemite.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By gsim393929@aol.com on January 4, 1999
Format: Hardcover
As an avid climber I also find my interest in the past has always been sparked.If you want an insiders view of the "golden age"of Yosemite climbing then this is a great read!!!As Steve Roper was there.Ive been a climber since 72 and early on Yosemite "rules" were what everyone went by.Roper brings you right into the minds and personalitys of the true stars and heros of this great sport.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By sweetmolly on December 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
Steve Roper is meticulous. This is an excellent history, and I feel positive and secure that Mr. Roper's records are as accurate and precise as they can possibly be of that rowdy and rambunctious world. I enjoyed reading about the historical climbers and the more social rock climbers of the '30s. Those were the days when families came, climbed a little, picnicked a lot, and a good time was had by all.
The Golden Age of the '60s, of which Steve was a part, was a time of great improvements in equipment and methods, and also a first crack at some of the awesome spires that were heretofore thought "impossible." It was wild, giddy and reckless, adjectives I would never apply to Steve Roper. Mr. Roper is austere in his beliefs of the "purity" of the climb and who is worthy. Though he recounts a few wild escapades, I had the feeling he did not approve. His callousness toward the first Camp 4 fatality made me back up and reread. Yep, I read it right, though I'm sure he was trying to keep up the "Right Stuff" façade in the face of what must have been a great shock to an 18-year old boy. That is the problem; there are so few that Roper considers to have the Right Stuff. If they were women, they were mere appendages. If male and had the misfortune to be born after 1955, they were not pure enough.
John Long's "Rock Jocks, Wall Rats and Hang Dogs" is devoted to Camp 4 in the '70s. John is Steve's polar opposite except in their mutual love for and expertise in rock climbing. John is wildly funny and sometimes just wild, but I had more a feeling of place when reading his book.
As another reviewer said, "Camp 4" is a must-have for West Coast rock enthusiasts. It is considered the Bible of the Golden Age.
-sweetmolly-Amazon.com Reviewer
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 6, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is probably the best account of the Golden Age of Yosemite climbing that has come off the presses. Very honest portrayal of the figures and players by someone who has there to see it all. Very moving, and also very humurous at times. Roper has truly captured the spirit of a long gone era for the younger generation to enjoy and look up to. Thanks.
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