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Rock Climbing Santa Barbara & Ventura (Regional Rock Climbing Series) Paperback – March 1, 2000
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There is much more to this book than a climbing guide. It is also a personal pilgrimage. Steve experienced a golden era in Santa Barbara climbing that he describes so vividly yet knows has passed forever. His is the passion of a personal life transition that we all go through and there is both joy and sadness in the writing. His obsessive intensity and endurance for physical training is mirrored by an affection for caffeine, alcohol and nicotine that make him such an interesting character. Steve is also a movie connoisseur from his early days running a video shop in the student quarter (Isla Vista) next to UCSB and he blends this knowledge with climb descriptions for occasional flashes of brilliant humor. And I should refrain from commenting on the Reverend Speefknarkle! Steve's defining picture is buffed and honed on "Pieces of You" atop the fantastic Pine Mountain boulderfield.
The book fulfills its primary purpose as a tool for guiding the climber in locating and selecting appealing routes exceptionally well. My copy is already dogeared and marked up with yellow highlights after just one season and it has never led me astray. Only rarely have I disagreed with the grades Steve gives for difficulty and quality but this is to be expected for these subjective ratings.
In summary, this book is a must buy for any climber interested in the Santa Barbara - Ventura region yet it has deeper appeal as literature capturing one man's personal journey through the 90's. How we all wish to turn back the hands of time!
The guide features over one thousand routes and boulder problems along California's central coast from the outskirts of Los Angeles to the wine country north of Santa Barbara.
I have a jpg of the cover that I will send to you if you email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, don't get this expecting very much detail about where you are going...many of the reference pics are just poor-to-no quality drawings, with very little description of the routes themselves. If anything, with a little margin for error you can nail down locations, but take everything else with a grain of salt.
If you are in the SB area and don't want to wait/pay for shipping, the SB travel store just off of State to the west stocks this for the same price, plus you can support something local. Or keep an eye out for something a little more informative...the author makes himself out to be pretty a pretty serious climber and very dedicated to the book, but I have seen much better ("The Voo" is a freaking awesome example).
Overall poor in quality, but possibly worth $15 if you are okay with the fact that regular people just aren't as awesome as the author.