Guidebooks hold the promises of many climbs. We rely on them to entice
us, to provide us with the right beta for the chosen route, to give us
a rough timeline for the ascent. In the author’s word, we trust.
Surely, it would be a much greater adventure to set out with no
information, but people have spent the time to write a book on an
area, and I like to reward their hard work and support the community
by spending the money and buying the topo.
Most of the time, the money is well spent. As the climb unfolds, I am
grateful for the author’s words of guidance. Other times, there is so
little information, that I wonder why I bothered getting the
guidebook. I would have done as good of a job without the guidebook.
Worse though, is when the content is misleading, to a point where you
even wonder if the author actually did do the climb himself. Granted,
I have not written a guidebook myself and I am sure that it can be
difficult to engage in such a task. Yet, if the guidebook is
repeatedly mistaken on the approach, the aspect, the length and the
difficulty of the climb, then why am I carrying it around with me in
the first place, not to mention, why did I buy it?
So, I wonder, why call a guidebook, a guidebook, if its content is not
there to help guide you in the mountains or on a climb? I strongly
believe that a guidebook should offer accurate information or not be
at all. So please, authors, make sure you do the climb and take the
right notes before publishing misleading information. Your credibility
is on the line.