When it comes to rock climbing, I am a product of the 80’s. It was a good era with lots happening in the sport and I was young and influential. For better or worse, I remember florescent tights. I remember when Jason Campbell, a top climber from that era, introduced me to my first sport route on Donner Summit in Lake Tahoe California. It was some crimp-fest granite face climb, but it opened my eyes to how much more climbing terrain this “new style” would open. After the climb, I wasn’t sure what side of the bolt debate I landed on.
Then, while driving across Berkeley, which meant a mandatory bouldering session at Indian Rock and a visit to the local gear shops, I found a copy of Rocks around the World. Stefan Glowacz and Uli Wiesmeier. Sierra Club Books, San Francisco, 1988. 144 pages. $24.95. I instantly bought the book and stared at some of the most amazing climbing photos I ever saw. (Many European “Sport Climbing” Routes)
With over 140 full-color photos, “Rock Around the World” illustrated high end free climbing from around the world. I recently took another look through it’s pages, and I have to admit, Glowacs and Wiesmeire really captured the best climbing destinations and routes of the era. I guess that was the point.
A world famous climber, capable of climbing the world best routes, and a fantastic personal photographer to capture the scene on an around the world rock climbing trip.
Today, when I thumb through this gorgeous coffee-table book, I see it more as a gorgeous history book of Free Climbing around the world in the late 80’s and early 1990’s.