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Rock Jocks, Wall Rats and Hang Dogs: Rock Climbing on the Edge of Reality by John Long
Rock Jocks is, at its heart, the autobiography of John Long. It tells the story of how he learned how to climb and, ultimately, how he (with Jim Bridwell) undertook some of the defining rock climbs of his era at Yosemite. Rock Jocks is also a book on the philosophy of climbing. While Long's specialty as a 'rock jock' is described in detail and the first 3/4 of the book is mostly about his learning experiences, the last 1/4 of the book also discusses the two other primary types of rock climbers: 'wall rats' who make multi-day climbs and haul hundreds of pounds of gear up vertical cliffs; and 'hang dogs' who, in a way, have transformed the sport of rock climbing into competitions. Admirably, even though the wall rats and hang dogs have a style that he doesn't naturally gravitate towards, Long does not really become judgmental; rather, he acknowledges that each new generation of climbers establishes themselves in their own way and that change is the nature of evolution in the sport. Overall, this book is not as funny as Gorilla Monsoon but it is still a good read from one of the premier rock climbers of the 1970s.


Related Books

bullet Rocky Horrors, Frozen Smiles: A Mountaineer At The End Of His Rope; Peter Austen
bullet The Burgess Book of Lies; Adrian Burgess and Alan Burgess
bullet Gorilla Monsoon; John Long  Read Review
bullet The Games Climbers Play; Jim Perrin
bullet Mirrors in the Cliffs (Games Climbers Play, Vol. 2); Jim Perrin
bullet Stories Off the Wall; John Roskelley
bullet Sherman Exposed: Slightly Censored Climbing Stories; John Sherman  Read Review
bullet Kiss or Kill: Confessions of a Serial Climber; Mark Twight   Read Review
bulletRock Prints; Greg Epperson  Read Review

Click here to see the full list of books that we have reviewed.


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