Rick Thompson will come to EVO LOU on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, with Shelf Road Rock; the most complete guide ever published on the classic American climbing destination. The book features 1,150 routes from 5.4 to 5.14 and covers oodles of information, from bolts, to history, to route-personality.
It’s been a decade since the last Sharp End guide to Shelf Road was published, but the wait has been worth it! This impressively thorough guide features 1150 routes – an increase of almost 300 routes over the previous edition – scattered throughout the remarkable limestone canyons of one of America’s leading sport climbing destinations.
It features sport climbs from 5.4 to 5.14 and reveals the personality of the routes through artistic, entertaining route descriptions, gear recommendations including bolt counts, long-overlooked historical first ascent information, action shots galore, and is presented for the first time in full color.
This is the most complete guide ever published for Shelf Road and will guide you to countless, incredible days climbing in this magical limestone paradise.
Rick Thompson, who was nicknamed “Rico” by a climbing partner in 1990, caught the climbing bug over 40 years ago at West Virginia’s trad climbing bastion – Seneca Rocks. One of the first activists at West Virginia’s legendary New River Gorge, he first became involved in climbing access issues in the mid-80’s.
Later he served as an early member of the American Alpine Club’s Access Committee, the first such group to formally work on behalf of climber access. When the Access Committee splintered off in 1990, he served as one of the founding Board Members of the Access Fund. From 1995-2000 Thompson served as the Access Fund’s first ever National Access & Acquisitions Director, spearheading their land acquisitions program while working with climbers across the country to promote grassroots activism.
Architect of the 1999 Cactus Cliff Crags acquisition, Thompson considers this to be one of the greatest success stories in the climbing conservation movement. In 2000 and again in 2010 Thompson was the recipient of the Access Fund’s Armando Menocal Award “for his lifetime of dedication to preserving climbing access and the climbing environment,” and the American Alpine Club’s David Brower Conservation Award “for outstanding service in mountain conservation,” also in 2000. He continues to assist in climber activism and served as President of the Access Fund Land Foundation for 16 years.
On the climbing front, Thompson has established more than 700 first ascents, from necky trad to high-caliber sport to multi-pitch ice, and authored the first-ever rock climbing guide to West Virginia’s renowned New River Gorge in 1987. This most recent edition of Shelf Road Rock is his 7th rock climbing guide.