If you’re looking to relax with a different kind of nature book, sit down with Climbing Rock: Vertical Explorations across North America (By François Lebeau and Jesse Lynch). This monograph’s impressive environmental photographs, many taken from rock faces at great heights, span the seasons and nations of North America. It’s all seen from a climber’s perspective — climbers traversing arches in Utah, California’s Joshua Tree National Park at twilight and, of course, the glorious El Cap in Yosemite. A passion for the outdoors and deep appreciation of its grandeur are evident throughout, with mountaineers in helmets and bright apparel sharing their thoughts and their often spiritual feelings about the sport. “It is a deeply beautiful survey of climbing,” writes Jesse Lynch.

Bishop, California – Seven Spanish Angels (V6) Nic Charron pulls off of the lip hueco to mantle the top of this fun problem.


Yosemite Valley, California – The Dawn Wall (5.14d) Adam Ondra and his entourage during his legendary eight-day send of the Dawn Wall, arguably the world’s hardest big-wall route. Seeking perfect conditions to stick to the route’s tiny holds, Ondra often climbed through the night.


Jailhouse, California – Iron Junkie (5.12c) Shabana Ali wrestles with this steep foundational Jailhouse climb.


Rifle, Colorado – PMT (5.10c), Mary Mecklenburg spotted through Rifle’s spring foliage, navigating moderate, vertical terrain.


Hurricave, Utah – The Acivator – Joe Kinder on an undone climb that still waits for a redpoint.


Jailhouse, California – Iron Junkie (5.12c) Alana Murao making best use of Jailhouse’s blocky features to find a clipping stance.


Jailhouse, California – Iron Junkie (5.12c) Joshua Enoch Williams taking a moment on a quality heel hook.


Red Rock, Nevada – Fear and Loathing (5.12a) Eve-Lyn Rochon working through overhanging jugs before the crux section of this popular climb.


Moab, Utah – Scarface (5.11b) Barbara Zangerl cruises up one of Indian Creek’s most classic and photogenic cracks. Due to their uniform nature, climbing the splitters of the Creek often requires an extensive rack of the same-sized cams.

All photos: François Lebeau. Top photo: High Sierra, California – Northwest Buttress of Tenaya Peak (5.5) Gabe Matson entering “night-mode” in the higher pitches of this moderate classic. Tenaya Lake down below is one of many pristine alpine lakes in the High Sierra.

This post originally appeared at High Country News.


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