Guidebooks were big in the 90s. Are they still useful today?Thumb through the pages of any guidebook today and you’ll see bright, high-resolution photographs, topo maps, and even GPS coordinates. But have you ever wondered what it was like before the dawn of the Internet, back when guidebook know-how came by word of mouth from local legends, often scribbled down with pen and paper and shoved into back pockets? Climber Eric Hörst and paddler Kirk Eddlemon know that world well.Hailing from Lancaster, Penn., Hörst has been climbing since the early 70s and has put up a number of first ascents in places like the New River Gorge and Old Rag. He’s the author of Rock Climbing Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland, the definitive guide to climbing in the Mid-Atlantic, and has recently written an updated edition to the original guide, which he first published in 2001.Knoxville born and raised, Eddlemon picked up paddling in the early 90s, and in 2009, he wrote his first-ever guidebook, a comprehensive, two-volume series titled Whitewater of the Southern Appalachians. Hörst and Eddlemon took BRO behind the scenes of a guidebook-in-the-making, a process, I discovered, that is long, slow, and tedious.BRO: What were the guidebooks like when you first started out?EH: The earliest guidebook I can think of was Bill Webster’s guide to Seneca Rocks that came out in the early 1970s—it was small enough you could stick in your pants pocket with grainy black and white photos and one or two vague sentences. That was how we rolled back in the day.Why write a guidebook?EH: You don’t get rich writing climbing guidebooks, but I’d spent most of the weekends of my young life adventuring around these cliffs and mountains. I know them as good as anybody.KE: I’ve always had a categorical mind. Ever since I started paddling in the Southeast, I had this unsaid goal of seeing everything that I could, all the rivers and streams, with the notion that that gives me a large-scale understanding of the world around me, which, for me, is grounding.In the wake of the Internet, what is the future for guidebooks? Do they still have a purpose?EH: The next frontier is taking guidebooks and making them electronic and accessible by iPhone. I think that’s cool, but what if you dropped your phone? What if your battery goes dead? I don’t think they’ll fully replace a physical paper guide, but it’s going to be fun in the coming years to see how that changes the guidebook industry.KE: Much like the resurgence in popularity of vinyl in the music industry, the full-color print industry has some security in the fact that despite how high-res your new hipster-approved iTablet is, there’s something indescribable and satisfying about seeing a beautiful image in print or to feel the weight of a volume in your hand.Some argue that guidebooks exploit local secrets. How do you respond to that critique?EH: Every guidebook author runs into that kind of thing from time to time. Here’s my policy: if the area is on public land and open to climbing, then it’s fair game to include in the book. And the fact is, with the Internet, there are no secret areas anymore—so why leave an area out of a book when there’s info on the net?KE: The most valuable reason of all to share our river experiences and information is to establish a record of use, so that in the times when these special places are most threatened, paddling and conservation groups can make empirically legitimized claims, without question. If you hide something precious away so well that the world doesn’t know it exists, are you in danger of losing the very thing you seek to protect? Mankind measures the value of a place based on those who speak the loudest, regardless of true worth, so it is that game that we must play as a small but passionate community of paddlers.How are your guidebooks different from the earliest ones?EH: Back in the 70s, you could pretty much bolt just about anything. With guidebooks now, we’ve been able to teach climbers Leave No Trace ethics, proper use of anchors, bolts, and pitons. With the big numbers of climbers and the big impacts as a result, it’s important we be good users and stewards of these areas.I’m sure making a guidebook is no easy task. How long did it take?EH: A long time.KE: Almost five years.Any memorable moments during the guidebook making process?EH: I was bushwhacking near Old Rag once for research and ended up totally off the beaten path. I didn’t have GPS or anything. Not a soul was out there, and I kept thinking, one slip and I could hit my head on a rock and be screwed. If I got knocked out, no one would have ever found me. It’s not like I left a breadcrumb trail. I didn’t have a phone. Nothing.KE: The day I took a ride off Courthouse Falls for a picture. It’s the best picture of Courthouse ever. There’s lush forest, the water’s high, and I’m in a yellow kayak just firing off this thing. In the picture, it looks like I’m going to tuck into the most beautiful landing you’ve ever seen. What you don’t see is me going over the handlebars and landing on my head and my full, 32-ounce Nalgene smashing me in the balls so hard I can’t breathe. That quote “it’s all worth it if you get the shot” was percolating through my mind right then and I just had to laugh through the pain because it was totally worth it.###To get your hands on Hörst’s and Eddlemon’s guidebooks, click their respective names and order your copies now!
A jam-packed United Center fell silent for eight seconds before Sunday’s 69th NBA All-Star game as some 21,000 fans joined hands to pay their respects to the late Kobe Bryant, the global sports icon who dominated professional basketball for two decades.The silence was broken by a string of thunderous “Kobe, Kobe, Kobe,” chants that rocked the stadium as they honored Bryant, who wore the No. 8 and No. 24 during his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers that was highlighted by five National Basketball Association championships.The stirring pre-game tribute began with Lakers great Magic Johnson rousing the crowd and paying homage to Bryant, who was killed along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other victims in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on Jan. 26. “We will never see another basketball player quite like Kobe,” Johnson said, noting his work with the Los Angeles community along with the love he had for his family. “This is a tough time for the whole NBA family.”Johnson also paid tribute to former NBA Commissioner David Stern, who oversaw explosive growth in the popularity of the game during his 30-year tenure. Stern died on Jan. 1.Before tip-off, the singer and actor Jennifer Hudson, who is a Chicago native, sang with a montage of photos of Bryant and his daughter in the background.The game was a culmination of a weekend filled with tributes to the former Los Angeles Lakers star who was an 18-time All-Star and won the All-Star game’s MVP award four times.On Friday, Bryant, who is fourth all-time in league scoring, was named a finalist to the Basketball Hall of Fame. On Saturday, the league’s commissioner, Adam Silver, announced that the league’s All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award has been permanently named for Bryant.Bryant made his NBA All-Star Game debut in 1998 at age 19 – the youngest player to ever play in an All-Star Game. His 18 All-Star selections are the second-most in NBA history, behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, at 19.Players in Sunday’s All-Star game wore No. 2 and No. 24 on their jerseys to honor Kobe and Gianna Bryant, while the game’s format paid homage to Bryant. The team with the most points after three quarters needed to score 24 points to win, while the trailing team would need to score 24 plus the number of points it was down.Topics : read more
Who would’ve thought that the best resemblence to the No. 1 USC men’s volleyball team of 2009 would be Miami University’s (or simply, “The U’s”) football team of 1987?Jumping higher · Senior middle blocker Hunter Current and the USC men’s volleyball team will make their home debut tonight. – Nathaniel Gonzalez | Daily Trojan Off the court, these Trojans don’t resemble the arrogant, trash-talking, cocky players that personified the Miami stereotype of the ’80s and early ’90s. But on the court, the Trojans have learned a thing or two from that championship-winning team after watching the ESPN documentary, The U.“One of the guys said that the other team wanted to win, but [Miami] knew how to win,” said sophomore outside hitter Tony Ciarelli, who was named the AVCA National Player of the Week. “Last year, we wanted to win. But this year, we know how to win.”During no time was that more evident than on Friday, when the No. 1 USC men’s volleyball team — down two sets to love in a rematch of last year’s national championship (which they lost) against Irvine — gave a thrilling and gutty performance to win the last three sets and pull out the victory.Tonight, they will get a chance to showcase that talent and No. 1 ranking for the first time in front of their home fans, as the Trojans (4-2, 2-0 MPSF) host Long Beach State (2-3, 1-1).“We’re excited. Ever since I’ve been here we’ve gotten better each year,” junior outside hitter Murphy Troy said. “[It shows when our] home crowd gets more interested and brings more fans to the game. So finishing second last year, we’re really excited to create a lot of buzz for the team and the home crowd and do some great things for them.”Yet, after the euphoric win at Irvine, the Trojans know they can’t overlook a talented Long Beach team that has struggled out of the gate. The 49ers have one All-American first teamer in Dean Bittner and an All-American second teamer in Dustin Watten who have the capability to cause the Trojans’ trouble from the service line and the net.USC coach Bill Ferguson has been showing the team tapes of these players all week to get them motivated against a squad that finished .500 last year.“They bring it from the service line and they are very physical at the net. If just watching those guys doesn’t alert us, something’s wrong. We’re gonna really need to be on it to take care of those guys,” Ferguson said.That’s not to take anything away from the No. 1 team in the nation. The Trojans validated their ranking as the best team in the country Friday when it stormed back to defeat the defending national champions.The comeback not only confirmed USC’s hold on the top spot, but gave the team the confidence to know it could beat anyone this year, even when it’s not playing its best.The Trojans were out-hit (.325 to .235) and out-blocked (14-4) against Irvine, and they know they aren’t close to peaking yet. But they do know they can’t afford to come out slow against Long Beach, like they did against Irvine and in their only loss against Hawaii.“We need to come out hard right from the very beginning. That first game we were not ready to play,” Ciarelli said. “That said, if you’re playing your best ball at the beginning of the season, most likely at the end of the season you’re not peaking. You need to work into it and progress. Everyone on this team wants to win, no doubt. But we know we’re not at our best yet.”Yet even when they aren’t at their best, the Trojans are No. 1 in the country and beat the defending national champions. Who knows where they will be in a few months. read more