Introducing “40 Classic Scrambles of North America”


After a decade of scrambling, and several years kicking spreadsheets and drafts around my hard drive, I am pleased to announce the publication of Forty Classic Scrambles of North America. Inspired by Roper and Steck’s Fifty Classic Climbs, but aimed at scramblers like myself, it presents forty excellent moderate routes from across western North America, from the Sonoran Desert of southern Arizona to the northern Canadian Rockies. The guide is intended for people familiar with their “home” mountains who want to explore similar terrain farther afield. Routes range in difficult from class 3 to 5.7, and in length from half-day jaunts to fifty-mile epics.

Interested? Check out the sample chapter.

Like it? It should begin shipping in 1-2 weeks, and costs $35 + $5 shipping and handling.





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7 responses to “Introducing “40 Classic Scrambles of North America”

  1. Bob A says:

    Congratulations Sean! Your book looks absolutely fantastic. I love the ode to roper & steck’s classic with your front cover. I just bought a copy! I’m hoping that it becomes a classic. I’m honored that I did one of these classics with you and looking forward to knocking off the other 38 (Sir Donald is also done on your recommendation and I’m in agreement).
    Best of luck Sean.

    1. drdirtbag says:

      Thanks! It’s part of my subtle effort to lure you out of the frozen wastes you inhabit. I hope you get some mileage out of it, and maybe even suggest some other good scrambles in Canada — I need to return for Edith Cavell and maybe Tantalus, and I’m sure there are plenty of others of which I am unaware.

      PS — I’m glad you caught the Roper and Steck cover reference. I tried a couple of designs before I remembered that photo of Bob Burd downclimbing one of the Finger Peaks in Yosemite.

  2. Bob Burd says:

    That guy looks like he knows what he’s doing. He should put on a clinic. :-)

    1. drdirtbag says:

      I believe the clinic is in its 19th year, and I regret missing it.

  3. j says:

    5.6, 5.7 with death fall exposure and glacier crossing is quite a “scramble.” I’m in meetup groups with avid scramblers in WA, and I know they would balk at any of these. To scramble wolf’s head east ridge is free soloing, nothing less.

    1. drdirtbag says:

      The climbs in the book are on a continuum from class 3 to 5.6-5.7. I can’t say where in there it turns from “scrambling” to “free soloing.” None of it is “free soloing” in the Alex Honnold sense. People climb the regular route on the First Flatiron (5.6) unroped all the time; are they free soloing then, but not when they do the neighboring Second (5.0) and Third (5.2)? Different people will draw the line in different places.

  4. j says:

    Sean, it’s subjective for sure, but it doesn’t seem in touch with the scramblers I know or in line with other scrambling guide books, see Peggy Goldman. It’s hard to see the audience for a guidebook like this. Wishing you the best with your book, but it does seem like it was born from a silo of passion and not from interactions with a community that it intends to guide. I say this as someone who has soloed some of the routes in your book, but with a healthy margin from being a technical climber.

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