Hangdog Days: Conflict, Change, and the Race for 5.14: Smoot, Jeff
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Hangdog Days: Conflict, Change, and the Race for 5.14

Author(s): Smoot, Jeff

Copyright: 2019, US
Specifications: 1st, 8vo, pp.302, photo frontis, 7 bw photos, wraps
Condition: new

Smoot vividly chronicles the era when rock climbing exploded in popularity, attracting a new generation of talented climbers eager to push the boundaries of the sport via harder routes and faster ascents by breaking the ‘rules’. This contentious, often entertaining period gave rise to sport climbing, climbing gyms, and competitive climbing - indelibly transforming the sport.

An active climber of the era, Smoot traces the development of traditional climbing rules, enforced through peer pressure, intimidation, and even sabotage, when several climbers in the late ’70s, introduced tactics such as “hangdogging” (hanging on gear to practice moves) that the old guard considered cheating. As more climbers broke ranks during the ‘80s, their new gymnastic approach pushed the limits of free climbing from 5.12 to 5.13 and eventually 5.14a.

In this lively, fast-paced story enriched with insightful firsthand experience, Smoot describes his encounters with the era’s superstars. including John Bachar, Jerry Moffatt, Peter Croft, Kim Carrigan, Todd Skinner, and Alan Watts. He deftly brings this raucous, revolutionary time in rock climbing to life, exploring, as he says, “what happened and why it mattered.”

Finalist 2019 Banff Mountain Book Festival Mountain Literature Award and Shortlisted for the 2019 Boardman/Tasker Mountaineering Literature Award.

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