The Land of Oz

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In 2006, the guidebook author Simon Mentz proclaimed that a new edition of the Arapiles guide “should only take us two or three months, as we’ve done all the hard work in the first edition.” Some two years later, Arapiles Selected Climbs: Second Edition ($59.95; osp.com.au), by Mentz and Glenn Tempest, hits bookshelves. Three persuasive reasons it was worth the wait: Reason 1: Arapiles, in southern Australia, is arguably the world’s best trad crag, for its sheer quantity, quality, and diversity of routes, easy approaches, and mild weather. Reason 2: The authors’ perfectionism has yielded 390 pages of killer action photos, detailed topos, a comprehensive bouldering section, and engaging climbing and natural-history sections. Reason 3: It passed the Durability Test — we used the book in lieu of our Frisbee to play Ultimate, and it still looks fairly new, even after the binding took out my friend Pat’s tooth. . . .

—Bennett Barthelemy