North Table Mountain (NTM) holds a unique role in the climbing world: it’s a steep, sunny basalt sport climbing zone that’s urban (the cliffline overlooks the Coors Brewery in Golden, with views to not-so-distant downtown Denver) yet pristine (Golden itself stops a good half-mile from the cliffline, and the mesa land has been preserved). NTM’s also a stacked moderate haven, with 284 routes, that’s well traveled and well loved, even if the slippery climbs don’t appeal to all sensibilities. It’s great to huff up the hill with North Table Mountain: Rock climbs at the Golden Cliff, by Jason Haas and Ben Schneider ($22.95, fixedpin.com) in hand, to help decipher the similar-looking faces, corners, and columns that comprise the basalt band.
Haas and Schneider put in their time, researching bolt counts, gear-and-anchor considerations, and FA info. But what makes this guide truly shine is the full-color photo topos you can cross-reference with the panoramic cliffline overview shots atop each page, with each relevant zone highlighted. (Guidebook authors take note!) Nice action shots (color) and a historical overview by early pioneer Richard Berk round out the package.