Book Review: Climbing Stronger, Faster, Healthier

Climbing Stronger, Faster, Healthier: Beyond the Basics
by Dr. Michael Layton, D.C.
www.amazon.com | $24.95 | 4.5/5 stars

You can have too many reference books. There are different ways to skin the cat, and when not climbing climbers like to argue about climbing. So I've whittled down the reference section to what I think of as an absolute minimum, about a foot of shelf space. Usually, a new reference book replaces an older text covering the same subject. But this time I'm adding Dr. Layton's book to the collection.

Two parts a training and three parts performance, Climbing Stronger is not a reference book that I could pick up and read from start to finish. It's 207 pages is packed with 8-point text, and Dr. Layton promises that later editions will use a larger type. I found it most useful for addressing specific questions: Why may the sole of my foot hurt? How can I add a weight-training program to my climbing regimen? What can I do to lighten my pack load on those multi-day trips?

And Dr. Layton isn't basing his recommendations on his extensive armchair mountaineering experience. Prior to becoming a successful sports chiropractor in Salt Lake City, Dr. Layton was known as "Layton" to the Puget Sound climbing community, where he made some of the great alpine first ascents of the last decade.

I've said this is on my reference shelf, but that's not entirely true. This book is sitting on my coffee table, where I'm still picking it up two months after receiving it to open to a new page and check something else out. Its a great edition to anyone's reference section.