• Hangdog Days

  • Conflict, Change, and the Race for 5.14
  • By: Jeff Smoot
  • Narrated by: Danny Campbell
  • Length: 12 hrs and 29 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (81 ratings)

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Hangdog Days

By: Jeff Smoot
Narrated by: Danny Campbell
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Publisher's Summary

Hangdog Days vividly chronicles the era when rock climbing exploded in popularity, attracting a new generation of talented climbers eager to reach new heights via harder routes and faster ascents. This contentious, often entertaining period gave rise to sport climbing, climbing gyms, and competitive climbing-indelibly transforming the sport.

Jeff Smoot was one of those brash young climbers, and here he traces the development of traditional climbing "rules," enforced first through peer pressure, then later through intimidation and sabotage. In the late '70s, several climbers began introducing new tactics including "hangdogging," hanging on gear to practice moves, that the old guard considered cheating. As more climbers broke ranks with traditional style, the new gymnastic approach pushed the limits of climbing from 5.12 to 5.13. When French climber Jean-Baptiste Tribout ascended To Bolt or Not to Be, 5.14a, at Smith Rock in 1986, he cracked a barrier many people had considered impenetrable.

In his lively, fast-paced history enriched with insightful firsthand experience, Smoot focuses on the climbing achievements of three of the era's superstars: John Bachar, Todd Skinner, and Alan Watts, while not neglecting the likes of Ray Jardine, Lynn Hill, Mark Hudon, Tony Yaniro, and Peter Croft.

©2019 Jeff Smoot (P)2019 Tantor

What listeners say about Hangdog Days

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Well done

The book itself was an interesting listen. It illuminated a part of climbing history in the US from a different kind of perspective. The narrator was a little dry for my taste but in the end suited the story. It was like listening to a story told by an old dirtbag in some godforsaken camping ground after a good day of climbing.

4 people found this helpful

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If you climb this is your story

ROAD TRIP TREASURE! Just finished this today. Thank you. Jeff Smoot is a historian for the irreverent bold and enlightened pursuit of the delectably absurd. Many modern climbers may not be aware of the legacy they stand on in the modern era. This Is required reading for the modern climber. We cannot know where we are going without a solid understanding of our no so distant past. Know your roots!

2 people found this helpful

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Nostalgia for the Yosemite climbing scene

I listened to this book in the car driving back from a visit to Yosemite where I worked in the 70's and 80's. A great read from a climbing insider. Memorable stories. Very entertaining.

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Great listen!

I struggled a little to get into this audio book, but found myself getting more and more excited to continue listening. I loved the stories told by the author.

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pleasantly surprised

I'm a climber, and was skeptical of this book at first. Hadn't heard of the book, hadn't heard of the the author, and even the cover art wasn't that enticing. But the author writes well, and as Todd Skinner's former climbing partner, has a unique perspective into the early sport climbing scene. A non-climber might need to look up some jargon in the first chapter or two, as the author recounts the historic of "ground up" ethics. Overall, I'm extremely glad I have this a listen.

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Very exciting!

This was such a great book of climbing history and exciting stories. It's a great way to experience the past!

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I enjoyed it

A well written story about a time of change in the world of climbing. I liked the story and the reader.

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love this climbing book

this was an amazing story of times long past in the climbing world! loved it!