Why would anyone want to climb an arch? Well, clearly
arches have a lot of power and therefore it must be good to walk across them.
It must be something about overcoming all that air. Volcanoes have a lot of
power too, but arches are more easily done in shorts and tennis shoes and
obviously that is a plus. Anyone who prefers wool pants and stiff boots should
toss this book and head for Mt. St. Helens.
– Gerry Roach - from Arch Bagger
– A Scrambler’s Guide to Arches National Park
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Our price for an autographed copy of this book is
|Gerry self-published Arch Bagger, his first book, in 1982.
The 5.5 x 8.25 inch, soft-cover, 70-page guide describes scrambling routes
to the top of 39 named arches plus the standard route to the top of Elephant Butte,
the highest point in Arches National Park. The book has 21 black-and-white photographs
and 18 illustrations. The guide describes how to get on top of the arches, but not how to find them.
Gerry wrote Arch Bagger in a light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek style to make the book more about being free
and exploring than about particular deeds.
|After Gerry produced Arch Bagger, the National
Park Service defined new rules for climbing in Arches National Park. Climbing
is prohibited on any arch identified on current USGS 7.5 minute topographical
maps, but with a few exceptions, is permitted elsewhere. This rule affects
16 of the 39 arches described in Arch Bagger. Presumably, it is legal to visit
the tops of the other 23 arches described in Arch Bagger. Gerry doesn’t know how
the park defines “climbing.” In his world, hiking is movement with a
difficulty of Class 1 or Class 2, scrambling is movement with a difficulty
of Class 3 and climbing is movement with a difficulty of Class 4 or
Class 5. Using this definition, 4 of the 16 arches described in Arch Bagger
on which climbing is prohibited are still accessible. Gerry has not pursued the
matter with the park service, and it is best to err on the side of caution
in this environmentally sensitive area.
|Gerry printed a mere 300 copies of Arch Bagger, the tiny tome is long out of print, and it is very scarce.