This 704 page guide covers over 50 crags with over 2000 routes from Moderate to E8. There are more than 150 colour photographs, hundreds of colour photo topos and over 65 crag access maps and aerial photographs. In addition there are more than 2000 boulder problems from Font 1 to Font 8b+ and 6 bouldering circuits. Also included are historical notes on first ascents.
More Info: YMC Website
My first copy of the Yorkshire Gritstone guidebook was the 1969, brown covered version sporting Allan Austin on the cover. After a year or two I had moved on enough through the grades to justify an upgrade, and got hold of a copy of the then up to date version - the 1989 book, and does my memory serve me correctly - was it a shot of Big Greeny at Almscliff on the cover?
This fat hardback to me still ranks as my favourite book ever published, and throughout my teenage years was certainly the book I read the most. The 1999 version came out a decade later, with John Dunne on Widdop Wall on the cover, and although it was a good book, it never really grabbed me in the same way. Where had Streaky Desroy's 'extra uses' gone? What about 'Yorkshire Gritstone around your neck medallion' ...
Anyway I digress. What I am trying to say is this new guide had a lot to live up to... and it has done well.
What I have here is volume 1 of the new Yorkshire mountaineering club guides to Yorkshire Gritstone, covering half of the crags in Yorkshire.
And what to say about it? It's brilliant. It is jam-packed with amazing photographs, and stunning aerial shots. The topos are good, full colour, easy to read (however I know where most of the routes go anyway, so perhaps I'm not the best person to judge), and the descriptions are accurate and concise.
The history section is well put together and interesting, and the book is a super slick professional production.
The one major crag in the book that I have (ashamedly) never visited is Great Wolfrey, and the book has certainly done its job in inspiring me to visit. Why oh why did I never go there all those years ago? I'll tell you why. The first trip I couldn't find the damn place and the second trip it was horizontal rain! Maybe next summer...
My favourite photos are the aerial shots, WOW! And of the actions shots, there are a great spread, with a variety of photographers, really giving a flavour of the area. My personal favourite shot was one of Dave Simmonite's, capturing Lucinda Whittaker on the Brimham test-piece Desperation Crack (HVS). The lack of over saturation and photoshop, and the classic composure came together to create a subtle and beautiful image reminiscent of my early experiences at Brimham.
It seems as though it has over twice as many photos, and twice as much info as the last guides, but then again, it's twice as big!
For anyone based in or near to Yorkshire, who wants to know all the routes at all the crags, I would strongly recommend this excellent guidebook.
Well done YMC and hurry up with volume two! ;-)
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