Rockfax have plucked a prize at the Banff Mountain Book Festival for their new book Lofoten Rock. This follows on from their win last year with Mike Robertson's excellent Deep Water.
"The word that comes to mind when summing up this book is - perfect."
says John Harlin, a judge at Banff and renowned mountain author. (Read the full report here)
Lofoten Rock has been authored by Chris Craggs, who worked closely with local climbing guru Thorbjørn Enevold to cover the majestic granite cliffs of the Lofoten Islands in northern Norway. The book is a stunning full-colour, photo rich tome, with photo-topos to the areas' huge trad routes. The guide isn't a 'selected routes' book, but a comprehensive record of these long, magnificent mountain adventures.
The Rockfax team couldn't make it to Canada to collect their award, but Chris Craggs sent over a speech that was read out and ended thus:
“Thanks again Thorbjørn for giving me the chance to write a guide to this fantastic part of the world – your part of the world – and for making us so welcome up there. Rest assured, we will be back.”
As it is the third year running that this international award has been won by a UK guidebook, it is fair to say that our guidebook production is top-notch and in a healthy state. Contrary to early 90's opinion, commercial guidebook production hasn't been quite the killing blow to British climbing that some assumed.
With several private companies now crafting excellent books in the colour-photo format, covering the whole of the British Isles, and the older producers such as the Climbers' Club matching them with superb books such as Lundy, British climbers have never been better served with accurate, artistic and beautiful guidebooks, helping them to navigate their routes, be inspired and enjoy climbing.
Guidebooks are more than just records of routes, in the same way that climbing is more than just ascending pieces of rock. Chris Craggs seems to have encapsulated that essence in his new book, blending his climbing enthusiasm with a modern style, and in an alchemistic way, producing a solid-gold guide that is sure to inspire.
He says Lofoten is “A prime summer destination for those looking for some of the best trad on the planet.”
And perhaps this 'best trad on the planet' experience is enhanced by one of the best guidebooks on the planet?
Recent guidebook reviews on UKC: