Simon Panton of Ground Up is currently choosing the cover for the new Llanberis Slate guidebook, due out later this year.
"Choosing a front cover shot for a guidebook is a tricky business. Finding that special shot with all the ingredients can be very frustrating. With a definitive guide I'm looking for something that captures the spirit of the moment and the essential atmosphere of the crags. It also has to have a particular layout and composition. For example, we always wrap the image around the return flap so there needs to be some interesting background texture to fill this area." commented Simon.
"The Slate quarries are a visually arresting place full of whacky features and strange detritus from the industrial past. To an extent I'm interested in exploring that theme via the front cover and we may well look at more experimental cover designs over the next few months."
However, currently there are three main images that are vying for 'top spot' and we have a copy of all three. Simon gives us a bit of info about each image:
Tamborine Man shot by Jack Geldard - "I love the dark and moody atmosphere of this shot, the stains on the rock and the anxious belayer skulking in the background like some hobbit like figure. It also represents the new wave of development: a hideously technical F8a groove."
New Slatesman by Gareth Aston - "One of the routes of the moment, a desperate F8b arete. The blurring effect is a bit 'love it or hate it'. I like the energy and unusual nature of the image, plus the focus is upon a contorted hand position - much of slate climbing is about coping with fierce fingery holds like this."
Cig Arete by Jethro Kiernan - "A more conservative image, but one that represents a typical modern slate route. The blue sky is always a bonus - everybody loves a blue sky! Ironically its a F7b from the 80s."