Australian climber Simon Carter is undoubtedly among the very elite of contemporary rock climbing photographers, and his latest book of photographic essays, Rock Odyssey, is the second in his World Climbing series - the first being the stunning Images From The Edge.
The book - like its cover - is lavishly illustrated with beautifully exposed and composed images from an eclectic mix of sixteen rock climbing destinations in eleven countries from around the globe, which include New Zealand, USA, Spain, France, Madagascar and China.
Each destination is introduced by a written passage by Simon's partner Monique Forestier. These prove to be both informative and reflect the ambience and style of the climbing and environs. Little gems such as 'hiking down the so called track' when referring to crag approaches in The Darrans, New Zealand, 'lines so sweet they lure you in only to suck every last drop of juice out of your arms' attributed to the section on the Red River Gorge in the USA and 'first time it was simultaneously a wondrous and terrifying experience' reflecting on the conglomerate climbing experience at Montserrat in Spain.
These observations are those of a true and honest participant not just an observer and add much to the book. Simon's introduction and photographic notes are well worth fully digesting, ranging from his motivation for his Rock Odyssey having already sampled and presented some of the worlds greatest rock destinations in his earlier book – to the detailed notes on his photographic equipment and approach to his work. As for the photographs – they are magnificent some tight in, some loose 'figure in a landscape' style, some scene setters and all covering a good range of rock types and styles.
"A book to inspire you to alter your life plan to fit in your own Rock Odyssey?"
The majority of the climbs illustrated are sport climbs and pretty hard ones, however this is a book to evoke wonder, inspire and motivate whether it is to train harder, seek out the relevant guidebook and check on the availability of more moderate routes in the area or alter your life plan to fit in your own Rock Odyssey and tick it all?