It features 60 routes from grade F4 to F6a+ and covers a range of venues on the granite of the Mont Blanc Massif and the gneiss of the nearby Aiguilles Rouges.
It isn't a huge tome, less than 100 pages and 60 routes isn't that weighty, but if you manage to climb 5 of these in a season then it will last you 12 years, so it seems like a bargain for the £14.95 cover price, as not only are the 60 routes expertly chosen - there really are some good routes in this book - but the descriptions and topos are nice, well laid out and up to the job of getting you to and from the routes.
I must confess to having taken a particular liking to the photograph on the back cover, perhaps they were inspired by my UKC Photo Gallery?! (It's a very similar photo - great minds and all that...).
The translation from French is good, and certainly never confusing, but it does on occasion amuse; there are some phrases that just don't work in English. The inclusion of a paragraph on each route detailing what gear to take we found a little odd, and lacking in consistency. Sometimes the text would say to carry quickdraws, sometimes not, and sometimes it would be as detailed as to specify '2 long slings', however at least it should warn you if big cams are needed, but overall we didn't think it added much to the descriptions.
The photography is nice though never ground-breaking, and the hand drawn topos add an artistic feel to the book that fits well with the flowing and wordy nature of the descriptions.
Whilst there are some long, traditionally protected routes found above glaciers, much of the climbing documented in this book is relatively easy to access, and descend from.
Despite knowing the area well, this little book has given me some new ideas of places to climb, and inspired me to revisit some old favourites with either new routes in mind, or just a desire to climb again on the perfect golden granite of the Mont Blanc Massif.
A great little book to some world class rock climbs in the Chamonix area. And a good price of £14.95. If you like multipitch rock climbing at around VS and want to explore the Mont Blanc range, with some Aiguilles Rouge options too then this is a really good buy.
Title: Selected Climbs: Mont Blanc & the Aiguilles Rouges
Sub-title: 60 rock routes from F4 to F6a+
Authors: Jean-Louis Laroche & Florence Lelong
Imprint: Vertebrate Publishing
Rights: Great Britain, Ireland, Europe, India, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand.
Publication date: 2 April 2015
Size: 225mm x 140mm
Extent: 96 pages
Retail price: £14.95
WEB LINK: Vertebrate Publishing
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