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planetFear - Rock Climbing, Adventure Racing, Mountain Biking

Slate

Review by planetFear
Thursday 1st July 1999
The objectives of a climbing guide are many, however, two of the primary ones should surely be to:
i) simply and clearly get you to your chosen route,
ii)use history, anecdotes and photographs to inspire you to climb in that area. This guide does the first very well indeed, however, in the second it is left lacking.

On the plus side the photo-topos are good and clear and the Introduction is nice. Producing a guide of this type is no easy matter,outside sponsors have been heavily relied upon and about 70 new routes have been included, but somehow the guide seems to have lost some of its fizz.

I think there are several reasons for this two dimensionalism; 1) Slate (the medium) has lost some of its ‘bounce’.
2) The photos are very flat and all taken by the same photographer (my favourite is, without doubt, the small frontispeice of The Seamstress).
3) All the photos have advertising logos and often silly captions.
4) There are some oversimplified explanations of our E grading and ethical systems which do not work.
5)1 would have liked more history in the first ascent list if we are not to have a ‘History’.

Now this all sounds fairly negative but most of this ‘surround’ is not a product of the guidebook team, but of their constraints and lack of further material. In essence then, a guide you’ll need and find easy to use, but not really the one you’d like.

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