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Scrambles in Lochaber: A Guide to Scrambles in and Around Lochaber Including Ben Nevis and Glen Coe (Cicerone Guide) [Paperback]

Noel Williams
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Jan 1996 Cicerone Guide
A guidebook to scrambles in Glen Coe and Ben Nevis and throughout the Western Highlands of Scotland. This guide describes some of the best scrambles to be found within a 45km radius of the town of Fort William, an area which includes not only Ben Nevis and Glen Coe, but also Ben Alder to the east, Ben Cruachan to the south, Garbh Bheinn to the west and The Saddle to the north. Most of this area falls within the Lochaber Area of the Highland Council. It is the most popular area in the whole of Scotland with hillgoers, and justifiably so, as it contains some of the most varied and spectacular mountain scenery in the Highlands. The guide describes over 70 routes in Lochaber for those who seek the more interesting routes. A number of the scrambles described here have been popular for years and are fairly well worn, but many others are little frequented and consequently have a certain pioneering atmosphere about them. Some experience of route finding will be useful in such cases. The majority of scrambles involve lengthy sections of hillwalking in approach or descent, and this should be taken into account when planning an outing.

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Scrambles in Lochaber: A Guide to Scrambles in and Around Lochaber Including Ben Nevis and Glen Coe (Cicerone Guide) + Scotland's Mountain Ridges: Scrambling, Mountaineering and Climbing - the Best Routes for Summer and Winter (Cicerone Guides)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Cicerone Press; 2nd Revised edition edition (1 Jan 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852842342
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852842345
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 11.6 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 118,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Classic book, now showing its age 11 April 2012
Verified Purchase
This book is referenced by many more recent guides and I bought it thinking it would be a definitive guide to some classic scrambles like Ledge Route and Annoch Eagach.

My first impressions are disappointing, particularly with regard to production values. The book was first published in 1996 and has been reprinted several times but the 1996 vintage really shows. The photography is limited and very poor by modern standards - black and white pictures and a few low quality colour snapshots of people in quaint 1990's vintage equipment. Even the printing is far less crisp than in modern Cicerone guides. Often pictures are a long way from the corresponding text. The book is also shorter than more modern titles in the Cicerone series.

The description of each scramble is mainly text and difficult to follow unless you are actually standing in front of the rock. The textual descriptions might be good on the hill but without sufficient photographs and diagrams they are less helpful before you get there. There is also the question of how much has changed since 1996 and whether the descriptions are still reliable.

For the well known scrambles the book does not add much to better presented information in newer books by Ronald Turnbull and Dan Baillie and websites like UKC/UKH. It may be useful for more esoteric routes and for those with a nostalgic interest looking for a 'classic' text for their library.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scrambling in Scotland 12 Mar 2011
I did most of the scrambles described in this book and admit they are good fun, but perhaps not quite as much fun as the ones described by Noel Williams in his other book: Scrambles on Skye. The Scrambles of Lochaber, with notable exceptions, tend to be wetter, grassier, greasier, shorter than their Skye counterparts, while being more difficult to get to. This guide also tends to lack the beautifully understated prose such as "to find yourself in a fine position" when you suddenly discover a five hundred meter deep chasm under your feet on Sgurr Feahdhan, or the gripping background history of exploration by the early pioneers that lends such a hallowed atmosphere to the Skye experience. Never-the-less, I carried this book, plus three pairs of shoes and two hats on my solo of Tower Ridge, I consulted it gratefully in the Moss Garden a third of the way up and took its advice on the Eastern passage. Lost in the mist on a mountain whose name I have forgotten, I read this book carefully to discover that one should not venture out without a compass, happily this defect in my equipment took long enough to discover for the mist to clear, but I did subsequently take this book's advice on this subject in the future. I climbed Buchaille Etive Mor by various routes followings its precepts and on one such trip witnessed Mountain Rescue in action on its North East Face: being shadowed by a large, earth shaking, wind chopping, summer into winter making helicopter; while halfway up the Crowberry Ridge I was overtaken by four silent high speed climbers of grim visage with enormous rucksacks upon their backs, one of whom, as I witnessed his ability to direct the whole rescue with no more than ten words said, I took (perhaps incorrectly) to be the loquacious author of this volume rescuing one of his readers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars opens up a world of rocky stuff 4 July 2008
I've been using this book since 1996, and no other book has contributed more to my fun on Scottish mountains. It covers all mountains within 45km of Fort William, so not just Ben Nevis and Glen Coe but also Cruachan, the Saddle, Ben Alder etc etc. While there are classics like Aonach Eagach and Ledge Route, there are also many excellent scrambles that seem to have been undiscovered before this book.
The route descriptions are clear, and the book uses the standard grading system grade 1 to grade 3(S). The photos are okay, but I guess will be much more glamorous and numerous in more recent editions than my 1996 one.
The Giants Staircase in the Grey Corries is one superb scramble (grade 2).
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