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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good book for finding exciting multi-pitch rock climbs.
This book goes back to those halcyon days of rock climbing when you didn't need to be a lycra clad gymnast. This book holds a fascinating collection of classic long rock climbs in a high mountain setting. The descriptions are easy to understand but inspiring nontheless and the text is supported with good photographs. It made me want to get out and do some of them
Published on 4 Mar 2001

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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Superb selection but suspect statistics
I welcome the theme of `The Long Routes' and with only a few exceptions I agree with Robin Ashcroft's selection of climbs in both the Lake District and Snowdonia, and most climbers would predictably choose something similar. Differences of opinion should not be a source of criticism as choice is subjective, but I am objectively uneasy about how the book is presented...
Published on 11 Oct 2008 by D. Elliott


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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Superb selection but suspect statistics, 11 Oct 2008
By 
D. Elliott (Ulverston, Cumbria) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Long Routes : Mountaineering Rock Climbs in Snowdonia and the Lake District (Paperback)
I welcome the theme of `The Long Routes' and with only a few exceptions I agree with Robin Ashcroft's selection of climbs in both the Lake District and Snowdonia, and most climbers would predictably choose something similar. Differences of opinion should not be a source of criticism as choice is subjective, but I am objectively uneasy about how the book is presented. After introductions the book starts with adequate explanations on format (though even here the subsequent use of shading on topos is overlooked), but it continues with sections attempting guidance on equipment and techniques where it may have been better to omit such instruction instead of treating it in a meagre and unbalanced way. Equally, pronouncements on conservation and ethics are limited and out of place. A more helpful position for advice would be within the chapters for each route, but here the author appears blasé about protection. Though he frequently advises gear placements he is not always specific, and he infers how easy it is - sometimes when it isn't (as first pitch of Needle Ridge).

More consequential is the claim that climbs included in `The Long Routes' "provide the natural next step for the adventurous scrambler", yet inclusion of grades from `Diff.' to `Hard Severe' seems too all-embracing and surely goes too far. There is a devastating difference between scrambling or tackling a route like Main Wall on Cyrn Las or Bridge's Route on Esk Buttress (wrongly labelled Bridger's Route). Also I believe some grades are incorrectly stated. Jones' Route Direct on Scafell Pinnacle is `VS' and maybe Slingsby's Chimney at `V.Diff.' is more appropriate to the book's philosophy. North Climb on Pillar may be more of a character classic than North East Climb and it could be more readily graded with reference to `Diff.' plus alternatives to final pitch. And if `Severes' are to be promoted then omission of Murray's Route on Dow Crag is inexcusable (sorry - I said there was no disagreement over choice). At the opposite end of the grade argument I rate Atlantic Slab on Carnedd y Filiast as a scramble to be done in boots, and I shrink from Ashcroft's unworthy advice to "just use your sticky soles".

I found some route details difficult to follow and wonder why it was felt necessary to rewrite many of the traditional accounts in Fell & Rock and Climbers' Club definitive guidebooks (copyright ?). Perhaps there is no cause for denunciation of Ashcroft's division of climbs into pitches, but his advice does not always equate with my own experience. Even so a glaring omission is not to state lengths of pitches. Happily many of the selected routes are well-scratched and easy to fathom, and stances are obvious, but without quantified pitch division and with almost cryptic description I defy anyone other than the cognoscenti to understand some of the route particulars - like Middlefell Buttress in Langdale. Also some of the sketches are insufficient for recognition of features, and others are misleading - an example is Gillercombe Buttress (where to make matters worse the final "tricky traverse" referred to with the second pitch cuts back left - not right as described!).

Descent details could be another source for fault-finding but I've said enough and many other issues would only be quibbles. As implied at the start of this review Robin Ashcroft's choice of long routes is fair and predictable. His book's positive contribution is to identify lower grade classic challenges, and readers can be confident those selected for `The Long Routes' will not disappoint. It is pleasing to read of mountaineering rock climbs, many with continuations to summits, and I am delighted to learn some of my favourites from over 50 years ago are still to be recommended. However as far as route detail is concerned I finish with a warning for readers to beware and to seek information elsewhere.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A poor, derivative book, 25 Jun 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: The Long Routes : Mountaineering Rock Climbs in Snowdonia and the Lake District (Paperback)
Poorly researched, produced and rather unattractive guide to an idiosyncratic selection of routes. Merely recycles information already published in many other guidebooks in much better detail. Full of basic errors (e.g. referring consistently to 'Bridge's Route' as 'Bridgers Route'). One to avoid.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good book for finding exciting multi-pitch rock climbs., 4 Mar 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Long Routes : Mountaineering Rock Climbs in Snowdonia and the Lake District (Paperback)
This book goes back to those halcyon days of rock climbing when you didn't need to be a lycra clad gymnast. This book holds a fascinating collection of classic long rock climbs in a high mountain setting. The descriptions are easy to understand but inspiring nontheless and the text is supported with good photographs. It made me want to get out and do some of them
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