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Scotland's Mountain Ridges: Scrambling, Mountaineering and Climbing - the Best Routes for Summer and Winter (Cicerone Guides) Paperback – 28 Mar 2006
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In short, this is a fantastic little book, which selects the best of Scotland's ridges, the best ways and days of enjoying them. Whether an enthusiastic young walker looking to move onto steeper ground, or a more experienced climber wanting to re-visit the scene of former triumphs, this book will prove stimulating to both and deserves a place in the bookshelf. Scottish Mountaineer, May 2006 Each of the 48 routes included in the guide is graded for difficulty, and features a navigable detailed route description. The in depth information, route maps and topos are what will be useful on the ground, but it's the photography that will get you out the door with your bootlaces still undone. Why bother with Europe when you eye's are opened to these gems.' Adventure Travel Magazine May/June 2006 There is no doubt that this book will prove of most value to mountaineers. Highly recommended.' Irish Mountain Log, Summer 2006 'I have always thought that if mountains were not meant to be climbed they wouldn't have grown ridges, what can be more natural than wanting to scale them? Included, as you would expect, are classic traverses of Aonach Eagagh, An Teallach, Liathach, the Black Cullin Ridge, along with lesser-know gems - Marathon Ridge on Ben Lair and Northeast Ridge of Sgurr Ghiubhsachain. Dan Bailey is a man who knows and loves his hills. To those who claim his book will merely encourage yet more feet on to our fragile mountains, he has this to say "If more people were inspired to visit the Highlands then perhaps their protection might move farther up the nation's agenda." And speaking as someone who rarely reads guidebooks, Scotland's Mountain Ridges certainly inspired me.' (The Scots magazine / March 2007) Also check out the reviews and articles on the following websites: Scotclimb.org.uk Ukclimbing.com (Aonach Eagach article) Ukclimbing.com (Tower Ridge article) Ukclimbing.com (Review) Mountaindays.net Planetfear.com
About the Author
Dan Bailey lives in Edinburgh and has always had a passion for climbing and the outdoors. His work has featured in Adventure Travel, The Sunday Times, Trail, High, The List, The Sunday Herald and Scotland on Sunday, among others. He has climbed and walked in North and South America, North Africa, Asia and throughout Europe and the UK.
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Probably my favourite British mountain expedition is the Cuillin Traverse on Skye and I am delighted Dan Bailey led up to this for his finale. I happen to agree with his selection of routes where all my Scottish favourites are included together with a few I don't know but am inspired to find out. A minor quibble may arise over definitions - for example from his first three choices I accept Arran's A'Chir Traverse as one of the greatest of Scotland's skyline `Moderate' ridges, and having done the nearby `VS' Rosa Pinnacle a couple of times I believe it is the best rock climb on Arran - but wonder why these sandwich the `Severe' Pagoda Ridge when it is not really a ridge? And is the range of grades set too wide? Whatever - `Scotland's Mountain Ridges' stirs happy memories spanning from a walk around the Ring of Steall, through light-hearted clambering on Stac Pollaidh to serious scrambling on An Teallach, with exhilarating climbing on Eagle Ridge or on the Ben's ridges, plus a winter epic on the Aonach Eagach and a hair-raising winter ascent of Dorsal Arête in a gale force wind - and many more.
`Scotland's Mountain Ridges' is bigger than usual `guidebook' size and even than `normal' book proportions, and though it is hardly a `coffee-table' publication its larger size benefits the marvellous photographs accompanying selected routes. Photographs include views and assist mountain identification, but are mainly action shots to support route descriptions - as are the entertaining and enlightening comments at commencement of each chapter and the various sketches throughout. This is a book to enthuse readers rather than serve as a manual or guide. Accordingly the notes on techniques, hazards etc. are brief, and the ridge descriptions lack pitch lengths. For the 48 selected ridges there are details on location (with maps), access, distance, time, height etc. but I am left uncertain what target audience is envisaged, and I suspect Dan Bailey wrote his book largely for himself - as the book cover states it celebrates as well as documents. I applaud this - it's for people like me who want to recall and revel in past experiences - and for that it deserves 5 stars. As a guidebook I would grant it only 3 stars, and hence my 4-star award. Producing `Scotland's Mountain Ridges' was clearly a labour of love for Dan Bailey - I wish I'd written it!
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