There are so many walking books, in different styles, ones for ridges, others for peaks, some for gentle strolls or scrambles and so on. Since moving to Snowdonia I've amassed a shelf full and when it comes to planning a weekend with my cronies I turn to that shelf. But, no offence to those books, I could replace the lot with The Mountains of Snowdonia, by John Gillham.
Instead of short changing the reader with abbreviated descriptions or cherry picking routes, John has covered it all by expanding into a quadrilogy, a series of 4 volumes. The first 2 are available now with the others due in spring 2011.
What I like is the balance between interesting information and details of navigation. I think he's got it right. Several ways are described of getting to each peak giving the reader à la carte choice to custom build an expedition. But if you'd prefer the ready-made option there are suggested day routes.
Using volume 2, The Western Peaks, I tested out the day route covering the southern Rhinogydd. No amount of adjectives can ever bring to life quite how magical it can be but John does it proud nevertheless. As for the guideline time of 5 hours, I don't think that included much opportunity for savouring the best bits. Bumping into the farmers and their dogs gathering sheep off the ridge between Y Llethyr and Diffwys is an occasion I will remember for ages, with an indignant line of wild goats marching out of the way.
I wish I'd consulted volume 1, The Northern Peaks, before my last effort on Tryfan. I know now exactly where I went wrong! The panoramic 3D maps, with a touch of artistic licence, make so much sense of the routes.
As for my home range, Moelwyn Bach and Mawr, I'll have to wait for volume 3 and volume 4 for Cadair Idris and southwards. At [...] each that's probably not such a bad thing but it is definitely an investment worth making. As usual Amazon prices make it all a bit more affordable.
Over the years there have been countless publications on the ever so popular Snowdonia National Park, with it's northern most peak Tal Y fan near Rowen and Conwy right, down to Cadair Idris in the south, which is on the very fringes of the southern most boundary of the park.
Within that large area are an incredible diversity of mountain ranges from the northern most Carneddau, the Glyderau, Snowdon, Moelwyns, The Nantlle Valley, Rhinogs, The Arrans, The Berwyns, the Mignient and Cadair Idris and other's i have forgotten to mention no doubt.
You can read every O/S map showing you the contours and villages within the Park, but to glean what a particular peak, however remote has to offer the walker, you must consult a comprehensive guide such as this one.
There is a lifetime of adventure to be discovered and these most impressive Pictorial Guides will provide very comprehensive and detailed information on possible routes with photographs and diagrams to ensure you stay on your chosen path.
It has not been since the likes of the late Showell Styles with his early 1970s publications that a book has been produced for each individual area of the Park.
There are so many outlying peaks off the ever so crowded highways of Snowdonia that to tick them off would take the serious walker many months to complete.
Let's take the lofty summit of Carnedd Lewellyn in the Carneddau for example.
It has several main ridges travelling in different directions as well as other less frequented path's over Yr Ellen and Craig Yr Ysfa.
This book will give you detailed route descriptions to them all with clearly designed drawings to show the walker where they are.
Choose your summit and depending on which area publication you read it will give you a detailed explanation of all the main routes to that summit.
These books represent superb value when considering the information they provide the walker and casual visitor.
Even the carefully chosen photographs of which there are many throughout the pages of each individual guide will enhance your understanding of the area and terrain to be followed.
you only have to use the handy Look Inside facility being offered by Amazon to realise just how comprehensive these guides are.
If you are visiting Snowdonia for the first time or getting fed up with the crowded areas in and around Snowdon these books will provide you with all the information you need to explore Snowdonia in all it's majesty.
Wow ! Great book, superbly written and what a choice of routes and mountains. The author looks at mountains that I am very familiar with from so many different angles and clearly depicts the routes both pictorially and through description. Haven't actually had a chance to use either of my books yet (also given the Western Peaks edition) but I have spent a lot of time reading them with my maps out...........planning ! They are that sort of book. They make you want to get out and about doing things slightly differently !