on 9 September 2012
Having just returned to Alpine Mountaineering after a 10 year gap, I was looking for something which provided the basis of a good revision guide. I chose this manual purely by chance and I'm not disapointed. It provides everything you need to know, whether novice or more experienced mountaineer; the manual covers just about everything, from the basics right through to more advanced rope techniques and Alpine skills, including mountain weather, equipment, navigation and useful sections on Via Ferrata and Mountain Routes in the European Alps. It is clearly written, informative and packed with colour photos. In my view, an excellent all-round manual.
on 3 February 2014
This is a good addition to the mountaineering bible, "The Freedom of the Hills" (which suffers a bit from poor illustrations), but is a must-read. Goodlad's book on the other hand, is much better illustrated (color photos in sequence!) and has plenty of information for an introduction book as regards the Alps. For the beginner, it even indicates two types of starter kit lists, for peu difficile and assez difficile routes in addition to the usual equipment needed such as piolet, crapons etc. It is written by an international grade mountain guide, with nice tips and insights, and a true love for the hills. Although hands-on experience is mandatory, as well as proper instruction to this sport, —this book served well as an intro and preparation after having already done plenty of trekking, sometimes as high as 4000m, but desiring to reach now higher views. Very recommendable with the right amount of info to get you started for a course!
on 9 November 2013
I'm going to break the run of complete 5-star reviews for this book. It's a good read and full of information no doubt - from techniques and roping, to kit lists and guidance, to a guide book section of good places to start off in the Alps. It's been an informative and enjoyable read, but the book does miss its target at times but only in two areas.
Firstly, the book is aimed at those who have either done some climbing work, or who have only ever hiked before. However, it seems to forget about the latter target audience at times, usually by using some terminology that isn't explained. You may then encounter it again later in the book where its meaning becomes clear. As a result I found myself going back several chapters trying to find the earlier use to see if what I'd read before then made more sense.
Secondly, the use of colour photos throughout is excellent and adds to the quality feel of the bookbut they can lack clarity and in many cases I found myself either playing "spot the difference" for something that was a sequence of steps, or unclear as to what the concept being shown was despite the descriptions that accompany each photo or sequence. In books with bad diagrams you find yourself wishing for photos, but at points in this book I found myself wishing for a clear diagram.
Overall though, a great book but it benefits from multiple readings.