Top critical review
19 people found this helpful
Ding dong, Munro calling
on 27 December 2012
There are quite a few Scottish hill books being released where you're left asking "What's this for?" This really is one such. It's a catalogue of the Munros - so does it replace the SMC's classic or Cammie McNasty's subsequent knock-off? Well, no.
The format's wrong. Another review says you can put it in your rucksack. Well yes it's a nice wee brick shape, a bit reminiscent of a 70s mail order catalogue, Avon maybe. But you don't take a generalist book like this with you on the hill and it's a decent weight - maybe enough to drown you if you tripped on a burn crossing.
As a planning book, again there's a design flaw. Because it's wee and tightly bound, you can't lay it out on the table then lay the map beside it, because you'll find it's just shut itself again. So it falls at the first fence.
It's decently written, certainly more literate than McNasty's effort. But I think again it would come second to the SMC's book, just lacking the idiosyncrasies of the various old hill men who contributed to the original book. Worse, it really offers very little that's new and for many hills perpetuates routes that have become clichés. For Ben Lomond it rather rubbishes the best alternative route. Across the loch Ben Vane, a hill which can be approached from many angles, has the deeply worn baggers' groove described and a single alternative half-heartedly offered.
The book's attractive and the pictures are good. The authors run a really good mountain website - and it's a good source for routes on all these hills.