American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Cold Climbs

  • Book Reviews
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  • Publication Year: 1984

Cold Climbs. Ken Wilson, Dave Alcock and John Barry, compilers. Diadem Books, London, 1983. 280 pages, 181 black and white and 62 color photographs, 70 diagrams. £17.95.

Please answer the following statements truthfully:

1. I am an ice climber and proud of it. (True or False.)

2. I wish I was an ice climber and could be proud of it. (True or False.)

3. I hate ice climbing and think being outside in the snow and ice is a sign of sheer stupidity. (True or False.)

If you answered true to any of the above statements, I have a book for you. Cold Climbs is a fantastic collection of photographs and narratives of some of the best winter climbs in the world. Every modem climber has heard of the climbs this book describes—Zero Gully, the Cuillin Ridge, Point Five Gully.

Cold Climbs is a large-format, “best of” book on winter climbing in the British Isles. Having twice been across the mighty Atlantic to sample the delights (and miseries) of British winter climbing, I can testify that the large number of excellent photographs give one a very good idea of exactly what climbing on Ben Nevis or in the Cairngorms is like. The book also brings back many joyous and, sometimes, horrifying memories.

When I first opened this book, I was amazed at the number (and quality) of the photographs. In this day and age of the five-dollar paperback, this book is cheap. If you liked the photographs in Climbing Ice, you’ll love Cold Climbs. This is a great addition to anyone’s library and continues the fine tradition started with Classic Rock and Hard Rock.

Todd Swain

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