Rock Climbing in Britain. David Jones. Collins Willow, London, 1984. 192 pages, black and white and color photographs, charts, diagrams, map, glossary. £20.00.
If I were Mick Lovatt, I’d be happy. Mick was lucky enough to get two beautiful action pictures of himself on the front and back covers of this new book. You may ask why a book reviewer would particularly care about cover photos. The answer is that there’s truth in packaging. In fact, this is the first book on climbing that is fantastic from cover to cover.
Rock Climbing in Britain is a cross between Climb! and Yosemite Climber. Not only are the pictures in this book some of the best ever, the text is good too. When you’ve finally overindulged in the one hundred 8x11 color plates, you can turn to the chapter on training and follow your visual gluttony with a prescribed British workout for “expert” climbers. (At last, we find out the secret of how all those runty Brits are able to climb so well!) There are also excellent chapters on climbing walls, bouldering, gear, grading and, a thirty-one-page history of rock climbing in Great Britain.
Rock Climbing in Britain is a modem classic that belongs on everyone’s coffee table. It’s expensive—but well worth saving for.