Guidebook: Scottish Rock Volume 2 - North by Garry Latter 2009
Published by Presda Press
Whilst the reputation and quality of Scottish climbing has always been held in high regard by those ‘in the know’, many British climbers rarely if ever actually make the trip there. Tales of intolerable midges or incessant rain may have played a role, but many locals will often insist that if you are willing to travel, and are prepared to be a little flexible, then there are often worthy and reliable options available.
Whilst this guide, published by well-known Scottish activist Gary Latter, does not make the choice for you as to where you should climb on any given day, it will certainly aid and inspire you to make a good decision.
This is arguably the first general guide to Scottish climbing to embrace the modern era of guidebooks, producing a wonderfully clear layout to what is a vast and diverse climbing area. Covering crags from the Torridon area to the eastern and northern isles, this volume is part of a pair, with Volume 1 covering Southern Scotland’s equally exceptional crags.
A detailed history section has been added at the start of every section, with fantastic photos throughout the guide, including plenty of actual first ascent shots. The maps are wonderfully clear, especially when combined with the detailed descriptions of each crag, but what sets this guide apart from previous guides to Scotland is the vast number (250) of crystal clear photo topos. Whilst I can’t possibly testify that all the topos and descriptions are perfect, from my recent trip to the magnificent isle of Pabbay, it is clear that the guide has been written from a background of great knowledge and passion.
At £23, containing over 2,400 routes, this guide seems a must for both local climbers, adding to their collective guidebook information, and visitors from further afield looking for a clear and comprehensive guide to all the main areas in Northern Scotland.
Full list of crags (areas) included
Isle of Skye, Applecross, Torridon, Gairloch, Coigach, & Assynt, Sutherland, Caithness, Lewis & Harris, Pabbay & Mingulay, Orkney.
Reviewed by Ben Heason.