Reviews - Guidebook: Skye Ice Climbs - Heason Events

Guidebook: Skye Ice Climbs

24th Feb 2006


Skye Rock & Ice Climbs
John Mackenzie & Noel Williams
Scottish Mountaineering Club Climbers’ Guide

A re-print of the 1996 guide this is the definitive guide to rock and ice climbs on Skye. Barring two perfectly focused black and white shots on the first few pages, and a rather nice black and white drawing of the Cioch, it doesn’t contain any photos whatsoever, presumably because it is a fairly specialist guide which doesn’t have a large scale print-run and therefore the budget didn’t stretch to photos. A shame being as the place is such a stunning location with scope for some really inspiring shots. An even bigger shame is the fact that the front and rear cover shots look like the camera lens through which they were taken was smothered in Vaseline. Without a doubt the worst printing I have ever seen on a guide book cover.

Despite the lack of photos and the poor cover production it is a pretty hefty tome and has one very surprising and redeeming feature. At 350 pages and £11 it actually represents possibly the best value guide book in the country. The hand drawn black and white topo’s are fairly standard stuff from the 80’s and 90’s, nice to look at, but no doubt open to misinterpretation in the heat of the moment, but the route descriptions are thorough and detailed.

Basically if you want to get inspired to go climbing on Skye don’t bother with it. If you want the definitive guide to the island at a klnock-down price then go buy it. Personally I thin they may have been better upping the price by a couple of quid and throwing in a few decent shots to satisfy both needs.