Winter Climbs in the Cairngorms.
What’s it all about:
Cicerones fully updated 6th edition of this guide written by Allen and Blair Fyffe. Winter Climbs in the Cairngorms offers a selection of some of the best winter routes to be found in the Cairngorms including Creag Meagaidh. This book also covers well known routes on Lochnagar as well as the more remote and serious climbs on the Braeriach.
What you get:
- Extensive, detailed coverage of routes on Cairngorms North, Cairngorms South and Creag Meagaidh.
- 51 routes illustrated by colour photo topos.
- Guide covers a substantial range of grades from short and straight forward all the way to long and exceptionally hard.
The introduction of this book starts by laying down the ground rules for this type of planned excursion. Offering no cosy, kid gloves Winter Climbs in the Cairngorms gives a brief couple of paragraphs on what the book will cover then hits you with the reality of mountain climbing in Scotland. We may not have the tallest mountains but they are amongst the most dangerous. This is mainly due to the speed at which the weather conditions can change here. I for one can vouch for this, a drizzly walk scramble to the top of one Munro turned into a gale force, sideways rain and wind, foggy struggle for survival as soon as we got to the top. And that wasn’t even in the winter.
Laying down the realities of winter climbs the introduction then progresses into route grades and lengths, instructions and tips on what you will need, what you may be able to get away with equipment wise. Dealing with avalanches and a little on what causes avalanches, avalanche types and basics on how to survive them. This chapter also provides information on the mountain rescue services and how to contact them. The information given in this chapter is not encycopedic but it certainly provides enough info you make you aware and at the bare minimum help you survive long enough to be rescued or avoid the dangers all together.
The rest of the book is split into the Cairngorms North, Cairngorms South and Creag Meagaidh. These chapters expand to cover many routes in extensive and luxurious detail. Many routes are provided coordinates, elevations, grades extensive visual descriptions and route length. This information is often coupled with detailed colour photographs with the routes marked out and numbered in red. As if covering the routes themselves was not enough, the book also supplies approach data to many of the routes easing your trip and preventing you from pitching at the wrong routes.
An excellent book, well written and a must buy for those looking to conquer the Cairngorms, although this book has been written with the assumption that you are already an experienced mountain climber and states this on the cover.
Winter Climbs In The Cairngorms comes as a compact, plastic water resistant covered hand book making it a rugged travel companion. The book is priced at £16.95 from the Cicerone website and worth every penny in my opinion. The book is well written, detailed and informative in a way that only those who know what they are talking about can write. Additionally Cicerone is in the process converting their new and previous publications to Kindle and eBook formats so it is worth while to keep an eye out for that.