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review 2019-09-02 15:57
Impressions of the Brecon Beacons
Impressions of the Brecon Beacons - Automobile Association of Great Britain

My own explorations of Brecon Beacons National Park in South Wales have largely been confined to the uplands. This book, whilst happily illustrating their worth, also showcases the many and varied delights of the lower lands, along with some of the wildlife and observing detail as well as grand panoramas. Good stuff!

 

Here's a pic I took up on the Brecon Beacons hills themselves:

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review 2019-05-11 16:37
How to Shit in the Woods
How to Shit in the Woods: An Environmentally Sound Approach to a Lost Art - Kathleen Meyer

This book is good in that the relevant information is sound, unfortunately the topic merits only a long magazine article. The rest is padding.

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review 2019-05-08 11:45
The Mountains of England and Wales: Wales v. 1, John and Anne Nuttall
The Mountains Of England And Wales: Wales V. 1 (Cicerone Guide) - John Nuttall,Anne Nuttall

The mountains listed in this book have become known as the "Welsh Nuttalls," indicating the success of the book more easily than anything else can. The Welsh Nuttalls are summits at least 610 m high with at least 15 m descent from them in all directions. (That's 2000 ft, 50 ft, for the SI challenged.)

 

I've hiked all of them, many of them multiple times, using this book as my guide. It's a durable little book with a plasticised waterproof cover, suitable for taking on the hill, and I found it useful to do so on some occassions. (It's no substitute for a proper contour map, of course.) The sketch maps are useful and the line drawings pretty. The suggested routes cover all the summits once only and form a loop to finish at the same place they start, which has (sometimes very limited) car parking.

 

These constraints make some of the walks inelegant and those with opportunity could do better by using public transport or leaving a car at each end of a linear hike - not that public transport is an easy option in most cases - or accept some repeats of summits. A determined person could tick all the summits in a year at one walk per weekend using this book - and have three weeks to spare!

 

Flagon says, roar! You might even meet a Dragon! If you do, be friendly!

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review 2019-05-07 13:48
The Munros, Donald Bennett (Ed.)
The Munros - Donald John Bennet

This isn't a stuff it in your pocket and use it on the hill type of guide. Rather, it is a sit at home and use it for reference and inspiration book. The information is concise and clear, as are the sketch maps of routes. The photos are the best part, though, showing the Highlands and Islands in all seasons and all their glory.

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review 2019-05-06 18:00
The Handbook of Climbing, Allen Fyffe and Iain Peter
The Handbook of Climbing: Fully Revised Edition - Allen Fyffe,Iain Peter,Hamish MacInnes

This is an excellent, accessible introduction to the most common forms of technical mountaineering, with clear explanations and helpful diagrams and photographs. I can recommend it to anyone wanting to learn the techniques of rock climbing, winter climbing (ice and snow) and alpine style mountaineering.

 

As an aside, Libby Peter, who features in numerous instructional photos in the book (nee Healey, as credited in the book) is the best mountain instructor I've ever had the great good fortune to learn from. She went on to become one of the pioneering fully qualified British female Alpine Guides. I can't remember if she was the absolute first but I'm confident she was in the first five. She's also a leading mountaineer of her generation. If you should stumble across this review, Libby, you won't remember me, just one of your very many clients and of below average talent, but I remember you: so highly competent in both technical and teaching skills and the least egotistical instructor I ever had - you made it all about your clients. I hope all is well with you and you're still exploring in the mountains.

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