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Rock Climbing Photo: Front Cover

Rock Climbing in Snowdonia

Paul Williams - Frances Lincoln New Ed edition (July 19, 2006)

Even though it's a select there's a big collection of routes in this guide, and not just the total classics - more than enough for a climber making a vacation visit. Due to space constraints the descriptions are not as colorful as the individual guidebooks, but it's great value.

A must have for anyone interested.

Paul Williams was a well-known rock climber and mountain photographer. He died at the age of 49 in a climbing accident on Froggatt Edge in 1995.
Rock Climbing Photo: Front cover (paperback)

The Mountain Men

Alan Hankinson - out of print do a web search.
I love this book.

Here's a review by Colin Wells of On The Edge Magazine (posted at

What’s the gist?
Eccentric elements of the late Victorian & Edwardian bourgeoisie invent mad new British sport one drizzly Easter bank holiday. It involves slimy gullies, waxed moustaches, Meerschaum pipes, and standing on each others’ shoulders in a manfully, but vaguely homo-erotic way. Rock climbing is born!
Are they any good?
In other hands, the narrative could have been as dry as a gentleman’s snuff box but ex-ITN newshound Hankinson employs his journalistic skills to great effect, bringing the landscape and the characters of the protean Edwardian climbing scene come alive as if it were but yesterday. The Mountain Men recalls the hard nuts who grappled with the Welsh volcanic battlements of Snowdonia, which is both educational and entertaining.
Rock Climbing Photo: Costa Daurada by Mark Glaister and Emma Medara

Costa Daurada

by Mark Glaister and Emma Medara Rockfax

Costa Daurada is a select book covering the crags of the Sierra del Prades, including Siurana. This book is far from comprehensive, but with nearly 200 routes, it probably has enough to keep most folks busy for a short vacation, and is a better option than the spartan & expensive local guide. This book offers star ratings, text descriptions (for some of the routes) & photographs, unlike the local guide, which states only the name & grade of each route. As a Rockfax guide, it is entirely in English.

Unfortunately the guide is rather out of date (published in 2002), and omits several excellent crags, most noteably La Siuranella, El Cargol, & L'Isabel. This book is intended for international travelers, and therefore offers some useful travel beta. A good choice for the budget-minded traveler planning to visit multiple crags, or only planning a few days at Siurana.
Rock Climbing Photo: Rock Climbing Europe by Stewart Green

Rock Climbing Europe

Stewart Green, Falcon Guides

Rock Climbing Europe is the perfect starting point for Americans on their way to Europe. The book is far from comprehensive, so ensure that your destination is included before laying out $40 or so. If your destination is included, expect explicit, robust, American-style route descriptions (a rarity in European guides) & photo-topos, all prefaced with a good deal of "Lonely Planet"-style traveler information. The book also follows the Falcon Guide system of providing tips on lodging/camping and where to find amenities in the local area. The book is encyclopedic is size, so you may want to xerox the key sections if you're going for a short trip.
Rock Climbing Photo: Europe Sport Vertical

Europe - Sport Vertical

By David Atchison-Jones, Jingo Wobbly Publishing

This is an overview book that sets out to list every single crag on the European continent a la Tim Toula's "Rock N' Road". Intended for a broad audience of various languages, the book uses an absurdly complex assortment of symbols & numbers to "describe" each crag without the use of text. The book is in full color, with plentiful glossy photos of various crags. This isn't a guidebook in the classic sense, but it can be a good way to learn about the locations & raw statistics of the multitude of little known crags in Europe. The book indicates number of routes, height of cliff, length of approach, sun exposure, and relative quality for more than 2600 sport, bouldering & alpine crags. The book also points you in the direction of the pertinent local guidebooks. Its a nice reference book, but probably not too useful once you're on the road. Set it on the coffee table or near your procelain throne for a few minutes of inspiration when the local weather is bad.
Rock Climbing Photo: Exrem cover

Schweiz Extrem West


Areas currently in MP:

From the author:

In the Fall of 2009, after weeks had passed since the final copies of „Schweiz extrem, Band 1“ were sold out and a re-printing was imminent, I began work on the publication of the updated climbing guidebook which is here newly presented as „Schweiz extrem WEST“. The past months were interesting and educational. Though I was met with many new and invigorating experiences, I had hurdles to overcome as well. The workload behind the publishing of a guidebook of this caliper was unimaginable to me at the time. I also felt an obligation to maintain the same topo publishing standard established by Filidor in the past and continue the diligent research of the areas.
The impressive limestone walls of the Wenden with its annual international draw of so many ambitious climbers from all over the world convinced me to focus on this amazing climbing destination. Over 50 routes (many new since the previous edition) on the Wenden are included here. The Bernese Oberland and The Valais has innumerous sport climbing areas within a small region. Next to the classic and well known areas, new and exciting climbing areas are being discovered and getting developed. “Bolti“, for example, has so many routes to choose from, all with a casual approach time of less than 3 minutes! It takes a bit more time and effort to approach routes like the “Doldophin“ on the impressive SE face of the Doldenhorn, but absolute awesome alpine ambience is guaranteed.
I hope with this new edition of the guidebook in hand, you are inspired for the upcoming climbing season and have a great time climbing. Most importantly, have fun!
Rock Climbing Photo: Jura

Plaisir Jura


Areas currently in MP:
Balsthal - Brückenwand
Balsthal - Klus

Guidebook in German, French, and English. Covers a broad range of the Jura climbs, including some areas in France and Germany.



Areas currently in MP:

Very nice book for a relatively small area, the Valstertal region of Grabünden. All alpine (sport)climbing. High-quality book with pre-made topo cards to pull out for specific climbs.
Rock Climbing Photo: Gastlosen cover


A comprehensive guide with very nice combination of photos and drawings to direct you to the right area (and then sub area, and then the peak..)

Plaisir Sud


Areas currently in MP:
Ponte Brolla

Ticino/Tessin and northern Italy sport climbing. I've only used the older edition, but quite decent area topos and easy to decipher. In German/French/Italian.
Rock Climbing Photo: West cover

Plaisir West


Areas currently in MP:

Sport and alpine climbing in Western Switzerland, from Interlaken to Valais.

Plaisir Ost


Areas currently in MP:

Eastern Switzerland sport and alpine climbing for areas predominantly 6b and under.
Rock Climbing Photo: GLclimbs



Areas currently in MP:

A labor of love by Glarner locals. Beautiful photo topos, very useful for figuring out where the heck you are. Focus on the big routes in the Glarner Alps, also with detailed info for sport climbing areas like Weesen and Mettmenalp.


Aris Theodoropoulos / Terrain

Aris Theodoropoulos has done an astounding job on the guidebook. I'd venture to say it is the best guide I've seen. You can get one in Massouri at many of the climbing and tourist shops. If you want to study it ahead of time go to:
Aris is active on the forums and new routes are listed there.
BUY THE BOOK! Leave it on the coffee table, display it in a Argon filled glass case... whatever you want - just buy it.
Rock Climbing Photo: Frankenjura Band 1

Northern Frankenjura Part 1

Sebastian Schwertner

This is the newest release from Sebastian Schwertner covering the northern half of the northern Frankenjura. The described areas are: Leinleitertal, Wiesenttal, Gößweinstein, Püttlachtal, Weihersbachtal, Klumpertal, Ailsbachtal, Paradiestal, Kaiserbachtal, Scheßlitzer Gebiete, Staffelberg, Kleinziegenfelder Tal, Bärental and Zillertal. Unfortunately, these "areas" don't have any correspondence with those included here on MP.
Rock Climbing Photo: Alex Megos on the cover of Frankenjura Band 2.

Northern Frankenjura Part 2

Sebastian Schwertner

This newest release from Sebastian Schwertner covers the southern areas of the northern Frankenjura. The areas described are: Walberla, Trubachtal, Betzensteiner Gebiet, Spieser Gebiet, Schnaittacher Gebiet, Pegnitztal, Krottenseer Forst, Hirschbachtal, Königsteiner Gebiet, Lehental, Högenbachtal, Förrenbachtal and Lauterbachtal. Unfortunately, the "areas" described here do not directly correspond to those here on MP. They are more generalized, whereas those here on MP tend to go parking parking lot, and then into further detail of which crags are accessed from these parking lots.
Rock Climbing Photo: Frankenjura 1

Rock Climbing Photo: Frankenjura 2

Northern Frankenjura 1 & 2

Ulrich & Harald Röker

These are the only guidebooks which provide descriptions in English. Parts 1 and 2 are laid out very similarly to the corresponding "Band 1" and "Band 2" written by Sebastian Schwertner, however the topos are more 3 dimensional. These are also not as up to date as the Schwertner guidebooks.
Rock Climbing Photo: Northern Frankenjura Version 8

Northern Frankenjura

Bernhard Thum

If you want it all in one volume, this is it. Though it was written in 2010, you've still got a lifetime's worth of routes here and don't need to fork out the €60 to get the brand new Schwertner guidebooks. The organization of this book is a little different from the rest as it doesn't need to divide the Frankenjura into two sections. Also, the book, as are the Schwertner books, is written entirely in German.
Rock Climbing Photo: Frankenjura Extreme

Frankenjura Extreme

Sebastian Schwertner

Last but not least is this small and abridged guidebook from Sebastian Schwertner, written for extreme climbers. This guidebook details, in English, the places you'll want to go in the northern Frankenjura if you warm up on 5.11. It is definitely written for the visiting climber and is therefore probably the best guidebook for the area for those of you thinking of coming for a visit. If you're interested in buying it beforehand you can get it at the given link, or I'll sell you my copy for €5 and you can pick it up from me when you get here.
To clarify, the book provides directions and descriptions for hard crags, which also often contain easier routes. So it's not exclusively for hard climbs.

Avon and Cheddar

Martin Crocker/The Climbers Club (2004)

The definitive guide for Avon Gorge and some outlying areas (Goblin Combe, Brean,...) though the Cheddar volume is out of date.

Not the most modern style (published 2004), so lacking full-colour topo photos, but very useable. A particularly handy feature is the small size of the volume, meaning it fits in a pocket to take up the multi-pitch routes.

South West Climbs

Multiple authors/The Climbers' Club

An excellent, extensive work in two volumes, covering the best of the climbing in the South West of the UK. Volume 1 (2012) covers Gloucestershire, Somerset and Dorset; while volume 2 (2014) covers the rest (Cornwall, Devon, Lundy and even the Channel Islands).

West Country Climbs

Mark Glaister/Rockfax (2010)

The Rockfax select guide to the region, covering Avon & Somerset, Dorset and Devon & Cornwall (inland and coastal). In the usual Rockfax style, the guide is very clear and easy to use: an essential purchase for the occasional (or even frequent) visitor.

Coverage is good across most major crags/areas (except Cheddar Gorge and Lundy which, although mentioned, are not described in any detail) and quite a lot of minor areas, allowing you to escape the crowds.

Llanberis Slate

Pete Robins and Mark Dicken (amongst others)/Ground Up (2011)

The slate guidebook.

This is a definitive guide, produced by local activists to an exceptional standard. It includes coverage of all the routes at the time of publication, and extensive historical anecdotes. The photo topos are very clear, and the numerous photos are inspiring. This book is set to be a classic in itself.


Iwan Afron Jones/The Climbers' Club (2009)

The latest in a long series of guidebooks to the Llanberis Pass. Now up to date with colour photo topos, updated route descriptions and a set of inspiring action photos. Coverage is for the numerous crags on both sides of the pass, but not of the slate quarries.


Paul Harrison/The Climbers' Club (2008)

Fully revised since the last edition, in the modern style. The guidebook covers over 1000 routes on the island, including the new addition of a section on DWS. Also included is a 1:10,000 scale map of the island to aid the often complicated approaches.

Two supplements have been released since publication: one correcting major errors in the Knight Templar Rocks area; the other documenting new routes. Available for download at the link above.

Cheddar Gorge Climbs

Martin Crocker (2009)

The only up-to-date guide to Cheddar gorge, detailing all the sport climbs and a selection of the best traditional routes. Also essential reading is the information about the strict access agreement, although this can also be found online.

The topos are good, as are the descriptions for the trad routes, but it can be a bit tricky to navigate at first, with its constant switching between portrait and landscape format. The binding is also pretty poor quality - don't expect the cover to stay on if you're using it heavily.


Steve Taylor/The Climbers' Club (2008)

The 2008 definitive guide, documenting most of the routes (including the few remaining trad routes) and a lot of the bouldering on the island. A spate of new bolting following (due to?) its publication means that quite a lot of routes, particularly in the lower (sub-5.10) grades were missed out. The guide also contains extensive information about the climbing around Lulworth.

The book is very clear, following the modern style of full-colour photo topos alongside the route descriptions. It is printed in a strange A5 landscape format, but this doesn't affect usability in any way.


Pete Oxley, Mark Glaister/Rockfax (2012)

A select guide to the Dorset Jurassic coast, including extensive coverage of the popular areas of Portland, Lulworth and Swanage. In fact, this is the only current guidebook for Swanage. Due to its later publication date, it also includes a lot of routes on Portland that just missed inclusion in the latest definitive.

The guide conforms to the usual Rockfax style, with clear photo topos, concise route descriptions, and detailed approach information.

Scottish Rock Climbs

Andy Nisbet/The Scottish Mountaineering Club (2005)

A popular (very) select guidebook, covering over 1200 routes across most of the main climbing areas in Scotland. This guidebook is great for the occasional visitor, but it must be emphasized that it really just scratches the surface: there are 11 comprehensive guidebooks (of a similar size) covering the same area as this one!

The Roaches

The BMC (2009)

Staffordshire Gritstone
The Roaches
The Definitive Guide

The BMC have really pulled out the stops in producing this excellent guidebook, one of the best in the country. Comprehensive coverage of the Staffordshire gritstone outcrops, including:
The Roaches
Hen Cloud
Ramshaw Rocks
Newstones to Back Forest
The Churnet

The descriptions are colourful, the photos inspiring, and the historical anecdotes interesting and entertaining. In summary, this book is a must-have for the occasional visitor, the seasoned local, or any climber who just wants a good read!

Gower Rock

Stuart Llewellyn, Matt Woodfield/Pesda Press (2012)

The most popular guide for the area is this new selective guide. It aims to document the best of the established trad lines, as well as the newly-added sport climbing on the peninsula.

Kletterführer Zittauer Gebirge

Jürgen Schmeißer

An excellent guide composed and written by local Jürgen Schmeißer, providing detailed information and topos for all areas, formations and crags in the Zittau Mountains (Zittauer Gebirge).

Snow, Ice and Mixed The guide to the Mont Blanc Range: Volumes I and II

Francois Damilano
This is the comprehensive guidebook to the range for all things snow, ice and mixed. It does not include any rock route information. Available in both French and English

Mont-Blanc, Les plus belles courses: Rocher, neige, glace et mixte

Philippe Batoux
This large format book is destined to be as much of a classic as the original book by Gaston Rebuffat of a similar title.

The book is organized from easy to most difficult best routes in the range, with excellent color photos, route topos, recommended gear list and route descriptions. Some routes are the same as in the original Rebuffat route list, but many are new additions only recently accessible with modern ice climbing tools and techniques which were not available in the early seventies.

Tenerife - Escalada deportiva

J.Martin-Carbajal, J.C. Zamora 2010

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