Reviewed by: Steve Crowe
Chris Craggs has been climbing on Eastern Grit for almost 50 years and he has an
intimate knowledge of his chosen subject. Indeed Chris has been writing climbing
guides for as long as I have been climbing, or so it seems. This is the third Rockfax since Peak Grit East in 2001 to record the climbs on the Eastern Grit.
This is also the fourth and final book in the current series of Rockfax guides to
cover the Peak District. Western Grit came out in 2009, then Peak Limestone in
2012 soon followed by Peak Bouldering in 2014 and now Eastern Grit in 2015.
Some more crags have been added Agden, Carl Wark, Over
Owler Tor, Robin Hood's Stride, Turningstone
Edge, Duke's Quarry and Shining Cliff, however the main
additions are the improved coverage on crags like Stanage with an extra 40 pages
and over 400 more routes on Stanage alone. Furthermore over 500 routes have been
regraded in line with climbers feedback and there's a completely new set of maps
too. Overall there are over 1000 more routes in this latest edition. There are
over 4000 routes clearly described within 560 glossy pages bringing together all
the best routes on the Eastern Gritstone outcrops.
The first two action pictures are stunners by Adam Long. The cover shot of
Lucinda Whittaker on the End of the Affair and a focused Hazel Findlay cruising
Usurper on the title page. Even Franco Cookson’s phone photos on page 117 really
capture the intensity of the climbing. There is a fresh selection of action
photos throughout but my favourite has to be Neil Kershaw squeezing the pebble on
Beau Geste on page 385, another great photo by Adam Long.
Each of the eight chapters are introduced with a glorious double page spread but
in my opinion they have been spoilt by overlaying an area map. Its a shame that
the maps couldn’t fit into the following pages.
All the photo topos have been redrawn with a new set of much sharper 24
megapixel crag photographs, they are so clear that you can even read the
graffiti! Unfortunately I spotted an error on page 257 but it is easily
corrected. The Tippler, a classic E3 and Paranoid, a desperate E6 need their
numbers swapping, do it now!. Top-tip: always trust the route description over a
line on the photo diagram!
I am very pleased to see that thing of printing text directly over photos has
been eliminated and all the text is now written in opaque white boxes which is
much better for reading in poor light but also gives more space for making small
hand written notes and comments.
Its really just a
minor point but the Destination Planner is such a useful feature that I would
like to see it situated near the very front of the guide on pages 2-3 rather
than being a little lost on pages 42-43.
We see the welcome return of the full route index at the rear of the guide so
you can quickly find any route you are looking for. Then on the very last page is the
general index along with a crag index which is in the form of a map, nice touch.
The top 500 Tick List really has 500 routes this time from Alpha Crack M to the
cover shot End of the Affair E8. The list can be found on pages 38-41 and here
on UKC Ticklists. http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/set.php?id=91
Chris Craggs has wrapped all the worthwhile climbing on the Eastern Grit into
one weighty tome and polished it off with a selection of inspirational action
photos. This is the only book you need to pack next to your rope and rack to be
ready for your next visit to the Eastern Grit.
Read Andy Birtwistle's review here: