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Western Grit




by Chris Craggs and Alan James

Published by Rockfax

Reviewed by Karin Magog


Before I start this review I feel I should point out that this is an area of the country that I have little experience of.  Apart a couple of brief visits to The Roaches back in my student days I havenít climbed at any of the crags in the guide.  However, that may change after pouring through the latest Rockfax and seeing all this large area has to offer.


Western Grit is divided into seven geographical areas, Staffordshire Grit, Windgather Area, Kinder Scout, Bleaklow, Chew Valley, Lancashire and the Cheshire Sandstone.  Each section is introduced with the now standard double-page photo and is accompanied with a general map marking the crags in that section.  Each individual crag has a more detailed map, a brief introduction, approach, a paragraph on conditions and a table which summarises the number and quality of routes in each grade band.  As you would expect with Rockfax the guide offers clear photo-topos with accompanying route descriptions.  The lay-out appears more spaced out and less cluttered than some of their other, more recent guides, better to have a few more pages and a clear, concise guide, than to produce a more crowded, but slightly less bulky guide.  One thing I really liked about the guide was the good number of action shots, which represented the full spread of grades on offer and the fantastic settings of many of the crags (good examples being the photos of Hanging Crack at Dovestones Edge and Ivory Tower at Kinder South, to name just two.)


No Rockfax would be complete without the usual detailed introduction, info on accommodation, local pubs, etc.  Thereís also a selected graded list based on grade voting on the Rockfax Route Database, and a useful route index at the back of the guidebook. All in all another classy Rockfax production which showcases the delights this vast area has to offer.


Western Grit by Chris Craggs and Alan James is be available now, price £21.95. Reviewed 7th July 2009



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