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Winter Climbing +





by Ian Parnell and Neil Gresham

Published by Rockfax

Reviewed by Karin Magog
Third in the series, this is a very comprehensive book from Rockfax covering everything you need to know about winter climbing.  Itís written by Ian Parnell and Neil Gresham who have a vast amount of experience behind them.  Ian is perhaps better known for his mountaineering exploits, whereas Neil brings good knowledge of the more modern mixed climbs.  They are also both familiar with the infamous Scottish winter climbing and ice climbing.


Like previous publications, such as sports climbing +, this is a well laid out, easy to read book.  It is well-illustrated with photographs, both action and technical, and sports a few interesting anecdotes.  The book is divided into ten chapters: - starting out, equipment, mountain safety, ice (style and ethics), ice (techniques), mixed (style and ethics), mixed (techniques), the mind, training and destinations.  As someone who dabbled in winter climbing a few years ago I found the section on equipment particularly fascinating.  I hadnít realised that some axes were more suited to ice or mixed, that clipper leashes existed (mine are fixed) and that crampons could be changed from dual to mono point.  This section alone was invaluable in bringing me up to date and refreshing my knowledge.  Mountain Safety was also well written and seems to cover all the basics.  For more in depth knowledge there are several books out there dedicated to this subject alone.  The main chapters on the two different types of winter climbing are a mine of information and Iím sure even the most experienced winter climber could learn something here, being a bit of a winter climbing punter I was a bit overwhelmed to be honest.  I was more at home reading the two sections on the mind and training as much of it applies to climbing in general.  The final section covers that all important question Ďwhere to go?í  Scotland is the biggest UK destination and is covered in the most detail accordingly.  Other areas include Wales, the Lake District, France, Italy, Switzerland, Norway, USA, Canada and Quebec.


All in all an impressive publication which should appeal to both those just starting out in winter climbing and the more experienced climber alike.


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