The Great Mountain Crags of Scotland

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The Great Mountain Crags of Scotland is a celebration of climbing in Scotland’s wild places, compiled by Guy Robertson and Adrian Crofton. Featuring contributions from many of Scottish mountaineering’s great writers and climbers, and beautifully illustrated with breathtaking photography, it delves deep into the heart of some of the oldest mountains on Earth. 

This is a book for anyone with an interest in Scotland’s wild places, where the mountains and cliffs, rather than the climbs, take centre stage, transporting the reader far from towns and cities, and deep into the wilderness. The crags are the tallest, steepest and most majestic anywhere in the British Isles. They are all situated in a high mountain environment, and always a good hike from the nearest road. A visit to any of these great crags is therefore a worthy end in itself. For those wishing to venture onto the crags, all the climbs described are highly adventurous, relying solely upon leader-placed protection. Many of the crags and climbs are described and illustrated here in detail for the very first time.

Among these pages are accounts of some of Scottish mountaineering’s greatest triumphs, but also accounts of necessary failures – chasing elusive conditions, knowing when to go down, when to return. The authors relate their personal experiences of these cliffs and the climbing, and contained here are real treasures: schoolboy Dave MacLeod soloing on The Cobbler in winter after catching the train from Dumbarton, Mark McGowan’s gripping first-hand account of soloing Shibboleth on Slime Wall of Buachaille Etive Mòr, Grant Farquhar’s recollections of a cherished first ascent on the Great Prow of Skye’s Blà Bheinn, Es Tresidder falling under the spell of Creag Meagaidh’s Pinnacle Face, and Brian Davison’s 15-year waiting game for the first winter ascent of Mort on the Tough-Brown Face of Lochnagar.

Split into four sections – The South West Highlands, The North West Highlands, The Islands and The Cairngorms & Central Highlands – this book features unique contributions from, amongst others, Nick Bullock, Rick Campbell, Jason Currie, Brian Davison, Kevin Howett, Julian Lines, Martin Moran, Andy Nisbet, Simon Richardson and Tony Stone. Each section is accompanied by an original poem by Stuart B. Campbell, and renowned author and mountaineer Andy Cave has contributed the foreword.

Not to be used as a traditional guidebook, it is more a collection of photos of the best climbs. Include name, grade and description/story of the best routes. A nice mix between a guidebook and a coffee table book.

Guy Robertson was introduced to the Scottish mountains as a young boy and began roped climbing at the age of 19 with a series of highly chaotic, uninformed and highly memorable forays into the Cairngorms in winter. He has since climbed extensively across the UK and further afield, with first ascents in regions as diverse as Morocco, Jordan, the Alps, Norway, Peru and Kyrgyzstan, but his first love is exploratory winter climbing in Scotland.  He has an enduring passion for writing and storytelling in mountaineering, with a number of essays published previously in the Scottish Mountaineering Club Journal, the American Alpine Journal, and UK-based climbing magazines. Guy works as an environmental consultant and lives in Aberdeen with his partner Susan and their two children, Finn and Jess.

Adrian Crofton knew that climbing had to be the sport for him when he was told that ‘climbing instructors’ were excused attendance at his school’s Army Cadet Corps. In spite of a physique better suited to a middleweight boxer or navvy he has since managed a few respectable climbs and has enjoyed over 25 years exploring the Highlands and Islands, putting up the occasional first ascent in the process. Although he has climbed extensively elsewhere in the UK and Europe, he is still happiest roaming in the hills in his own backyard – on foot, or ski, or bike, or even swimming in the high lochains and kayaking in the rivers. Adrian works as a general practitioner and paediatrician and lives in Aberdeen with his wife Rachelle and their two children, Eilidh and Alasdair.

  • Author: Compiled by Guy Robertson and Adrian Crofton
  • Foreword: Andy Cave
  • Imprint: Vertebrate Publishing
  • ISBN: 978-1-906148-89-8
  • Rights: Worldwide
  • Publication date: 3 November 2014
  • Edition: First
  • Size: 310mm x 240mm
  • Extent: 312 pages, full colour throughout
  • Cover: Hardback
  • Dimension: 9.75" wide by x 12.5" tall
  • Weight: 1900g

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