LFTOer Book Review: The Complete Guide to Climbing and Mountaineering

Book Title The Complete Guide To Climbing And Mountaineering
Book Author Pete Hill MIC, FRGS
Book Publisher David & Charles
ISBN 13:978-0-7153-2842-2
ISBN 10:0-7153-2842-5
Price �25.00 Hardback

Reviewed by Eugene McAllister

Pete Hill has an impressive CV which includes the MIC award (the highest UK instructional qualification), first ascents in the Himalaya, member of the Alpine Club, honorary life member of the Association of Mountaineering Instructors and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. So he should know his stuff.

Chapters 1 and 2 covering basic skills and technical skills are an absolute goldmine of information, giving advice on equipment, navigation, knots, anchors, belaying and a host of other techniques and skills needed for a good foundation in climbing.

These two chapters are very comprehensive and take up approximately one third of the book and provide essential reading for the budding alpinist and would probably stand up as a book on their own.

Chapters 3 through to 8 break down the sport into the many styles and terrain encountered within it. 

They include bouldering, traditional climbing, sport climbing, via ferrata, winter climbing, ice climbing, mixed climbing and dry tooling, alpine climbing, big walls and expeditions. 

Every page has either stunning photographs or excellent diagrams showing some breathtaking scenery or exact details of techniques needed in the environments you come across.

The final appendices cover the climbing grades from around the world in easy to read charts and also the factors and forces involved with equipment.

This is a difficult book to review as the author's knowledge and skills cannot be faulted and it is written in an easy to follow style.

The only criticism I would have is that the hardback version I reviewed is very large and would be difficult to take with you on the hill but obviously the cost of buying a series of small paperbacks make this a more cost effective proposition and the photographs make it a very attractive coffee table book.

I would have no hesitation recommending this book to anyone considering taking up the sport of climbing whether on an indoor wall or a Himalayan expedition. 

An experienced climber would also appreciate this book as it is very easy to dip into when they maybe want to see if they could transfer skills from one discipline to another.

Definitely a 9/10 only the size for packability let it down for me.