Scottish Rock Vol. II

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Scottish Rock Vol. 2 (Garry Latter). Look inside.

Scottish Rock Volume 2 (North) by Gary Latter (Pesda Press).

Scottish Rock Volume 2 (North) follows from volume 1 published in June last year (reviewed here). In this volume author Garry Latter covers a selection of the best routes and crags in Scotland, north of the Great Glen. This volume, as with the previous aims to represent the best climbing to be found in the Scottish Highlands and Islands. The format is unchanged from the previous volume leaving me to comment solely on the content this time around.

Before commenting on the area coverage I thought I'd say something about how the book felt to me. Behind the text and images of a guide lie climbing history. What purpose does a guide hold if not to convey the journey of others. From cover to cover what I've seen makes me ache to live Scottish climbing. While the rest of us have been tied to our city lives others have chosen to break away to cease Scotland's full climbing potential. The books descriptions and photography exhibit such a life, from the mountains of Skye through the North West to the Hebridean Islands.

The areas covered by this volume include: Isle of Skye, Applecross, Torridon, Gairloch, Coigach & Assynt, Sutherland, Caithness, Lewis & Harris, Pabbay & Mingulay and Orkney. Again each area covers traditional, sport and bouldering where applicable.

Beginning with the Skye section, this is fairly thorough of the Islands classics (not that I'm any expert) from the Cullin's to the sea cliffs of Staffin and Neist, the latter of which are well covered. Modern classic extremes such as the Gathering and Skye Wall have even made it in. The only omission I'd say was the bouldering to be had in Corrie Laggan.

The Torridon section covers Beinn Eighe, Seana Mheallan and Diabaig amongst others. This time the excellent but damp Ship Boulder gets a mention. The Gairloch section is probably one of the best in terms of coverage, in part due to the activity of local activists. Among the better know venues includes much of the information from Wildwest topos around the Loch Tollie and Gruinard Crags. Theres a full listing of the sport routes at Grass Crag, Goat Crag, Am Fasgadh and Creag nan Luch, a useful resource for wet days.

Coigach and Assynt cover the crags north of Ullapool covering Ardmair, Stac Pollaidh, Reiff and Rubha Coigeach. The Reiff area has the majority of the coverage with several well marked maps and topos. The Old Man of Stoer completes the coverage. Some excellent photography is mixed in with this section. The Sutherland to Caithness section covers Sheigra, Sandwood Bay, Latheronwheel and Sarclet amoungst others. The Lewis and Harris section covers Beinn Na Berie, Flannan, Mangersta, Dalbeg and Strone Ulladale.

The Pabbay and Mingualay section covers a whooping sixty pages. The approach photo from the boat showing these walls stretching some 150m out of the sea says it all. There should be a 'find the ad man' like comp to find the small specs of climbers in some of the topos. I did spot the absence of a helmet on a certain climbers head! The guide finishes with a section Orkney covering Hoy, St Johns Head and Yesnaby.

This is another well research volume from Gary and well worth purchasing if you've never heard of the routes the Pillar, Blood Lust Direct or Prophecy of Drowning. A sample from the book is available here.

Scottish Rock Volume 2 (480 pages) is available through Presda Press Ltd for £23.00 and can be bought online or from most good outdoor stores. If you'd like a guided tour of some of the routes in the book Gary provides guiding service through

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