Stone Country Review

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Bouldering in Scotland by Stone Country Press is the follow-up to the first edition of Stone Country – Bouldering in Scotland. Four years on, the new book has all the maturity you expect in both content and format.

Nigel on the Jawa boulder, the Trossachs. (Stone Country Press)

The content of the new book differs in format to the last in that it is a dedicated guide, philosophy and words taking their place in the previous publication Stone Play (see Stone Play Review). I am not favouring either format, but on the practical side it has freed up a lot of space for new high-quality content and keeps the size and weight of the book down. If you still want to impress your non-climbing friends with the spiritual philosophies of climbing you will need a copy of Stone Play for the coffee table.

The new book contains new and revised information on venues across Scotland. Some new venues listed include Boltsheugh, Cammachmore, Clashfarquhar, Brin Rock, Cullen Caves, Glen Ogle, Coilessan, Glencoe, Glen Etive, Ardgour, Ardnamurchan and many, many others. The revisions are pretty major. Other than existing problem names and grades the content is far more extensive than the original listings with fresh topos, venue and problem descriptions.

Alan Cassidy keeping body tension on Precious, Glen Croe. (Stone Country Press)

The format of the new book is up to scratch with any modern guide. Areas are colour-coded throughout the book for quick reference from the spine. Individual area pages can be referenced from the inside cover which also serves well as a page-marker. Each area is introduced individually with venues listed on an area map and via a short description.

Diesel Canary Sit Start, Lost Valley, Glen Coe. (Stone Country Press)

Individual venues include lots of fine photography as well as practical grid references, introductions and approach notes, before diving into a listing of the problems by name, grade and a short description. A tick-box is included for each problem, yet I can never bring myself to tarnish such modern glossy books. Another notable inclusion is a circuit listing for Dumbarton in a Fontainebleau style, helpful for navigating around all the unfortunate multi-coloured graffiti on these fine boulders. The only omission I have found is that projects are no longer listed on the topos - which I liked, personally.

Sample page from Loch Lomond East intro. (Stone Country Press)

Bouldering in Scotland does Scotland proud. In place of the old edition it offers completely revised and improved content meticulously researched by its authors in a clean, friendly and colourful format.

The book can be purchased through Cordee, or see the Stone Country website for more details. The book is also being marketed with Elements, the new film by Pete Murray, which captures the spirit of bouldering in Scotland. It is also worth taking a look at some of the exerpts from Bouldering in Scotland that are freely available on the Stone Country website.

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