Books, books, books
- Thursday 22nd April 2010
It feels like we’ve been flat out since the new year, grafting away in the office on book after book. Of course, that’s great – we love being busy and it means we’ve been able to really get stuck in to some great projects, a few of which are now back from the printer. As spring is now here we’re out and about checking routes for guides, taking photos and reminding ourselves why it is we do what we do.
Here’s a run down on some recently published titles, and a heads up on one that's just been sent to print:
Back in August 2004 we published our first book, and the first of our MTB guidebooks. Dark Peak Mountain Biking – True Grit Trails was an instant hit and has proved a popular and respected guide. Mountain bikers wanted modern, up-to-date guides that would inspire them, and that’s what we gave them.
Fast forward 5 1/2 years and we’ve completely updated Dark Peak MTB. We’ve also renamed it too: Peak District Mountain Biking – Dark Peak Trails. As with our other new guides Peak District MTB now features Ordnance Survey mapping, we’ve shot completely new photography to really get you fired up to ride in the Peak, the routes have been revised where trails have changed, new routes have been added, existing loops have been improved to make them even better. The result? We think the best MTB guidebook on the market at the moment. But then we would say that.
Tom’s a great author and left no trail unridden in his quest to put together the best 20 rides in the Cotswolds, ensuring these loops are the most interesting and enjoyable in the area. It was great to see the proofs early in the winter – lots of lovely summery photos to brighten grey and wet days. I really enjoyed heading down there while shooting the photos: the riding is really enjoyable (when dry!) and the scenery is breathtakingly pretty, particularly some of the classic old England villages. You should go ride the Snowshill or Guiting Power rides, or one of those near Cam and Uley.
Most climbers will have heard of Big Ron – his climbs are legendary, as is how he went about doing them: style as well as substance, a climbing great. No one could compare in the 1970s, and he’s one of a handful of British climbers who are or were truly world class. We approached Ron about his autobiography back in late 2007, around the time we did a deal with Jerry Moffatt and Niall Grimes for Jerry’s autobiography. An announcement about both books followed and excitement within the climbing community was very very high!
Jerry’s book came out early in 2009 and it became an instant hit – even winning an award late last year. The pressure was on. Ron’s manuscript landed early in 2010 and we immediately knew it was good. Ron was prepared to tell his whole story, warts and all, and we’d teamed him up with a great writer in Ed. Ed understands Ron, he understands his significance to the climbing community, and he understood exactly what was required when committing Ron’s story to paper.
Out for six weeks, the feedback on Rock Athlete has been terrific so far. It’s a book we’re very proud to have on our list.
We published our first Day Walks guide to the Peak District back in 2005. A popular guide, it sold steadily for 5 years, yet we didn’t publish any more in the series as we had done with our MTB guides. We finally put things right last summer and brought out Day Walks in the Lake District, written by Stephen Goodwin. This later guide featured Ordnance Survey mapping, as is now industry standard. Later in the year we published a second volume of Peak District Day Walks, also with OS mapping, just as the first volume sold through.
Roll on a few months and we’ve just sent Day Walks in the Yorkshire Dales off to the printer. Written by Bernard Newman, respected editor of Mountain and Climber magazines, Bernard has applied his local knowledge, and particularly his training as a geologist, in producing a collection of 20 circular walks that take in the best of the Dales, while also commenting on the fascinating geology in this beautifully varied National Park. He’s done a knock out job of illustrating the book too – the photography is terrific.
Day Walks in the Yorkshire Dales will be available in July.