You know the old adage about not judging a book by its cover? Well, just for once, ignore it. Vertebrate Publishing's latest book, Peak District Bouldering, has on its cover a striking shot by Dave Parry of Dave Norton on Low Rider at Stanage.
It's a truly original picture, arresting and dynamic and sets the tone for the rest of the book. I have to be really careful what I say here because I know Vertebrate always take the utmost care with every book they publish. In this case however, I'm left mangling an Orwellian motto because, "All VP books are equal, it's just some are more equal than others." This is quite obviously a labour of love for the team who put it together, an attempt to produce a stand-out classic. Graphically, it's streets ahead of anything else on the market, crisp, unfussy and with some really classy touches.
The photographic content is simply stunning. I love the fact that some of the smaller shots are just as good as the full page blockbusters - you're constantly discovering little gems as you peruse. The diagrams are uncomplicated and practical, the photo-topos crystal clear and all the information is concise and to the point. If I have a criticism, it's that the damn thing looks so good, you'll hesitate before cramming it into a rucksack. But that hesitation will last only seconds because this guide does exactly what it should do, it makes you want to go bouldering.
I'm tempted by so many venues I haven't visited before, tempted to revisit old favourites to check out the latest discoveries. So, however good it looks, it's tough because it's going in the bag. If anyone produces a better guide this year, I'll eat my beanie.
Published by Vertebrate Graphics
There are currently no comments on this article.