Hard Rock

Great British rock climbs from VS to E4

Author: Ian Parnell

Series title:

Hardback publication date: 19 Mar 2020

Hardback ISBN: 9781912560295

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Featuring over 50 crags and 69 routes, Hard Rock epitomises all that is great about traditional climbing in Great Britain. The routes tackle big mountain walls, gritstone outcrops and epic sea cliff adventures, with essays written by Chris Bonington, Royal Robbins, Pete Crew, Eleanor Fuller and more. New edition compiled by Ian Parnell.

Hard Rock is the best of British rock climbing. Featuring over fifty crags and sixty-nine routes in England, Scotland and Wales, it epitomises all that is great about traditional climbing in Great Britain. Ken Wilson’s first edition of Hard Rockwas published in 1974 and quickly established itself as the definitive representation of British rock climbing. Ken’s vision for the book’s format – part guidebook, part literary celebration and part coffee table visual showcase – is one that has been much copied but never equalled. In this new edition, editor Ian Parnell has ensured Hard Rock continues to honour Ken’s original concept, in particular keeping the route, not the climber, centre stage. While the activity of climbing has undergone myriad changes since 1974 – sticky rubber, camming devices, and the rise of sport climbing and indoor climbing walls – many climbers are still drawn to the drama and challenge of traditionally protected climbing. And this is why Hard Rock is still as relevant now as it was in 1974. Stretching across the Scottish Highlands and Islands, the Lake District, the Pennines and the Peak District, North and South Wales and down to South-West England, the routes tackle big mountain walls, gritstone outcrops and epic sea cliff adventures. Focusing on the trad connoisseur’s grade range of VS to E2, with additional routes at E3 and E4, the featured climbs are within reach of a majority of climbers. Timeless classics include The Bat on Ben Nevis, the Old Man of Hoy, the Central Buttress of Scafell, Cenotaph Corner on Dinas Cromlech in the Llanberis Pass, Vector at Tremadog, Right Unconquerable at Stanage Edge and Suicide Wall at Bosigran on the Cornish coast. Alongside many of the original essays, written by a formidable cast of climbers including Pete Crew, Ed Drummond, Royal Robbins, Chris Bonington, Hamish MacInnes and Al Alvarez, this new edition features thirteen new routes and pieces by Eleanor Fuller, Stephen Reid, Kevin Howett, David Pickford, Paul Harrison, John Lawrence Holden, Martin Moran, Paul Donnithorne and Emma Alsford. It is illustrated with all-new colour photography throughout. Hard Rock’s timeless collection is sure to inspire for generations to come.

Ian Parnell has put climbing at the heart of his life for over thirty-five years. From a misguided start attempting routes without a rope with his sister at Symonds Yat, Ian’s fascination with exploration has led him to establish new routes on the coastal cliffs of South West England and winter ascents across Scotland, including the first winter ascent of Sioux Wall on Ben Nevis. A renowned alpinist, his first ascents in the high Himalaya include the coveted South-West ridge of Annapurna III with Kenton Cool and John Varco in 2003. His wider climbing career has been equally diverse and includes the organisation of a Climbing World Championships, filming Sir Ranulph Fiennes on the North Face of the Eiger for ITN News and editing Climb magazine. These days he enjoys classic routes closer to his home in Sheffield, and taking his two daughters scrambling in the Peak District.

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