As well as reviewing most of the new climbing and mountaineering literature for a few journals, I would always encourage readers that are perhaps new to the genre to engage with older books. Suffice to say that this book was inspirational to Joe Brown and Don Whillans in their development as climbers, and those two turned out alright !! It is a book that places a reassuring hand on the shoulder of a novice climber and gently guides them through the skills and techniques required to progress as a climber in the 1940’s. I am always amused by the fact that all recent reprints carry bold type warnings not to use many of the techniques in the book, however Kirkus is revered as “one of the most influential rock climbers Britain has ever produced”.

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