Outdoor Focus Summer 2018 - Page 9

in a revisionist light. But the outstanding work of the National Trust and the Moors for the Future Partnership in restoring Kinder’s blanket bogs gets scant mention. There is more vegetation and wildlife on Kinder now than has been seen in thirty years and this surely is also a cause for celebration. Kinder Scout: The People’s Mountain Ed Douglas and John Beatty Vertebrate Publishing, £19.95 (pb) K inder Scout is probably the most walked-on mountain in Britain, chiefly because of its geographical situation as the highest ground between the teeming industrial cities of Sheffield and Manchester. But it’s true to say that most walkers either love or hate Kinder. The sainted Alfred Wainwright certainly fell in to the latter category, but many others, including the authors of this long- awaited book, find the sense of freedom given by its unique mix of bleak blanket bog and diadem of stunning gritstone outcrops irresistible. So this sumptuous if rather unwieldy new offering from Vertebrate is very much a hymn of praise to the Peak’s highest summit. But it is not so much the story of “the people’s mountain” promised by the title, but much more of a personal testament by the author and photographer about what Kinder means to them. Beatty’s moody and magnificent photographs are grouped together in sections in a rather old-fashioned, 1950s style, and Douglas’s text, which takes the form of a backpacking journey across the plateau with many distractions, is presented in solid, hard-to-read, blocks of text. Of course, Kinder is assured an iconic status in the history of the fight for access as being the scene of the celebrated Mass Trespass of 1932 and this event is covered along with many other attractions along the route, including the great slate galleries of Dinorwig and the Ffestiniog Railway. It could equally be called the Slate Sculpture Trail with stunning structures at places like Blaenau Ffestiniog, on the access road to Penrhyn quarry in Nant Ffrancon and at the end of the trail in Bethesda. But the most lasting monument must be to the nearly 3,000 slate workers who toiled, often in appallingly-dangerous underground conditions, and who made such an important contribution to the landscape and culture of this part of North Wales. Snowdonia Slate Trail Aled Owen Rucksack Readers, £12.99 (pb) T his new, 83-mile circuit of the main Snowdon massif, from Bangor on the Irish Sea coast and reaching as far inland as Llan Ffestiniog, was developed over four years by the Cwm Penmachno Community Action Group. The distinctive blue-grey slate of Snowdonia which once roofed the world is the central theme, so it’s appropriate the guide is written by a man born and raised near Bethesda and who lived in a remote quarry village for many years. The slate quarrying industry is examined in detail, and the re-birth of the slate-tip surrounded village of Blaenau Ffestiniog, sadly but understandably excluded from the Snowdonia National Park when it was set up in 1951, is celebrated, Cape to Cape John Sutcliffe Vertebrate, £17.99 (pb) E xploration geologist John Sutcliffe, who’d spent the last few years in Peru, was fast approaching his 70th birthday, and was longing for the hills of home. So he planned this new route, a blistering 1,250 miles from Cape Cornwall through Wales, the Pennines, Southern Uplands and the west of Scotland, to Cape Wrath at the north-westerly point of the continues overleaf... summer 2018 | Outdoor focus 9