Alex Roddie says “Fifty Years of Adventure made me want to drop everything, pack my rucksack and head for the mountains.”
Cicerone guides are so ubiquitous that sometimes I find myself taking them for granted. My bookshelf is crammed with them: Scrambles in Snowdonia by Steve Ashton, The Book of the Bivvy by Ronald Turnbull, The Cape Wrath Trail by Iain Harper, to name but a few. For many outdoor lovers, Cicerone guides are how we plan long-distance walks, develop our skills as scramblers and climbers.
In this wonderful coffee-table book, contributing editor Kev Reynolds brings together a diverse range of stories from many Cicerone writers – and you might recognise quite a few of them from the pages of The Great Outdoors.
The book is not just a sumptuous visual treat, illustrated with dozens of top-quality mountain images on glossy paper. It’s also a testament to the Cicerone story – 50 years of striving to provide the best and most up-to-date information for trekkers and climbers, 50 years of expanding their sphere of influence to new areas. But most of all, the book is a showcase for Cicerone’s greatest treasure: their authors, and the stories they have to tell.
The book includes 50 stories by Cicerone writers, covering everywhere from the Howgills to climbing K2. Some depict anecdotes from the long process of researching or updating a Cicerone guide, while others just tell an interesting or funny tale for its own sake. The stories – which are all fantastic – add up to a book that is even more than the sum of its parts.
Fifty Years of Adventure made me want to drop everything, pack my rucksack and head for the mountains. That’s Cicerone’s true legacy, and their greatest achievement – I can think of no other publisher with such power to both inspire and empower people to enjoy the outdoors, and this book is a living example of that. Highly recommended.
Fifty Years of Adventure by Kev Reynolds is published by Cicerone Press, £22.50