Day Walks In Snowdonia is the latest in the excellent V-Publishing series of walking guidebooks.
The latest and seventh in the excellent series of Vertebrate Publishing walking guides is a new North Wales volume called Day Walks in Snowdonia put together by established outdoors writer and route specialist, Tom Hutton.
We're firm fans of the V-Publishing approach to walking guides - they also produce an excellent series of mountain biking route volumes too - which sets the benchmark for modern guidebooks.
In this case, author and Welsh resident Tom Hutton has split the Snowdonia region into northern, central and southern sections with 20 routes spread across them and then added a bonus scramble section covering arguably the two finest routes in the area, the Snowdon and Bochlywd Horseshoes.
Complete With OS Mapping
Each route combines an general overview putting the walk into context and giving you an idea of what to expect - 'a narrow, airy ridge that dips deeply into a broad dividing col' for example - with some lovely images, a proper 1:25,000 scale Ordnance Survey map of the outing and finally, and most importantly, detailed and accurate step-by-step directions.
You'll still need a full map to put the route in context and for navigation on the hill, but having the OS mapping in the book makes translating routes onto the map easier and also goes give you a 1:25,000 additional option if you're using a 1:50,000 as you main map.
Route selection in popular areas is always a balancing act between simply churning out established 'classics' and including quirkier, less obvious walks and we reckon Tom Hutton has done a good job here. The obvious and more interesting classic routes that anyone new to the area will want to tackle are mostly present and correct - Snowdon by the Pyg Track, the Snowdon Horseshoe and a classic circuit of the Glydderau - but there are also less obvious routes and mountains covered.
These include some less obvious routes in the Carneddau, Moel Siabod, Cnitch and, further south again, Cadair Idris. It's a selection that hints at Tom's own affection for and knowledge of a stunning area: Snowdonia is, he reckons, 'Wales in caricature - the features are the same, but somehow the small seems smaller and the large seems larger. The flora appears more delicate and fragile, the rivers seem faster and and more tumultuous, the ridges are sharper and narrower and of course, the mountains are higher'. Nice take.
Day Walks in Snowdonia is a cracking buy for anyone relatively new to the area, but don't dismiss it out of hand even if you know the obvious peaks and routes. Chances are that you'll still find some new inspiration in the less frequented parts of the region. Added to that, it's impeccably organised and nicely written with some great images and all the usual Vertebrate Publishing add-ons.
Day Walks in Snowdonia retails for £12.95, more details plus a handy virtual peep inside the pages of the book at www.v-publishing.co.uk.