Finding good climbing guidebooks can be a challenge. To help you, here is a list of recommended guidebooks for the different crags here on Cragcloud. If you have great insights that is not on the list please do not hesitate filling out the form below.
- Book named by author / publisher/ main languages / publication year / pages / ISBN / my thoughts on the book
Alpine & Mountaineering Guidebooks
The French and Swiss Alps
Chamonix – Rockfax: A Guide to the Best Rock Climbs and Mountain Routes Around Chamonix and Mont-Blanc by Charlie Boscoe and Jack Geldard / Rockfax / English / 2016 / 456 pages / ISBN: 978-1873341575 / Without doubt the best climbing guidebook on Chamonix – this is the Bible! It contains all relevant, classic climbing routes and long multi-pitch rock routes in Chamonix – well, basically on the Mont Blanc massif, which also includes routes on the Italian and Swiss sides as well. This is a must-have without doubt. It is big, bulky and heavy, so don’t expect that you can bring it with you while climbing. Rockfax, however, has a mobile app, where you can buy specific routes from the book.
Mountaineering in the Swiss Alps: High Peaks and Classic Climbs in Switzerland by Stéphane Maire / Vertebrate Publishing / English / 2015 / 96 pages / ISBN: 978-1910240557 / Covering the most popular and classic high peaks and mountaineering lines in the Swiss Alps from the Matterhorn near Zermatt in the west to Piz Bernina in the east on the Italian border. The mountaineering guidebook covers just 30 routes, which should give you plenty of possibilities and projects, but lacks routes on the Eiger, which is a shame.
The 4000m Peaks of the Alps – Selected Climbs by Martin Moran / Alpine Club / English / 2007 / 382 pages / ISBN: 978-0900523663 / This massive alpine and mountaineering climbing guidebook covers all of the above 4.000 meters peaks in the Alps, which includes all highest 50 peaks as well as subsidiary peaks with at least a couple of routes. All routes are described in highest detail and covers both beginner alpine peaks as well as more advanced and difficult mountaineering and alpine climbs – from the Breithorn traverse in Schwitzerland, introductory glacier walks and hikes and easy climbs, to prominent and legendary routes such as the Peuterey Ridge of Mont Blanc.
Ice Climbing and Mixed Ice Climbing Guidebooks
Norway – Rjukan
Rjukan: Selected Ice Climbs by Steve Broadband / Oxford Alpine Club / English / 2017 / Great ice climbing guidebook on Rjukan’s best ice climbing routes. Has highly detailed color pictures of each route. The descriptions of the routes however are not detailed, but it proves a good overview of must-climb routes in Rjukan and the nearby area.
Scotland – Cairngorms National Park
Winter Climbs in the Cairngorms: The Cairngorms and Creag Meagaidh (Winter & Ski Mountaineering) (Cicerone Guides) by Allan Fyffe and Blair Fyffe / Cicerone Press / English / 2011 / 272 pages / ISBN: 978-1852846220 / The mixed ice climbing guidebook contains topographies of 51 different mixed ice climbing routes documentation in the Cairngorms national park. It contains plenty of pictures and the area is well described. The routes are well described as well, but the topographies of the different route is sparse of detail making it hard to read the routes. The book is pocket sized and the cover is coated making it great to bring to the crag.
Rock Climbing Guidebooks
France – Chamonix Area
Crag Climbs in Chamonix 7nd Edition by Francois Burnier and Dominique Potard / Vamos / English / 2015 / 279 pages / ISBN: 978-2910672218 / Well-written, great climbing guidebook on the finest rock climbing areas around Chamonix in France. The book does not cover alpine routes – for that check out Chamonix – Rockfax: A Guide to the Best Rock Climbs and Mountain Routes Around Chamonix and Mont-Blanc mentioned above. However this climbing guidebook covers several single-pitch crags as well as a few longer multi-pitches as well.
Italy – The Dolomites, Belluno region
The Dolomites – Rock Climbs and Via Ferrata (Rockfax Climbing Guide) (Rockfax Climbing Guide Series) by James Rushforth / Rockfax / English / 2014 / 500 pages / ISBN: 978-1873341971 / Excellent climbing guidebook on all the major crags and popular multi pitch routes. The 500 pages covers most of the Dolomites including Marmalada, Cinque Torri, Sassolungo etc. with rock routes, sport as well as traditional climbing and several via ferrata routes as well. The book gives you a great overview if you are looking for ticking off climbing routes in the Dolomites. There are topos and description of all pitches of the longer routes and crags are well described as well – this is the usually Rockfax quality.
Italy – Arco Valley, Lago del Garda
Arco Plaisir: Mit Erzählungen von Heinz Grill by Florian Kluckner / Idea Montagna / German, Italian / 2016 / 223 pages / ISBN: 978-8897299998 / Great multi-pitch rock climbing guidebook with about 100 different sport and traditional multi-pitch routes in the Arco valley in the Trentino region all of which is nicely described in text and with a related topography of the specific route. Each pitch is very described with grades an everything. Very easy to understand. Routes mentioned are typically 100 to 350 meters and 4 to 8 pitches. The book does not include single pitch routes nor big wall climbs, or is the most comprehensive rock climbing guidebook on multi-pitch climbs in Arco, but it covers the most popular.
Best of Arco by Manuel Senettin and Thomas Hofer / Vertical-Life / English / 2013 / 352 pages / ISBN: 978-8898495009 / Comprehensive rock climbing guidebook on single pitch rock climbing crags around Arco and nearby valleys in northern Italy. Very graphical with a lot of pictures and good descriptions of each crag. The book comes in both a English, German and Italian version. The book also includes a digital version for the Vertical-Life mobile app – pretty cool!
Germany – Ith
Kletterführer Hoch im Norden: Ith – Kanstein – Hohenstein – Brunkensen – Selter – Kahlberg by Peter Brunnert, Arne Grage and Stephen Grage / Panico Alpinverlag / German / 2016 / 520 pages / ISBN: 978-3956110542 / This massive compendium of a rock climbing guidebook covers most of northern Germany. It offers great details about the many crags located in the Ith area around Hannover and the surrounding region. The book also includes a digital version that you can download for your mobile phone.
Spain – El Chorro
El Chorro (Rockfax Climbing Guide Series) by Mark Gleister / Rockfax / English / 2008 / 224 pages / ISBN: 978-1873341810 / Great overall climbing guidebook of the area around El Chorro near Malaga in Spain. All major routes and crags are covered. There are topos and description of all pitches of the longer routes and crags are well described as well – this is the usually Rockfax quality. However since the latest edition is from 2008 there are several routes missing in the book.
Spain – Costa Blanca
Spain: Costa Blanca: Rockclimbing Guide from Rockfax 5th (fifth) New Edition (2013) by Chris Craggs and Alan James / Rockfax / English / 2013 / 480 pages / ISBN: 978-1873341674 / Covering the main areas on the whole Costa Blanca from Alicante in the south to Calpe in the north. This rock climbing guidebook is the most comprehensive piece you can get on Costa Blanca in terms of single pitch crags and multi-pitch climbs. It is another high quality Rockfax rock climbing guidebook.
Suggestions on climbing guidebooks
If you have any suggestions to good climbing guidebooks, please let us know by filling out the form below.