Although Snowdonia is not as prettily dressed up with pastures, oakwoods or cottage gardens as the Lake District and it's not as wild and spacious as Scotland, it shares many of the best attributes of both places - and in just the right measure. And yet, while the Lake District and Scotland have been well served by mountain guide books, there has never been a comprehensive illustrated guide to the mountains of Snowdonia. The Pictorial Guides to the Mountains of Snowdonia by John Gillham changes all that. Influenced in his early years by the works of Poucher and Wainwright, Gillham has adopted a unique style of 3D mapping that proved popular in his long-running TGO magazine series 'Way to Go'. In a brand new series of four books he uses the drawings to good effect, charting ascents up almost all the Snowdonian mountains, whether they be well-known or seldom-trod. The books are sumptuously illustrated by the author's colour photographs, which have been taken in all seasons and in all weather conditions. The Pictorial Guide to the Mountains of Snowdonia Vol 1 - the Northern Peaks is the first in the series of four books.
This volume encompasses the Carneddau, the Glyderau and the Nantgwynant ranges. Mountains, famous and not-so-famous, large and not-so-large, are brought to life by the author's panoramic 3-D sketch maps. In the north the Carneddau are the Cairngorms of Wales, with a great expanse of long broad ridges rising from the Irish Sea. In the north they are remote, and a serene quietude reigns, while in the south the more celebrated peaks such as Carnedd Llewellyn are higher and more bouldery, with their northern faces scoured by glaciers into cliffs, crags and gullies. The Glyderau peaks face the Carneddau across Nant Ffrancon and the Llugwy valley. They're compact, rugged, and more random in their sculptural makeup: more Giacometti than Henry Moore. But all the great mountain features are here: corries, jagged spurs, tarns, ridges and waterfalls. Both the scrambler and the walker will be in their element. Less well known are the mountains of Nantgwynant, which lie to the east of Snowdon. Moel Siabod, the northern bastion, is a mighty peak with two fine ridges and a rocky spur providing a sporty ascent to the summit.
The peaks to its south are knobbly, grassy in some places: heathery in others, and have jewel-like tarns made secretive by the rocky bluffs that protect them from the elements. Northern Snowdonia awaits your discovery...
John Gillham has been a full-time writer, illustrator and photographer since 1989, after working as an assistant quantity surveyor and in the aerospace industry. Born in Bournemouth in 1947, John maintains strong links to Wales through his mother's family, a family that included the renowned Welsh tenor, Ivor Emmanuel. These days the author lives with his wife Nicola in Hoddlesden, a village in the West Pennine Moors. Gillham's first book, Snowdonia to the Gower (Diadem) was described as one of the classic books on Wales. Gillham's work has regularly been published in magazines such as Trail, Dalesman and TGO (The Great Outdoors), where for several years he had his own series 'Way to Go'. He has contributed walking articles and written books for AA publications, including AA Guide to 50 Walks in North Wales and the AA Leisure Guide to Wales. In 2001 he was awarded an Outdoor Writers Guild Award for Excellence for the book Coast to Coasting (David and Charles), which he illustrated and co-wrote with Ronald Turnbull.