First published in 1974, Hard Rock: Great British Rock Climbs quickly became the book that defined the spirit of adventurous climbing in this country. Combining thought provoking essays with outstanding photographs, it's been a source of inspiration to several generations of climbers since. As one writer memorably put it, "here was a book to dip into, to savour past grips and excitement but, better still, to lure you to new crags and fresh adventures". Almost half a century later, Ian Parnell has assembled a new edition that features more than a dozen new routes and essays from the likes of Emma Alsford, Martin Moran and Stephen Reid. On Thursday 2nd April, Ian together with special guests, will present the story behind the new edition at the Outside Cafe in Hathersage.
Here's a short film made by Jon Barton and the team at Vertebrate Publishing that weaves together text from Hard Rock and a climb of Stanage's Right Unconquerable, arguably one of the best in the Peak District. Jim Perrin's essay neatly sums up the pleasures of gritstone climbing, writing, "It's not that climbing on gritstone is more difficult than climbing on other forms of rock, it's just that the defences are more systematically designed to disconcert: rounded holds, rough bulging cracks and an overbearing angle; you just have to get used to them".
If all that wasn't enough to lure you to Outside, here's a second film that features an interview with Ken Wilson, the original editor and publisher of Hard Rock, who died in 2016. The film includes footage of world class climbers such as Steve MacClure, Calum Muskett and Michaela Tracy climbing routes from the book. Well worth taking a look!
A fascinating interview with Ian Parnell about the new edition of Hard Rock can be found here.
Tickets for the talk are available from the front counter of the shop priced £5.
The 2020 Hathersage Mountain Medicine Festival will be taking place in the heart of the Peak District (6th-9th June). Why not come along and climb Right Unconquerable? More information on the festival can be found here.