Rock Climbers in Action in Snowdonia was originally published in 1966. Over the years it became something of a rare book that achieved almost cult status, regarded as a classic collector's item and much prized by those who recall the 1960s climbing scene in Wales or who aspire to repeat the celebrated routes of the period.
50 years on, John Cleare and Tony Smythe have revisited their book and this new and extended 2016 edition makes this title accessible to all, with the addition of many previously unpublished photos. It contains over a hundred of John Cleare's magnificent photographs in a new layout - the original 39 that were included in the 1966 edition, plus many more that 'got away' in the first edition because there just wasn't enough room to include them - together with Tony Smythe's original text and some interesting additions.
Tony Smythe's fascinating, readable text and John Cleare's stunning photographs provide an absorbing insight into the hard climbing routes of Snowdonia, such as Cenotaph Corner, Vector and Cloggy's Great Wall and the characters who climbed them in the 1960s, a period described by John Cleare in his introduction to the 2016 edition as "an especially interesting era in British climbing history – the final period when the leading activists were still disorganized 'weekenders' who trained on beer, smoked twenty-a-day, drove like furies and thought it was all a big laugh."
John Cleare has been described as 'the outstanding British mountain photographer of the post-war era'. Assignments and commissions, climbs and expeditions have taken him to six continents and he has many books to his credit.
Tony Smythe has been climbing for well over 60 years. His father was the celebrated pre-war Everest mountaineer Frank Smythe. Once a fast jet pilot in the RAF, Tony has since travelled over much of the world, completed the Scottish Munros, lectured at home and abroad and written frequently of his many adventures in journals and magazines.