Topoguide Vol.3 – a guidebook review

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If there’s an afternoon when you feel apt to find out what makes a blood hot climber tick, then this is probably the right book to sink into instead of a thriller. The authors of Topoguide brought out the newest volume of their Topoguide guidebook “Band III” earlier this year. Its filled with Topos, sketches and detailed info for an alpine climber planning a trip out to the the European Alps.

Words from a climber…

Writing a guidebook is not an easy task today. It’s not just putting the sketches in paper, it is also putting together all the information that you need to make it a successful climbing day out work in the Alps. There’s a lot of responsibility in the information that you give. Alpine climbing is different from sportsclimbing. Nothing new. Its bigger, the access is longer, it gets less traffic, there are more dangers, you are out there almost alone, dealing with its ruggedness and the weather that changes so quickly. And you can be thankful, if you have a guidebook with carefully researched information to get you prepared before setting out. With the 3rd volume of Topoguide, you have the feeling that you are in good hands.

Volker and Nicole are the authors behind this guidebook. They filled each route with information on access, protection, detailed topos (plenty of info to that pitch), and useful tips for your bivouac. It seems as if the guidebook is their diary instead ! Under each topo notes the year where the information was written in pen and paper so as to give you a better idea of the situation. Each route is rated according to its beauty. Of course, since these are their pick of recommended tours in the european Alps, you won’t be finding tours and routes that have anything below a 2 star rating. New in this volume: no more obligatory grades are given, but instead, a recommended skill level called “eKN – empfohlenes Kletterniveau” for each route. An essential information for today’s climbing generation. Critical hints are just as important as flowery words, the authors do not shy to say their mind.

Nothing is more important in a guidebook than it’s pictures. There’s plenty of them here, not just from the mountain, but of curios little findings in the area, of themselves in action and pictures that tell you, they climb for a passion.

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The Bottom Line

When I first received the request to review the guidebook, I almost declined. We sports climb, even though you will find us occassionally at some boulders or some multi-pitch routes.  I would have little chances to use the book in real-time. Nevertheless, I was encouraged to read the book, and get myself inspired. It got me hooked right away,  it made me day-dream into my next possible future adventure. It was easy to find myself sometimes in their shoes, experiencing what it would be like to document every useful information on the go. It was interesting to find out how near they could have been to us. While we sports climbed, they alpine climbed in the european Alps the past years. Yet, our paths never crossed. But it would be wrong to say never will it happen …

Important Updates can be found on their website or in the newsletter. To get an idea of the guidebook , you can find a 29-page excerpt here. The guidebook is written only in german. It weighs 1430 g , probably not something to take along. The book isn’t cheap, but you will find lots of useful information before deciding on a tour. It’s a bible to take along with you on your europe spree.

Topoguide Band III – 280 routes in 680 pages – it covers the areas in central Europe: Verdon, Aiglun, Alpes Maritimes, Ubaye, Dauphine, Mont-Blanc in France, Central Switzerland, the Northern Alps, and the Brenta, Dolomites and Lake Garda in Italy. The edition appeared first in March 2015.  Price: 48,95 EUR

You can place your orders directly on their website.

 

 

*Disclosure: Thanks to Nicole from Topoguide.de for the sample for review purposes. My opinion and views are based on my experience. 

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