By Tony Lourens
Blue Mountain Publishers
A5 | 320 pages
Full colour with lots of climbing photos
Review by Fiona McIntosh
Tony Lourens has clearly been hard at work of late, and what better office than the incredible rock faces of the Table Mountain chain? His latest book, Cape Peninsula Select, is an amalgamation of the much-loved classic guides to trad climbing on the Cape Peninsula, and then some – notably the 80 pages devoted to routes on the Apostles and also some other previously unpublished routes and crags. In making his selection of 385 three- to five-star routes Tony has basically sorted the wheat from the chaff – omitting the crappy routes and adding many of the recently opened lines and numerous lesser-known ones that were previously only to be found by leafing through old MCSA journals.
In many ways Cape Peninsula Select is the big brother to Table Mountain Classics (the updated edition of which, much improved by the wizardry of designer Sean Langeveldt, was released in 2011). Climbing areas, each of which has an intro section with key information on access, aspect, approaches and descents, are colour coded and there are clear colour topo photos of each crag with the routes, abseil points and paths. The book is also well illustrated with some excellent photos of most of the classic routes.
My only quibble is that there are no GPS co-ordinates. I often find it very difficult to identify the start of routes at new crags and get extremely frustrated by treasure hunts. GPS co-ordinates for the classic routes at each crag would hugely help navigation. Maybe in the next edition … or the app?