- 224 large format pages
- Full colour throughout
- Hardback cover
- Scotforth Books, Lancaster
- ISBN 13: 978-1-904244-56-1
- More than 200 illustrations
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As a child growing up, it was always a bit of a chicken and an egg, whether it was my interest in geography that led to my love of the landscape or the other way around. Whatever it was, I always had an interest in how the landscape was formed and at school, like so many others, it was geomorphology that led to an increased understanding of the world around me. From those school years learning about the diffluence col at Blea Tarn or the Chapel Stile Rock Barrier and its importance in the formation of Elterwater, there has been a massive void in the guidebook market. Now this niche has been filled by Peter Wilson's excellent new book called 'Lake District Mountain Landforms'.
I am often very disappointed when I read walk descriptions both in printed guidebooks and in my monthly dose of walking magazines. Wainwright tried hard to explain features, but even he was often only giving a superficial layman's interpretation. All too often walk narratives are completely devoid of either historical or geographical context which links the route to the terrain you are walking upon. The routes described in many publications are often banal and lack any real substance apart from general directions and the odd reference to what you might see along the way. Knowing the relevance of buildings and settlements and more importantly in upland areas, knowing why the landscape is the shape it is, is half the joy. Luckily with my degree in geography I have done my best to examine the landscape with an informed eye and just recently I have carried the relevent geological maps with me to identify the specific rocks beneath my feet. This is particularly interesting on fells such as Fleetwith Pike, where you can identify the exact junction between the Skiddaw Slates and Borrowdale Volcanic rocks for instance.
In several of his guides he commented on features - he didn’t always get it right but he was aware of their significance. Peter Wilson on Alfred Wainwright.
This is where Peter Wilson's new book comes in. For years there has been a need for a book to inform the walker out on the fells. Many of us realise that the Lake District is a glacial landscape, but do most of us really know how certain features were formed or how to recognise glacial features within the present landscape? One member of this walking club, Helmut Hudler, is one of the few people I have known who has readily identified glacial features within the Lakeland landscape, but he has ready, first hand knowledge, as he comes from Austria and knows the Alps well where glaciers are still active. To many of us Brits, we are all too ignorant of the complicated processes that formed our island, not to mention the many layers of geology with which these islands are blessed!
Explain this one!
It is a great book, really easy to read and understand and forces fellwalkers to look at the landscape in a different way. Highly recommended! Richard Ratcliffe of the OFC
Peter Wilson, from Nelson in Lancashire, is Reader in Quaternary Science at the University of Ulster in Coleraine. His Geography degree from Salford led to him studying mountain landforms in Norway, the Falkland Islands, Ireland and of course the Lake District. Today, apart from his university commitments, Peter enjoys hill-walking, running, cycling, skiing and is also a member of the Wainwright Society. Apart from its widespread availability, the book has been featured in Cumbria Magazine (December 2010) and as well as Lakeland Walker.
For walkers in good old blighty, Peter's book manages to bring all these features into the layperson's grasp and, after a few minutes of careful scrutiny of the book, you can soon become quite the expert. There is no doubt that on an outing, after reading Lake District Mountain Landforms, people will be pointing out features like talus slopes, braided channels, drumlin fields and why Wainwright's perched boulder is where it is near Blackbeck Tarn.
What makes Peter's book really good, apart from the Lakeland specific details, are the photographs that illustrate his writing. When I was at school I was always on the look out for Lakeland in my geography text books and although you'd often have Great Langdale as a good example of a glaciated valley, it was often other areas like Nnant Francon or the Scottish Highlands that also edged their way in. Of course, it was good to see other parts of Great Britain but for us Lakeland aficienados 'Lake District Mountain Landforms' focuses on the place where we generally walk most. I guess this book really caters for the Lakelandcentric!
I won't highlight every detail of Peter's book here, but just to say that it's a must buy publication. In brief, there are chapters on the geology, glaciated landscapes, rivers, lakes and tarns, as well as artificial landforms that might just sometimes confuse us all. By its mear presence, the book is obviously very educational, but it will undoubtedly inform many of us who would profess we are very knowledgable about the fells. Many of us may be able to name Causey Pike from 10 miles distance, but could we explain why the fells to the south and west of Buttermere are steeper than those to the east?
Striding Edge Arete
For those who think they know all there is to know about the mountains of the Lake District, this book provides details of a different facet that is accessible to all who take the time to 'stand and stare'.
Lake District Mountain Landforms should remain on the coffee table at home, to be used on return from those mountain days. Undoubtedly it will become a treasured piece of Lakeland literature to refer back to time after time. To those who say there are enough books on Lakeland already, this just proves them wrong. Well done Peter and I hope to see you out on a Lakeland debris cone real soon!
THE IDEAL GIFT FOR CHRISTMAS! Written with residents, fell walkers, other countryside enthusiasts and geographers in mind, this thoroughly engaging and beautifully produced book will delight all those who know and love the Lake District. Have you ever wondered why Scafell is different from Skiddaw, or why the east side of Helvellyn is different from the west side, or why Ullswater is different from Windermere, or why the summit of Helm Crag is, well, a bit craggy? If so, this book will provide some answers, together with a deeper understanding of how the fell country acquired those special characteristics that attract several million visitors to the stunning English Lake District every year. GET YOUR COPY NOW!