Neal McQuaid’s review of Bouldering Essentials appeared in the winter edition of Irish Mountain Log.
Review: Bouldering Essentials
Following on from the definitive bouldering guidebook to all of Ireland, Dave Flanagan has followed up with the friendly, accessible and well-informed ‘bouldering essentials’.
Designed to cater to all, from experienced boulderers to complete novice climbers to those who may climb in other disciplines (traditional, sport, etc) and interested in trying their hand at this type of climbing, there is a wealth of information to delve into. The book also recognises both indoor and outdoor bouldering, acknowledging that there is differences in style between the two but it is handled in a very well-written manner.
Covering a huge selection of topics, the book is thoughtfully spread out into well-organised sections with just the right amount of information to guide the reader forward in their learning. The book is most likely most suitable to the beginner and intermediate-experience aspiring boulderer, but there is a range of ideas that could be the key to unlocking future areas of improvement to the more experienced boulderer. Additionally, as bouldering is so much movement and strength focused, thus complementing all other areas of climbing, all climbers will find something useful to guide them.
Throughout the book, there is beautiful photos used to tempt and inspire. Some are purely aesthetic photos of people climbing at many of the top bouldering areas around the world, but they are also put to use when describing movements and hold types. While it is usually quite difficult to show a movement as a sequence of photos, the author has done a good job with most in giving a sense of what the words are trying to describe and would be sufficient in guiding an aspiring boulder before they take the next step of using a coach.
Perhaps a perfect supplement to the soon-to-be-reprinted Bouldering Guidebook to Ireland, also by the same author! Highly recommended.