Page Type Gear Review
Object Title Pembroke
Manufacturer Rockfax
Page By Nanuls
Page Type Aug 18, 2009 / Aug 18, 2009
Object ID 6314
Hits 3267

Product Description


by Alan James and Mike Robertson
Published August 2009

In 1995 the publishing of the Pembroke Rockfax caused quite a stir. It was the fifth Rockfax guide to be published, but the first to an exclusively traditional climbing area, and the first to use full descriptions to accompany the detailed route topos. The book sold well for 10 years until it sold out in August 2005. This summer (August 2009) we have produced a new edtion using all the innovations that have been developed over the last 14 years. Mike Robertson has co-authored it and contributed the majority of the all-important crag shots using techniques he developed in his award-winning book Deep Water. The book has been produced in the lavish style of the recent Lofoten, El Chorro and Western Grit guides using huge photo-topos and full route descriptions. You can see a preview of the guide in the Mother Carey's chapter which is available for free download.

Format: The book is A5 in size with 232 pages. The photo-topos are mostly full page, taken either from a boat, or from the crag base where possible. The routes are given full descriptions.

Sample Page

Crags Included

North Coast: Porth-Clais, Porth-y-Ffynnon, Initiation Slabs, Craig Caerfai, Carreg-y-Barcud
Range East: Flimstone Bay, Crystal Slabs, Mosaic Wall, Mewsford, Crickmail, Triple Overhang Buttress, Blockhouse to Sitting Bull, The Castle, Rusty Walls, Misty Walls, Box Zawn, Saddle Head, Bosherston Head, Huntsman's Leap, Stennis Head, Stennis Ford, Chapel Point, Trevallen, St. Govan's, St. Govan's East
Stackpole and Lydstep: Mowing Word, Stackpole, Mother Carey's Kitchen.


Pembroke Guidebook on Rockfax's Website
Rockfax Route Database
Mother Carey's (free sample)



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Nanuls - Aug 18, 2009 8:55 am - Voted 5/5

A Stunning Publication
The arrival of this book last Saturday morning was enough to raise me from my usually jealously guarded slumber, something I can assure you is no mean feat, and rush down stairs like a kid at Christmas overly eager to get my hands on my new gift. I was not disappointed. As I excitedly thumbed through the book’s glossy, colourful pages, I was greeted by page after page of quality photo topos and diagrams, breathtaking action shots and entertaining text; the enthusiasm of the authors shining through. This is what I’d been waiting for, a clear and concise to Pembroke’s crags, covering most of the areas I visit regularly.

The book doesn’t attempt to list every singe climb recorded in the area, instead it focuses on the high quality and the interesting, and uses the free space this leaves for lavish illustrations of the routes. No only does this aid route finding, but it also inspires one to visit the crag, and follow the ever so enticing lines laid out on the page. My only regret is that it doesn’t quite cover all I wanted it to, I do not expect it to cover everything of course, but conspicuously missing are the high quality crags of Range West, and the two of north Pembroke's best crags (a matter of opinion of course), Craig Llong and Craig Coetan. Minor issues for most, as climbing at Range West is heavily restricted, and probably only feasible for a few, while the latter two crags are so far removed from Pembroke’s more popular area’s that they are scarcely visited anyway.

Interestingly many of the routes have been re-graded since the publication of the Climbers' Club's guides (1996) and the last rockfax guide (1995), a fact that is sure to upset some, but should also encourage some healthy debate, particularly on the matter of ethics.

All in all this is a superb publication and an essential purchase for anyone who climbs, or plans to climb in Pembroke. It’s limited scope will however, mean that those wanting to climb in the less popular areas will need to purchase the Climbers Club guides to Pembroke too.

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