Is 'classic' an over-used word?
Updated: Apr 29
Classic cars, classic design, a timeless classic, the list goes on. Given a definition of 'an outstanding example of a particular style; something of lasting worth or with a timeless quality; of the first or highest quality, class, or rank' one could easily argue that usage is overdone in a world of modern, sophisticated, and omnipresent marketing.
One could also argue that some things do stand up to the test of time and pass into lore, become a benchmark, or inspire future action. One such influence upon what was to follow was Steve Ashton's classic, in the fullest sense of the word, guidebook 'Scrambles in Snowdonia' the first of its kind to bridge the gap between rock climbing and a nice walk in the hills.
Published in 1980, when scrambling wasn't even a thing to most, the book sold well enough to require three re-prints in the 80's. A second edition followed in 1992, which went through a further ten re-prints, the last being in 2013.
The success of the second edition was in part due to the acceptance of scrambling as a legitimate mountain activity, mountaineers were (are?) a partisan and small c conservative lot, and mostly due to it being a very well thought out and well written book that told one exactly what one needed to know for a more exciting day on the hill without a ton of kit.
Fast forward to 2018 and it would seem that even a classic requires a polish. Cicerone have released a third edition that includes all of the classic (that word again) routes that you will have heard or dreamed of including the Snowdon Horseshoe, North Ridge of Tryfan, Bristly Ridge and the Cneifion and Cyfrwy Arêtes.
The new edition sees five routes dropped, no tears will be shed, and 16 new routes included as selected by the updaters. Only time will tell if the additions cut the mustard, but with 80 graded scrambles illustrated with photo topos to clamber over this you will be hard pushed to find anything to complain about for the cover price.
A bargain at twice the price.