Paul is a science and technology writer; he is author of the widely praised account of the birth of the electronic computer during World War II, Colossus: Bletchley Park’s Greatest Secret. He is a keen hillwalker and organises landscape walks in North and South Wales. www.landscape-walks.co.uk
Paul Gannon aims his writing squarely at the walker, and any scientific jargon is flagged up and supported by a detailed glossary. Indeed, everything about the book is very well thought through and easy to follow, with thorough explanations of important events in Snowdonia’s history (including human life and industry) supported by examples. Clear, numbered diagrams and attractive, well-taken photographs are used throughout to support the writing. I look forward to taking this book with me on any future trips to North Wales .. it will be fascinating to observe the geology of the area through more educated eyes.
TGO deputy editor
from May 2008 issue
Paul Gannon’s calmly authoritative text explains the geological forces that have shaped one of the UK’s most travelled mountain and cragscapes, allowing even the most familiar landscape to be seen through a fresh perspective. The second half of the guide comprises 13 suggested walks through the geological past of the region (including the Llanberis slate quarries) where you’ll be surprised at how much you’ve missed o ver the years.
Hot of the press is this latest offering from Pesda Press who up to recently have concentrated on paddle sports but for this particular book and I believe one or two others in the future are spreading their wings! Rock Trails Snowdonia is an attractively packaged book split almost equally in to two halves with part one concentrating on basic geology and glaciation with part two describing a series of walks where prime examples of what has been described earlier can be seen from a practical sense.
In the first half of the book the author cleverly avoids use of technical terminology apart from that which can be explained in half a sentence and takes the reader through from the formation of the oldest rocks through to the comparatively late effects of the ice age and the even later times of the industrial age. There are good clear photographs whilst the text offers easy to follow explanations and points the reader to clear examples within a particular locality.
There are 13 walks described ranging from what every self respecting walker would clearly enjoy to some which would demand some pretty good navigational skills. Finally there are 4 which would be eminently suitable for either very wet days with limited visibility or the less adventurous in good weather. Each walk is graded for navigation, terrain and severity and given an average time and any list will always provoke debate (particularly amongst anarchistic mountaineers) and it is possible to ‘nit pick’, an example of which is walk number 11 which starts at Pen y Pass and finishes in Llanberis and is described as circular! Still I suppose this is correct if you use the bus!
Overall though this is a cracking little book priced at £14 95 and Paul (as an ML holder) appears to have hit the spot in producing something which should become recommended reading for all potential ML holders (and others) in the future.
MLTE Development Officer