Extreme Rock Reprint Rumour – the Wilson Legacy

by Mick Ryan Ken Wilson hasn´t responded to our requests for information yet, but the Outdoor Writers and Photographer´s Guild in their latest newsletter are announcing that Ken and his publishing company, Baton Wicks are reprinting the third in the Hard Rock Series, the out of print Extreme Rock, with that beautiful Ed Grindley cover showing Dave Cuthbertson on Just a Little Tease (E5) in Glen Nevis.Extreme Rock is a companion volume to Hard Rock and Classic Rock. It covers harder routes – from E1 to E9, in the same format as the other titles, an essay by a protagonist of the day, glorious full-page, full-bleed photographs, a topo and route information; an historical guide to our climbing heritage – a must have. From the Needle Sports website, “It has been out of print for many years now but unfortunately the plates from which it was printed were accidently destroyed, and it is unlikely to be reprinted again in its original format. To add insult to injury 4000 unbound copies were pulped, meaning that of the original 8000 print run, only around 4000 were ever sold. Second hand copies change hands for up to £200, so if you see an old copy going cheap, snap it up!” A sad story, but hopefully with a happy ending as it is a fantastic book and there´s a whole generation of climbers out there just dying to get hold of a copy. There are no known Extreme Rock “compleaters” but the Needle Sports website claims that maybe Neil Foster, an accountant from Sheffield and the author of Rock Notes for the old High Magazine, is the closest. Be interesting to hear from Neil as to what he has yet to climb. Now there is a challenge for the younger generation, the Extreme Rock Challenge! Over a summer similar to this year´s Hard Rock Challenge. Pete Robins and James McCaffie perhaps? Probably be all onsight with those two climbers. For more information about Baton Wicks go to www.batonwicks.com and hopefully the evergreen Wilson will enlighten us with more information quite soon.