a long running rant of iceclimbingjapan’s has been the outdatedness and unavailability of climbing information for Japan. tho appreciated for the absence of over-exposure and hype surrounding climbing, a contemporary collation of basic beta has been lacking. after a 15 year hiatus, alpine climbing is finally getting a touch up with the release of a series of 9 books that refresh the info previously gathered in the likes of the Challenge Alpine series.

from Hokkaido to Shikoku: the new Japanese climbing guide book series

repackaged and more concise, the series has new topos and access beta and updates on routes, covering the alpine rock, alpine winter and some of the ice from across the country. not covered is much of the ice specific info previously found in Challenge Ice Climbing and some of the multi-pitch stuff associated more with simple rock climbing – which can be better found in the recent publications specific to alpine rock and Mizugaki. almost totally absent is any mention of the hard mixed and esoteric locations that have seen sparse but dedicated attention.

unlike the former alpine guides, these books are ‘guidebook-sized’ so they will fit in a pocket, and the graphic data updated to conform closer to international-style, ie north is at the top, theres an attempt at scale, theres a logic to the progression.

and yes, its all in Japanese.