If climbing perfection could be found between the front and back covers of a book, it would be found in this book. World Climbing: Images from the Edge by Simon Carter is a stunning display of what happens when world class rock climbing and exquisite photography marry. These two technical art forms intertwine throughout this coffee table book, with large spreads from faraway locations around the globe.

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If you are a climber, this book will inspire you with its many locations as Carter covers the globe. In Canada he captures ice climbs, revealing their frosty beauty, and follows climbers, who arrive by yacht, to an archipelago in Croatia.

With world-wide images, from the Czeck Republic to Thailand, across Italy and Switzerland to Yosemite, he captures the rock and its climbers in action through creative photography.

In France he reveals the limestone in Gorges du Tarn, and in northern Spain he showcases the towering conglomerate domes above Riglos. US climbing is well described too, from the red rock of Moab to the 5.14c of Gutbuster on Mount Charleston, and finishing with the iconic El Cap and the rest of Yosemite.

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Without special effects or tricks, Carter’s photography is flawlessly presented and punctuated with short text, just enough to inform and not distract from the beauty that he presents with his camera. He begins in the Blue Mountains of Australia where the introduction of over 2000 routes is enough to whet the climber’s appetite. The text describes a brief history and the texture of the sandstone in “The Blueys.”

There is a page of photographic notes at the end which details his film, his tools and whether he is in an abseil or using a tripod. All useful information for the aspiring climber’s photographer. There is also a glossary of climbing styles and climbing terms as well as a grading table. I doted on each image, every wall, each hanging rope. The only page I didn’t drool over was the last written page, which contained the staunch “Warning that climbing is a dangerous sport.” Yes, yes, our litigious world demands it, and so it is there (in a picture book of all places) but leave it to the climbers to handle that part creatively as well.

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World Climbing: Images from the Edge is a delight from the intro to the finishing credits. This book is eye candy for the arm chair enthusiast, offering page after page of breath-taking views and locations. Photographers will fawn over the technical aspects of the shots, light and locations, and every page is inspiration for the climber’s soul.

Published by: Onsite Photography and Publishing, distributed by Wilderness Press

Available now.

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All photos courtesy of Onsight Photography

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