This is the third volume in Ralph Storer's superb "Baffies' Easy Munro Guide" series and it easily lives up to the very high standards achieved in the first two volumes. Ralph Storer is currently perhaps best known for his area guides which together make up "The Ultimate Guide to the Munros". So what, exactly, is "Baffies' Easy Munro Guide?" Baffies is the Entertainments Convenor of the Go-Take-A-Hike Mountaineering Club, a man who is allergic to exertion, prone to lassitude, suffers from altitude sickness above 600m, blisters easily and bleeds readily. As the author says, "If he can make it to the summit, so can you".
And that is where the true genius of the "Baffies" concept can be found. These are books for the aspirational hillwalker and Munroist. An obvious market comprises people like me: who might once have set out to climb (sometimes literally) every Munro that Scotland has to offer, before parenthood and careers intervened with the set only partially complete. Such people now find that advancing years and receding fitness mean that the scale of challenges tackled have to be measured. These guides are also, however, ideal for those just starting out in the hills, and those walking with families who want the assurance they will not come face to face with an "airy" ridge at some point in their day: the sort of encounter made all the more terrifying by the characteristic fearlessness of a small child on a large mountain. Best of all is the thought that these are books destined actually to be used by people getting out into the hills and enjoying themselves.
This third guide in the series covers the Cairngorms, including Cairn Gorm and Lochnagar, and describes in detail easy walking routes up (rather more than) 25 Munros. The author assures readers that the routes chosen require no rock climbing, no scrambling, no tightrope walking, no technical expertise whatsoever: simply the ability to put one foot in front of the other... and repeat. Each walk is well mapped, and the descriptions and excellent colour photographs mesh together to provide clear and easy to follow guidance. There are also the obligatory sections on subjects such as access, weather and safety.