Steep Stone was conceived in 2017 by three members of The Climbers' Club - Doug Kerr, Don Sargeant and Dave Williams - with the sole aim of producing "innovative and visually inspiring climbing guidebooks".
Dave and Don subsequently refined and progressed the idea, trademarking the Steep Stone name as well as making Steep Stone a legal entity by forming a joint business partnership.
Following initial training in typography and graphic design, Don Sargeant enjoyed a ‘gap decade’ of climbing and travelling, before eventually settling in Mid Wales. He has climbed a significant number of new routes in the UK as well as in Morocco. His work for publishers of mountaineering books includes the production of artwork for over 60 rock climbing guidebooks. Don considers the artwork for Central Wales - Elenydd to be his best effort yet. Most recently, Don has co-authored Morocco Rock (Crack Addicts 2020), a selected rock climbing guide to The Anti-Atlas, with Emma Alsford and Paul Donnithorne. To compliment Morrocco Rock, he has separately published a booklet containing a selection of mountain walks in the Jebel el Kest area of Morocco as well as producing a map for walkers and climbers of Jebel el Kest and Jebel Taskra in the south west Anti-Atlas of Morocco. (Both DS Graphics 2020)
Once a pioneering white water kayaker, with many first descents in South Snowdonia and Mid Wales to his name, Dave Williams, Steep Stone's managing partner, has climbed extensively on both rock and ice, at home and abroad. Co-author of Central Wales - Elenydd (Steep Stone 2017) with Doug Kerr, he has also written for Climber magazine, the Climbers' Club Journal and is a contributing author for the 2021 Moelwynion and Cwm Lledr guidebook, published by the Climbers' Club. Dave has made a significant number of first ascents in North, Mid and West Wales, as well as in Morocco's Anti-Atlas mountains. A fluent Welsh speaker, hailing from a slate mining community in Central Snowdonia, Dave has lived and worked in Mid Wales for most of his adult life.
"Central Wales is the end product of the many years of pleasure we have experienced climbing and exploring in Mid Wales’ 'empty quarter'. Somehow we ended up in a unique position, inadvertently becoming authors of the first ever rock climbing guide book to a long overlooked
and unfairly neglected area."
CENTRAL WALES -- A climber’s guide to Elenydd
Trad Climbing • Sport Climbing • Bouldering •
• Sea level Traversing • Winter Climbing
Authors: Doug Kerr & Dave Williams
Design, artwork & photography: Don Sargeant
Additional photography: Sy Finch, Doug Kerr
& Dave Williams
Imprint & Rights: Steep Stone Publishing/Steep Stone™
Publication Date: May 2018
Paperback, card cover, 280 pages
Full colour action photos, photodiagrams and maps
Printed by Cambrian Printers, Aberystwyth
Distributed by Cordee, Leicester
Above: Dave Williams on the excellent
"Mur Cefn Cam" (VS 5a), Cefn Cam, Rhinogydd
[ ©Don Sargeant]
Steep Stone has now published a fully definitive interim guidebook to NE Wales' Berwynion crags, written by Stuart Day, the local expert and activist. Stu's excellent script is a very thorough and much-needed update of the very dated information in the 2002 Climbers' Club Meirionnydd guidebook. Steep Stone's 2020 interim guidebook details a number of new routes and many updated descriptions following a recent comprehensive crag clean-up. This is a great rock climbing venue that fully deserves to regain its former popularity, especially as virtually every climb has now been checked.
In addition, work is well advanced on the new Welsh Grit guidebook, which will detail the very best of over 1800 single and multi-pitch climbs and boulder problems in the Rhinogydd. This is a significant mountain area in Central Snowdonia which is littered with boulders, outcrops and large cliffs, all composed of perfect gritstone. For the rock climber, this area is arguably one of Wales' greatest yet least-known treasures.
While work on the new Rhinogydd guide steadily progresses, Steep Stone is producing a short series of free definitive interim climbing guidebooks, with the aim of encouraging climbers to take a serious look at what the Rhinogydd has to offer in terms of rock climbing.
SELECTED PDF RHINOGYDD CRAG GUIDES AND BERWYNION DEFINITIVE GUIDE NOW AVAILABLE FOR FREE DOWNLOAD
Written entirely from scratch, Steep Stone Publishing's new, definitive Mid Wales climbing guidebook has been painstakingly and lovingly researched, written, photographed and designed over a six year period by a dedicated and truly passionate local team. Committed to high standards of quality and accuracy, Central Wales - Elenydd's authors have succeeded in producing the first-ever climbing guidebook to Wales' long-overlooked 'empty quarter'.
Steep Stone's new Central Wales guidebook was entirely conceived, researched, written, photographed, designed, printed, bound and published in Mid Wales' Elenydd, the ancient heartland of the Cambrian Mountains.
Design and Artwork by DS Graphics, Llandrindod Wells;
Digital Printing Services by Cambrian Printers, Aberystwyth.
Made in Elenydd ~ Made in Wales
[©Tim Prevett/Megalithic Portal]
Maen Serth provided the inspiration for our ''Steep Stone'' name.
Maen Serth translates as Steep Stone [maen = stone and serth = steep]
Maen Serth is an evocative standing stone, a solitary yet majestic grey monolith, stark, silent, noble and old, singularly located on the highest point of Esgair Dderw, deep in Elenydd, the ancient Celtic heartland of the Cambrian Mountains. Such stones, or maenhir, have been an enduring and integral part of Elenydd's landscape for millennia. Rugged, old and weathered; time travellers like no other.
Elenydd means the "area adjoining the Elan". Elen derives from
Elan, a river name which probably arises from the Welsh word elain,
meaning fawn or hind; -ydd is a suffix denoting a territory.
Mysterious, secretive, enigmatic Elenydd.
“…as far as the eye can see, and twice as far
again, is silence and solitude...”
All images subject to copyright.
© Steep Stone™, T/A Steep Stone Climbing and Steep Stone Publishing.
All rights reserved.