Roca Verde

I still feel like I owe you an explanation for my lengthy absence from these pages. So, finally, here it is. *Points excitedly*



This 448 page behemoth of a bilingual sport climbing guide to the Cordillera Cantábrica here in northern Spain has just been published. The product of two and a half years of hard slog research, travel, photographizing, climbing etc on the part of my other half, with not a little help from his ever-supportive family.

Turns out writing and publishing a book is harder work than you could ever imagine. (Or are we just lacking in imagination? Best not move on to novel-writing next…) But now it is all done. It’s here. And it’s great. *Proud face*

Except now we have to sell the damn thing.  Also turns out that this is harder work than you might imagine. (Told you. Unimaginative pair us.) As Richie said to me the other day, ‘I didn’t imagine that I’d be stuffing envelopes at the age of 47′. I did point out that at least he’s stuffing them with his own pretty awesome book, rather than pizza flyers.

Ok, so it's not *all* hard work distributing the book. Dropping it off at La Reunion bar in Potes, great source of local info for the Picos. And delicious craft beers.

Ok, so it’s not *all* hard work distributing the book. Dropping it off at La Reunion bar in Potes, great source of local info for the Picos. And delicious craft beers.

Slowly we are resuming normal service. Returning to climbing for fun (as opposed to visiting crags for checking out routes and scrambling around for the best photo vantage point), occasionally having a free five minutes that isn’t work or book-related, I may even strike up a regular blogging rhythm again.

And then one day last week when we headed out climbing, there at the start of the crag was an English pair climbing – a rarity in these parts. As we got closer we saw that, sure enough, they had Roca Verde on the ground by their rucksacks. Of course we had to strike up a conversation, to get some feedback and find out how they had come across the guide. The feedback was great (phew!) and the best part was finding out how excited they were to finally find a comprehensive source of information for the region. They had, in fact, discovered the book a few days before they left on their holiday and had then rerouted their whole trip as a result.

And that’s the whole idea – helping climbers discover this natural rock paradise and hopefully bringing some much-needed tourism euros into the local economy. So if you know anyone who wants to buy a rock-climbing guide book to Asturias, Cantabria and León point them our way. We’ve got a couple of thousand to shift.





  1. Wow, congratulations! Very exciting! I can think of a few people who’d be very interested in your climbing book. I’ll be tweeting it and will also DM you with other ideas.

  2. Congratulations to the both of you!

  3. Congratulations on your achievement – the book looks great – I flicked through it last week in Potes with my non climbing partner. Just need to persuade the old fogies climbing group to travel from stanage to darkest spain to try it out.

  4. suesharpe04 says:

    You’d been quiet for so long, I just knew you were up to something! Looks great! Have shoved it around the social media sites – best of luck! xx

  5. bavariansojourn says:

    Congratulations! That’s brilliant news! Would love to arrange for a trip down near you at some point, I am so not a climber, but Mr R has done plenty in the past, and my two would love it! :D

    • Ooh great idea! There are some great family friendly crags with suitable routes for little ones and with more family friendly activities locally. And I just know you would go wild with your camera!! x

  6. Well done, I so admire people who put together a book. I hope to hell you had it edited though. I have read so many books recently that have not been edited. Good luck with it.

    Hope you’ve done a decent press release and offered ebook versions to review as well.

  7. I may have to get a signed copy. Got to admire your drive and determination.

  8. Hey :) We are in Arenas de Carabales and really need this book! Nobody knows it here, where can I get it??? In Potes??
    Two desperat Norwegians:)

    • Hey They just rang me from La Tienda Nueva in Arenas today to say they had sold out – sorry about that. I will be posting them more tomorrow but that could take a couple of days. Otherwise, they definitely have them in stock in the bar La Cuadrona in La Hermida & in Indiana Deportes in Potes.

      Hope you get your hands on one soon!! Maybe see you at the crag… :-)

  9. great!:) Thanks a lot!! We will get it tomorrow, and yes see you around!:)

  10. Hi Mary, just put your epic tome onto my blog Hopefully it will push some traffic your way.

  11. I have recently been updating my profile on LinkedIn and noticed that a lot of individuals have their hobbies logged, of which climbing has appeared many time on contacts I have made. Have you thought about linking a site to a page on this platform? Happy to help if I can. Let me know.

    • Oh thanks for the thoughts Tim. It’s not something we’ve considered but it does sound like a good idea…. Now we just need to find the time… Social media is all well and good but it is very time-consuming!!!

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