The West Kootenay region in south-central British Columbia is one of North America’s most beautiful mountain areas, and there’s now a rock-climbing guidebook that does justice to its splendor. Written by local climbers Vince Hempsall and Aaron Kristiansen, West Kootenay Rock Guide describes 22 areas and more than 400 routes from Nelson, to Slocan City, to Castlegar and includes day-trip alpine climbs in the Valhalla Mountain Range. (All these areas are located less than four hours north of Spokane, Washington.) This beautifully designed book features full-color pages and stunning photos throughout. (Simply look at Melissa Welsh’s picture of Mount Gimli on the back cover and you can’t help but drool!) The easy-to-use guide also has photo topos overlaid with color-coded route lines. The descriptions are spot on, but it would have been beneficial to list the lengths of the few single-pitch routes over 30 metres. Also, a few of the routes were inaccurately credited. That said, West Kootenay Rock Guide is one of the tightest, most elegant climbing guides in Canada. I highly recommend it.