Review - Mountains: Epic Cycling Climbs
by Michael Blann
If you are a fan of mountain passes, with or without an interest in cycling, Michael Blann's coffee table-sized book is worth a look. 224 pages of photographs with short stories from road cyclings elite - Blann explores the mountains roads of France, Switzerland, and Spain used on many of cyclings Grand Tours.
Not all of the photographs include bikes though, many are pure landscape. If you have seen or heard of Stefan Bogner's work on books like Escapes or Porsche Drive then you will enjoy this. It’s not as in-depth as Bogner's work, just a couple of photographs of most passes but he makes similar use of helicopters to get the angles you can’t get from on the ground.
It’s also interesting to see a few mountain passes away from the main alpine classics and across the Pyrenees. The photography is good, although I was expecting something in excess of Bogner’s considering the use of the Phase One camera system. There are some outstanding images and a few I was initially disappointed with that have grown on me of further viewings. Many of the images are softer than I anticipated from such a high-resolution camera but give a more ‘film; like quality.
The end of the book has a few reference figures and charts which perhaps feel a bit like an after though, although take nothing away from the book. It's well made but perhaps not of the quality of more expensive books but it's unlikely you will notice. Overall a solid addition to any mountain library.