I write trail guides--Hiking North Carolina, Hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway, Southern Snow: The Winter Guide to Dixie--books that take a lot of time and passion, but the subject is my back yard. Imagine the effort, persistence, passion, and sheer willpower it took for Synnott to spend years exploring Baffin Island to the depth he has--let alone write what is likely the definitive book on the island. Without demeaning the book, I also know that guidebooks are at times great resources for the casual researcher, whether you're a student, possible visitor, or just interested in a region. If the Arctic is your area of interest--this book is an indispensable resource, one of the key references. If you're a climber or skier, the book is the ONLY resource. No backhand compliment that! This thorough diverse, detailed and stunningly photographed book is exactly what you'd expect from one of the great climbers of our time. Synnott has climbed all over the globe, he's a sought-after guide, and one of The North Face athlete-adventurers. He's also a great writer--a skill that somehow seems to land (lucky for us) on truly great mountaineers (Greg Child comes to mind). That's actually appropriate, when you imagine the scenes these people see, and how important it is that they tell us about it. In Synnott's case, the words and photos in this book measure up to the awesome beauty and allure of his subject.