The design of this handbook uses clean white backgrounds filled with deep-etched pictures and supported by fact/interest panels and informative running text. It is aimed at beginners who would like to learn to climb for the first time, but it is also aimed at experienced climbers who may need to refresh their knowledge and skills on tactics, specialized techniques, regulations and so on. A map at the front of the book will feature the world's major mountain ranges and climbing areas, indicating the type of climbing that is appropriate to each areas and listing the best time of year to tackle each climb. This text covers the three major categories of climbing, that is, traditional rock climbing, snow and ice, and alpine (mixed climbing). Some of the chapters include: a historical overview of climbing (including landmark events, famous personalities and their achievements); the mountain environment (ecology, weather, hazards, environmental and human impact); rock climbing essentials (basic principles, equipment common to all forms of climbing, skills and techniques); sport climbing (for the rock gymnast - techniques, equipment, training and fitness); big snow and ice climbing (specialized equipment and techniques, navigation, properties of snow and ice, and anticipating problems, avalanches, crevasses and other hazards); and expeditions and big mountain ranges (management and planning, food and nutrition, specialized equipment, medical overview).