You slowly form an impression of the man when you listen to Peter Slingsby on the phone. He is friendly, precise, crisply knowledgeable, seldom at a loss for a memory or place-name. In photographs he is large and balding, with an impressive white beard, comfortably and lightly dishevelled. Facts and anecdotes skim the surface of his conversation like pebbles across flat water. He feels like the kind of man you could sit around a campfire for hours with, nursing your sterk drank as you listen. Slingsby — yes, you’ve heard the name somewhere before — is SA’s one and only great cartographer, a practice which demands both care and love. There’s now a line in excellent, mildly eccentric Slingsby maps running to 15 all told, but before he headed off into his own business he did maps of the National Hiking Way in the mid-1970s for the then department of forestry. Describing himself as a self-taught mapmaker, Slingsby says he has always been an enthusiastic hiker and climber. He lives in Ca...

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