/ Ravenstones

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Offwidth - on 15 Jul 2013
Many dry days, predicted high temps and a light NW breeeze seemed perfect for a slow drying north facing crag and yet only 7 climbers felt the same way?? ... I guess everyone must have all been on Kinder North, Wilderness etc? ;-) Not even a sniff of a midge.

Anyhow, for anyone with a hankering for lower grade fare, amongst a few other routes we climbed, partly cleaned and would recommend the following less travelled lines (with our view on grades): Little Kern Knotts (HS 4b*)... impressive climbing with good gear for the exciting mid-way grass cornice; Muddy Crack (HVD 4a*)... was a bit grassy but much cleaner now and some nice moves especilly on the upper corner; Mark 2 (S 4a**)... did the amazing left bypass for the first time: what a wonderful way to outwit a threatening offwidth crack (S 4b*); Mark 1 (S 4a*) the upper section of the chimney looks heinous on the outside but turns out to be a bundle of joy, nice short layback corner above to continue with the theme; The Derivatiive (S 3c**) a super route with very varied climbing and a bold slab finish at the top of the Severe grade; Vanishing Chimney (D 3a*)... looks nothing but climbs beautifully; Plinth Chimney (VD 3c*) and Saftey Plin (S 4a*)... a couple of nice chimney problems. Of course the other big classics up there are all in great nick and the other folk we saw were busy ticking clean classics in the VS to E1 range.

We wouldn't recommend: Slime Chimney (VD?) filthy and heavily sandbag graded at mod.

PS whoever is the moderator for this crag you need to update for the grades from Over the Moors... still not perfect but much better than those currently posted.
Dave Musgrove - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

A timely posting Steve given the best conditions for several years.

I've still never climbed on Ravenstones but did make my first trip to the Kinder North edge last week and had a brilliant day on routes such as Twisted Smile, Jester Cracks and Punch's Nose (how on earth did that ever merit S 4b as in On Peak Rock?!)

Two days later I was nearer home but still high up on Lord's Seat. 20 micro routes and problems all solo, nothing above VS or Font 6a but just perfect clean rock, warm sunshine and a gentle breeze.

Just the two of us each day. Don't tell anyone else though we don't want to spoil the perfect peace and tranquillity of such places.

Dave
Graeme Hammond - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

uum north facing cool shady climbing, got to stick to my wheel chair for now instead of enjoying loads of crags I've been wanting to get for ages :(

Went to ravensstones a few years ago on a simularly hot day and we were the only people there, saw a few people at standing stones but maybe 7 is an improvement. Still desperate to go back. Have you done the stomak traverse there?
Simon Caldwell - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> I guess everyone must have all been on Kinder North, Wilderness etc?

Would have been a good weekend for any of these, but we were with the hoards on Scafell ;-)
Simon Caldwell - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
Been to Ravenstones a couple of times, and both times there were loads of people there. I seem to have developed a knack of this, even managed to find ourselves at the front of a queue at Dovestones Quarry the other week!
Archy Styrigg - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

Great crag!

I walked past the other day, perfect conditions, no one there.
And you've got Standing Stones opposite, some of the best VSs I've ever done!
Offwidth - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to Graeme Hammond:

Not yet, although I suspect from reports from whippets who have that my chest is too deep front to back and I'll have a torrid time.

In reply to Dave Musgrove.

Like the big easier north facing routes on the main face at Simon's Seat these routes need traffic to keep them clean. Even if I hid a fiver on every other route I can't see them becoming crowded. Nice people I'd be very happy to meet up there can forget how rare such conditions are and a quick reminder can be useful ;-)
LakesWinter on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to Offwidth: We went up there yesterday - were you there yesterday too?

It's a great crag and the routes could all do with a little more traffic, even 3 star classics like Pulpit Ridge. I gave Pulpit Ridge a brush before leading it and brushed Green Wall as I went up. Everyone should get up there to climb some classics on unpolished rock in an amazing setting.
victorclimber - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to Offwidth: couple of reasons its quite ,its a walk up hill,and everyones bouldering ..
Offwidth - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to LakesWinter:

Yep, wearing a red helmet. I guess I watched your entertaining lead of Pulpit Ridge, sitting on belay at the top of the finishing slab of The Derivatives.
Offwidth - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to victorclimber:

It was quiet compared to what it should be even given the small minority who like the more remote peak trad (and can't get the whole weekend or more off to get to the real mountains); as an average day up there goes it was very busy with 7 of us.
Hardonicus - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to Offwidth: We went up on Sat, just another pair leaving as we arrived. Thankfully they had a guidebook I pinched a look at as I'd left mine in the car!

Great conditions up there. Sniffer Dog coming in from the right is HVS though, way too shortlived to be E1. Also Right Monolith without the arete is just stupid IMHO.
g1m147 on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

This summer I've climbed in Running hill pits, Pots and pans, Dovestones quarry and Ravenstones. 2 trips to Standingstones over the past couple of years. Done some great, memorable routes as good as anything in the Peak. We haven't seen a single other climber at any of those crags, and other than the walk up, I really don't know why. Great crags! But maybe we should keep quiet about them.
Frank the Husky - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to various punters: I suspect the truth is that despite the excellent guide (Over the Moors) these crags will never be popular. As a generalisation, people can't be bothered and the crags are unknown quantities. Another generalisation is that people don't like gritty routes and are put off by green stuff on the crags after growing up on Stanage. I was at Ravenstones a couple of weekends ago and there were 9 climbers in total which was a nice surprise. Nine climbers and a husky.

The walk to Ravenstones is actually very easy apart from the final 10 minutes up that hill, the rest of it is a stroll.
LakesWinter on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to Offwidth: Ha, first alleged E1 for ages that! up down up down, got there in the end though.
LakesWinter on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to Offwidth: The derivatives is the one that goes out right from the chimney isn't it? It looked really good
Simon Caldwell - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to Frank the Husky:
Yet Wimberry is just as green yet is (relatively) popular. Maybe Ravenstones/Wildeness need a few high profile death routes?!
cragtyke - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to Offwidth: We were up there on sunday, first time for about 20 years when the old guide came out.I think you may have been on Muddy Crack when we went past, good effort in doing the routes you did. Pity last summer was so bad when the new guide came out, hopefully this weather will see the routes get some traffic.
Agree with hardonicus about Sniffer Dog so anybody wanting a really good soft touch E-point get on it. Strenuosity is bog standard Vs4c, again good but short lived.
Frank the Husky - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to Toreador: They have the death routes, just no one seems good enough to do them. 3 E7s at Wilderness from Tom de Gay and a clutch of hard routes between E6 and E8 at Ravenstones from Dougie Hall, Andy Popp and Pete Whittaker. I htink people just don't like gong to unknown crags; Wimberry is relatively "known".
Hardonicus - on 15 Jul 2013
In reply to Offwidth: Anyway the great pleasure with climbing in the Chew is less nobheads. So it's not all bad news!
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Offwidth - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to LakesWinter:

Derivatives is really good, in some ways more so for a HS/VS leader, possibly even 3 star. I think there must be at least 4 independant ways of doing the clean top slab, with the easiest being one of the the scariest; nervous severe leaders might want to bring their second up to the top ledge as a spotter (big cams useful for a belay in the wide break). You can also add this slab as an alternative finish to Mark 1 or Mark 2.
Offwidth - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to cragtyke:

I think you spoke to my partner Iain... something about climbing the greenest routes on the crag ;-).

I try and climb everything on a crag upto VS and at least the classics to E1 and we were on a lower grade mission that day partly for the routes that were damp on my last visit. We also clean anything that looks good, to encourage traffic, and Muddy Crack turned out to be well worth doing.
Simon Caldwell - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
I'd give Derivatives 3*, brilliant route. Impending Crack is another.
Offwidth - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to Toreador:

Good to hear more support. Have you done any of the others I recommended above?
LakesWinter on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to Offwidth: Cool, I hope to get back up there again this summer, once I've recovered a bit more from work. Thanks for the recommendation, i'll give it a go.
Simon Caldwell - on 16 Jul 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
Done Safety Plin - the others (including Slime Crack!) are now on the to-do list :-)
Ramblin dave - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
We're probably going to be losing our Chew virginity this weekend, although I'm not sure exactly which crags we'll end up visiting. Any particular route recommendations for an HS / tentative VS leader?
LakesWinter on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave: Nasal Buttress, Dovestones is a great HS and there is a classic V Diff called Answer Crack there too.

At Ravenstones Nil Desperandum was great too.
Frank the Husky - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to LakesWinter: As a reminder, this is the guide you need: http://www.bmcshop.co.uk/product_info.php?products_id=6506

Available at all good climbing shops in the area, especially The Crag Station in Greenfield: http://www.thecragstation.co.uk/
Graeme Hammond - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

another timely article:

https://thebmc.co.uk/escape-the-heat-six-shady-grit-crags

It kept on raining and being cold etc last year when i wanted to try out Shelf Benches so I can't confirm it as a good shady venue to escape the heat :( But all I can remember about Laddow Rocks is frying in the heat until the sun moved round in the afternoon and a sweaty walk in. Really really want to go back! Think i would go to ravenstones instead in this heat
Simon Caldwell - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to Graeme Hammond:
not sure about the Downfall either - it's south and west facing so will get all the sun going.
I'd be heading for Wilderness if we weren't already booked for Wales.
Ramblin dave - on 18 Jul 2013
In reply to Frank the Husky:
I sleep with it under my pillow.
Frank the Husky - on 19 Jul 2013
In reply to Graeme Hammond: Shelf Stones isn't all that shady, but it's good for when the weather cools down. The Downfall will be like an oven.
Ramblin dave - on 19 Jul 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:
Also, is there a good breakfast caff in the Greenfield area?

Thanks!
Kirill - on 19 Jul 2013
Frank the Husky - on 19 Jul 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave: NOt really a caff, but if you go to Greenfield Bakery next to the Crag Station they do some pretty good, home made stuff. Highly recommended.
Ramblin dave - on 19 Jul 2013
In reply to Kirill:
Thanks!
Frank the Husky - on 19 Jul 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave: and they do brews...
snapperdan - on 19 Jul 2013
In reply to Frank the Husky: I'm really looking forward to climbing at Revenstones, had a great time the other day at Dovestones edge!

Not been climbing very long at all, but the best days I've had are at crags from Over the Moors.

Last Sunday there were about twelve climbers at Dovestones Edge and conditions were lovely.
Tom V - on 19 Jul 2013
In reply to Frank the Husky:

Frank, get to Specsavers.

There is an excellent breakfast caff right opposite Crag Station. Well used by most local workmen. and the sandwiches are on a decent muffin.
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Tom V - on 20 Jul 2013
In reply to Tom V:

"Country Kitchen", and she knows the difference between fresh tomatoes and tinned on a bacon sandwich.
tony howard on 22 Jul 2013
In reply to g1m147: That's Saddleworth for you. always quiet and some great routes. By the way, if you haven't been to Cowbury Quarry near Buckton Quarry it's worth checking out though "over the Moors" writers omitted it in their wisdom, with only a link given to BMC guidebook site http://www.thebmc.co.uk/download-support-for-over-the-moors Cragstation at Greenfield, opp King Bill pub should have a better topo on CD - if they still have it!Enjoy!

tony howard on 22 Jul 2013
In reply to Archy Styrigg: There's also Dovies Main Quarry, aka Death Quarry, possibly biggest grit crag in England - believe it or not, some great routes in there though sadly not in Over the Moors except a weblink to BMC page
Simon Caldwell - on 23 Jul 2013
In reply to tony howard:
I think the section missed out of Over the Moors is the one near Titan's Groove, which has suffered a few major rockfalls in the last few years. There's certainly good coverage of other parts of the main quarry - though some of the descriptions have become so short that we had to revert to the old guide to work out where the routes go.

Tom V - on 23 Jul 2013
In reply to Toreador:

You underestimate massively just how much of the Main quarry has been omitted from the new guide.

The '65 guide contained 35 routes in the Main quarry; the '88 guide had 46; OTM weighs in with 7.

Admittedly, the Titan's Groove area has been suffering rockfalls for as long as I can remember, which is a great pity as the routes just to the left of Titan's are some of the very best in the quarry.

But OTM's assertion that "lots of " the main Quarry is falling away seems to be a bit OTT.

It seems a pity that future generations will not be enticed onto big adventure routes such as Jericho Wall and Initiation Groove on the crag that, according to Eric Byne, made the Three Cliffs of Llanberis seem like "small beer".
Simon Caldwell - on 23 Jul 2013
In reply to Tom V:
Is it really just 7? I must admit we didn't pay too much attention as the peregrines were in residence when we were there.
Frank the Husky - on 23 Jul 2013
In reply to Tom V: Hi Tom, yes we cut out a lot of the old routes and it's obvious that you're cross about that. I can only apologise as it was mainly my decision. In the end it was down to many things, not least of which was a lack of space (the book was already too big) and the fact that very few of the routes had actually been climbed by anyone we knew since the last guide. We were unwilling to send people up a HS on the main cliff only to discover that it was in fact HVS after bits had fallen off.

We did ask around quite extensively at the time (probably about 2009/10) to get teams to come and check the routes...because we like to check out the routes...and only 2 people (apart from me) volunteered. You can't do a lot with that.

It isn't a pogrom against loose rock venues. You'll find a "full and Frank" script for Crowden Great Quarry in there which is quite the adventure and also a winter sun trap. The Dovestones decision might have been the wrong one, but when I had "everything" to do I had to prioritise.

The question of quality did come in and I remember doing White Slab (** in the '88 guide) and thinking that zero stars was closer to the mark. That wasn't a scientific assessment of every climb, but it was what I did. The other thinking was that if we could get people into the best part of the quarry, they might start going elsewhere in the complex and be curious enough to get the full script off the BMC site and start exploring.

As OtM is one of the best selling BMC guides, I have no doubt that there'll be room for a wriggle in a couple of years when a reprinting is contemplated. Meanwhile, the full script is on the BMC web so it isn't all bad.

Take it easy, boss.
Kipper - on 23 Jul 2013
In reply to tony howard:
> (In reply to Archy Styrigg) There's also Dovies Main Quarry, aka Death Quarry, possibly biggest grit crag in England - believe it or not, some great routes in there though sadly not in Over the Moors except a weblink to BMC page

Strange; I'd always imagined the BMC guides were 'definitive' in the areas that they covered?



Tom V - on 23 Jul 2013
In reply to Frank the Husky:

Frank, I have no particular axe to grind and am not exactly cross about the OTM version of Dovestones Main. When the guide came out,you were very helpful in explaining that it was a mixture of lack of popularity/perceived looseness/ and shortage of guidebook space which led you to cut down the coverage of this crag.

Although I would like to hear other people's reactions to some of the big routes in the quarry (such as your own critique of White Slab), perhaps it is only fitting and natural that some routes in climbing's history are destined for the archive and nothing more.

After all, it took me about twenty years to come to terms with the fact that I would never be able to climb Humdinger again.

Lusk - on 24 Jul 2013
In reply to tony howard:
> (In reply to Archy Styrigg) There's also Dovies Main Quarry, aka Death Quarry, possibly biggest grit crag in England - believe it or not, some great routes in there though sadly not in Over the Moors except a weblink to BMC page

Oh aye, I know.
Having failed miserably on Ace of Spades once...
Chew Valley is one of the best, must get fitter for the walk ins! :-)
Simon Caldwell - on 28 Jul 2013
In reply to Frank the Husky:
Inspired partly by this thread, we took another trip to the Quarry yesterday. The central quarry was so much better than I'd expected based on our experience of lower left.
Although there was vegetation around (especially grass on Waterfall Route) it didn't affect the climbing at all. Some of the cracks (eg the starting crack on A-lu-te) were so clean they must have been cleaned recently?

I'm guessing that 3a for pitch 1 of A-lu-te is a typo for 4a, but even at that it's hard, we both reckoned awkward 4b. The topo is wrong for the middle section of this pitch, showing it going straight up an impending wall rather than moving left and taking the arete. And I suspect the topo for pitch 2 is wrong as well, showing it going right of the hanging groove, then back left under the overhang to reach it. We both approached the groove directly from below, up the obvious cracked slab, which seemed more in keeping. Anyway, top-tastic route, 1 star in the guide is a bit mean, it's miles better (and cleaner) than Mottled Groove which gets 2.

And back in the lower right quarry, Tiny Tim should be on any VS leader's tick list.
Offwidth - on 30 Jul 2013
In reply to Kipper:

"Strange; I'd always imagined the BMC guides were 'definitive' in the areas that they covered?"

Not recently. Graham Hoey's list was a good start but some lines were deliberately not included in the new series as they were shit, very eliminate, mediocre easy boulder problems mascarading as micro-routes, etc. There was also the odd mistake (eg High Neb Girdle). Then the BMC very sensibly decided to try this (not so easy to find):

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/guidebook-support-downloads-explained
https://www.thebmc.co.uk/download-support-for-froggatt-to-black-rocks
https://www.thebmc.co.uk/roaches-guide-support-downloads
https://www.thebmc.co.uk/download-support-for-over-the-moors


Moff and I were another two editors encouraging crags where no one goes (usually an access problem and/or overgrown and or loose) to be moved to the online crag pages (as an appendix of a book that you are then more likely to sell as you have space to do interesting stuff like features with tick lists and stories). A theme we encouraged the YMC team to follow.

Moff and I were also often amongst that small number accompanying Martin and Frank on OtM checking duty to less popular places.
Offwidth - on 30 Jul 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:

Sorry was on hols... our website is as good as it gets. The boldish Great Slab would maybe have been top tick of my list for you on a day when you were going well but needed to catch any breeeze.
Simon Caldwell - on 30 Jul 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> crags where no one goes ... to be moved to the online crag pages

doesn't that just perpetuate the neglect? It wouldn't surprise me if I were the only person who'd bothered to download the Dovestone Quarry guide for instance. There are previously starred routes in the lower left quarry that are now only described online (which probably reduces them from one ascent per year, to none at all!). It used to be a popular crag; although now out of favour, a decent write-up could help it become popular again.
Frank the Husky - on 31 Jul 2013
In reply to Toreador:
> (In reply to Frank the Husky)
> Inspired partly by this thread, we took another trip to the Quarry yesterday. The central quarry was so much better than I'd expected based on our experience of lower left.
> Although there was vegetation around (especially grass on Waterfall Route) it didn't affect the climbing at all. Some of the cracks (eg the starting crack on A-lu-te) were so clean they must have been cleaned recently?
>
> I'm guessing that 3a for pitch 1 of A-lu-te is a typo for 4a, but even at that it's hard, we both reckoned awkward 4b. The topo is wrong for the middle section of this pitch, showing it going straight up an impending wall rather than moving left and taking the arete. And I suspect the topo for pitch 2 is wrong as well, showing it going right of the hanging groove, then back left under the overhang to reach it. We both approached the groove directly from below, up the obvious cracked slab, which seemed more in keeping. Anyway, top-tastic route, 1 star in the guide is a bit mean, it's miles better (and cleaner) than Mottled Groove which gets 2.

Interesting stuff. I cleaned A-lu-te a while ago so I'm pleased it's still in good nick.

I'm a little confused by some of your comments on the A-lu-te topo mistakes. In my guide there's no tech grade for pitch 1, and I can't see what you're looking at re: queries regarding the topo for that pitch. That starts for Parallel Cracks, and pitch 2 is described accurately, and says you can follow the line in the guide or do as you did by going direct.

Anyways, all this stuff is being absorbed by the borg and will be used to amend and improve the reprint, so many thanks.
Offwidth - on 31 Jul 2013
In reply to Toreador:

The locals always did most of the ascents and they still know they are there: Chew Valley Cragsmen are still very active; join them. There is also nothing stopping you and your mates from climbing them all and updating the BMC on-line topo so it gets in next time (thats what happened with Crowden Main, Wilderness and Shooters Nab: people turned up there and climbed most of the routes).

Martin had by far the hardest editorial job of all of us in the latest BMC series. To do the area justice as a full definitive would have required 2 volumes given the number of obscurities added by some locals (especially Malc Baxter) and yet the pressure from the BMC and the majority of the climbing public was very much on him to finish quickly and within one volume. When you add moorland weather on high, north-facing crags, nesting restrictions, overgrown lines, people who could be bothered to come out etc, this made crag checking tricky at times. Yet it's finished, selling very well (in contrast to Kinder and Chew) and the feedback is good to excellent; with the obvious odd inevitable moans about crag inclusion, style (Martin rightly stamped his on it) and some minor editorial issues given the almighty production rush to finish it off at the very end.
Simon Caldwell - on 31 Jul 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> To do the area justice as a full definitive would have required 2 volumes

Agreed. Presumably the reason that previous editions have always been in 2 volumes.

> the pressure from the BMC and the majority of the climbing public was very much on him to finish quickly and within one volume

presumably the public pressure was for quickly (since the BMC caused much of the delay). And the BMC pressure was for a single volume (why would the climbing public care?).

> it's finished, selling very well (in contrast to Kinder and Chew)

Probably in part because people delayed buying Kinder/Chew because they were ages old and for many years the new guide was imminent ;-)

Anyway, it's a splendid guide, but could have been a lot better; much of the extra time available due to various delays seems to have been spent on climbing new routes rather than proof-reading.
Simon Caldwell - on 31 Jul 2013
In reply to Frank the Husky:
> I'm a little confused by some of your comments on the A-lu-te topo mistakes

I'll clarify by email if you'd like, once I've got my guidebook to hand. Or should I email the BMC? We've got a few other corrections to make as well.
Offwidth - on 31 Jul 2013
In reply to Toreador:

You are and eveyone else involved in wanting improving information about climbs are part of 'the BMC' that caused the delay (they respond to feedback)... if masses of people had turned up for checking when the weather was good then this guide would have been a bit quicker but one of the main problems that seems forgotten now was some lousy summers at key times. Anyway, most people I talk to on the crag say they are very happy with the result and its better to have a good guide delayed than a poor one rushed.

I know only a handful of people who say. like you, that OtM could have been a lot better. I really would challenge that as the remaining errors are really not that significant except in the comparison with the very best of modern guides. Most guidebook workers I know with their heads screwed on and knowing the pressures of modern dtp based volunteer production and the peculiarities of the area have said it's exceeded their expectations.

The climbing public cares abut one volume because they don't need to buy 2 guidebooks at likely almost twice the cost and then full of stuff that hardly anyone is interested in. The size and division of the guides depends on the series plans at the time. As an example, if Northern Highlands North had the same detailed treatment as this guide it would be in many volumes as there are tons of climbed but unreported microroutes and variations up there and no bouldering. In this particular case there is roughly 4-5 times the information in OtM than in the old Chew guide (just count the numbered lines) all in a much more user friendly package. The small minority interested in the obscurities are catered for on-line and new bits can be added as required.

Your final point on proofing misunderstands the production process with dtp tools (a common problem with critics of OtM). The layout process is fluid and can introduce errors that were not in the original scripts. So final proofing cannot be done until all else is pretty much finished. That was the bit that was rushed for OtM by the BMC (but not by the editor or several key final stage editorial assitants who said they could do with a little more time). This isn't a major mistake by the BMC in my view they made an honest decision based on managing the views of their membership and commitees and of Niall's time: it's just that editors like to polish things more. Proofing in general of crag scripts was never a big need (there were plenty of volunteers), so climbing new routes didn't influence things one jot. There were proof errors which crept through from original scripts but very few.
Simon Caldwell - on 31 Jul 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

From what was said at the time, it was about to be published, but was then delayed in order to rush out a new Roaches guide for some reason.

Perhaps I've been unlucky in my choice of crags. The first we tried was Millstone. There are 2 maps, the crag is shown in a different place on each, both are wrong. The topo includes a minor error in that an E1 and a VDiff are transposed, which made for an interesting lead (luckily not mine). The topo shows the wrong start for another route. And we had to resort to the old guide to work out where some of the routes went.

Second crag was DQ - the issues have been much smaller, but more than the zero that should be the norm.

And you are right, I clearly do misunderstand the production process with dtp tools. I'd assumed that text would be reformatted, but not retyped (which is the only way you'd get spelling mistakes introduced between proof-reading and production).

This all sounds horribly negative, but it's hard not to sound that way when listing errors, and there's little point listing everything that is accurate. I still maintain that OtM is a fantastic guidebook, but could have been better still; Yorkshire Grit Vol 1 shows the quality that is possible on relatively short timescales.
Offwidth - on 31 Jul 2013
In reply to Toreador:

Glad you've gone from 'it could have been a lot better' (nonsense!) to 'it could have been better still' (true, as any guidebook to such a place could be).

I've not been to Millstone but the two maps look to be about the same and in the roughly the right place to me from the OS map and the new (as per the old Kinder) grid reference. The picture of the crag must also make it obvious, so what exactly is wrong? Is it the grid reference or the exact shape of the schematic crag shapes on the map? The mistake on the topo on the two routes above the ledge is genuine due to swapped numbers on the top of the topo but that must be obvious from the names (Slanting Crack is the big clue) and the way they look difficulty wise. BTW on your UKC comments Slanting Crack should start up a chimney not an arete so you probably climbed the opposite starts (the starts I think are probably right on the topo). Unlike most update guides the Millstone topo (and many others in OtM) were being produced for the first time so such mistakes are much easier to make... buyer beware.

You are right that the Roaches reprint was another delay but the weather and checking was a bigger problem really. A bigger BMC problem was unrealistic announcements when the book would be ready in the first place (tip to guidebook producers: don't announce until it's virtually ready and then things can still go wrong). The delays made the volunteers lives busier (esp Martin's) but the book was better as a result. Lucky they always had full public support and understanding about the delay from the likes of you !;-)

As for the YMC guide you know Niall, Moff and I worked closely with Robin as well. Robin learned directly from our experiences in the BMC team. Why not ask him if he shares your views on the relative BMC, YMC timings? In common with the BMC work lots of stuff got re-written at dtp stage for various reasons. Hence, as with the BMC, lots of problems were spotted in the final proofs. In the YMC case the final stage was less rushed and partly given that, had more people providing useful feedback; yet there are still some errors I know we missed.
tony howard on 31 Jul 2013
In reply to Tom V: been away for a week, so missed all these threads. Dovies Q looks in better nick than it has for ages. Must go and check it out.There were, as i said, some fine routes in there. And can I remind you that Cowbury is well worth a visit and still new routes to do..., would love to get some feedback. See Cowbury Dale in https://www.thebmc.co.uk/download-support-for-over-the-moors Here's three lines for you, the hanging groove right of Super Trooper and two lines between No Time for New Tricks and Hurricane on the Chequerboard Wall.
Simon Caldwell - on 31 Jul 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
OtM is the 2nd best guidebook ever written, and everyone interested in Peak District climbing should buy a copy.

Having got that out the way.
Millstone - the map on page 249 shows it directly opposite Lad's Leap. There is indeed a crag there - but it's not Millstone. The map on page 250 shows it at the same level but further west - there's a crag there as well, and that's not Millstone either. The grid reference is spot on though, and luckily (despite the guidebook assurance that the p249 map was all I needed) we had an OS map with us. So we eventually went to the right place, which is 200m south of Lad's Leap, 30m lower (roughly where the 'e' of Millstone is on the p250 map), and out of sight from above.

Slanting Crack: I have the topo in front of me, and it clearly shows it starting up the arete. Yes it's blatantly obvious with hindsight that the routes were swapped. But we believed the guidebook, and assumed that the obvious groove on Cake Buttress must have hidden jugs (it didn't). And yes the name is a give away, but it wouldn't be the only route with a name that doesn't match (Stomach Traverse at Almscliff springs to mind, it used to be a stomach traverse, but for the last few decades has avoided that bit completely). The start of The Arete is also shown wrongly (Martin confirmed this when I queried it). Fair enough about the topo being new - but given that no descriptions are provided for most of the routes, it's especially important to get the topo right.

Regarding timings, I didn't come on board right at the start, but when I did sign up there were still 28 crags without authors (including some relatively popular ones) so presumably only a few months after kick-off. That was February 2010, volume 1 was published about 2 1/2 years later, only a decade or so less than OtM ;-).
Offwidth - on 01 Aug 2013
In reply to Toreador:

I think I'm clear now on your problem with the maps (in conjunction with the comments in the crag approach section). I was confused as I thought you were referring to the two main approach maps on p.248 and p.249. If I'd known the area better I would have said it needed to be clearer on the maps that Millstone is at a level below the Lad's Leap ravine.

You can speculate until the cows come home on comparative timings or as I said earlier, you can get Robin's views on the matter directly. Any guidebook producer needs their climbing public to keep them 'honest' but if accuracy is really a bigger concern for you than publication timing then saying so more clearly in the future on UKC threads might help those of us working on guides who feel the same. You could also ask for the books to come out quick and deal with the warts later (like say the Moorland pages of Western Grit) but you can't have it both ways.
Simon Caldwell - on 01 Aug 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
But OtM was both late and contained errors...
Anyway, I'm off to Brimham to try some of the routes I've never been able to find before the excellent new guidebook came out ;-)
Dave Musgrove - on 01 Aug 2013
In reply to Toreador:

I rather despair at some of your recent arguments. I doubt there is a guide writer anywhere who hasn't picked up a finally published copy of his work and not noticed an error or omission somewhere that he/she should really have picked up during the production/proofing/editing stages. Few of us are professional writers but hopefully all of us are passionate and enthusiastic climbers and I feel that these new guides reflect that state of affairs perfectly.

I have used both OTM and YG Vol 1 quite extensively this summer and have found them both quite inspirational. Many congratulations to both Martin and Robin and their teams. I know just how many hours of work editing a guidebook takes and just how thick-skinned an editor needs to be to accept all the niggles and criticisms that come their way (hopefully well outnumbered by the plaudits). We don't always get everything right (I don't think I'll ever live down getting the lines hopelessly wrong on the Crummackdale diagrams or misspelling Millennium on the front cover of The 'Millenium' Supplement), but hey-ho no-one's perfect.

Just get out on those high crags whilst the sun shines and enjoy. We probably won't get another summer like this for anther 10 years. You should be heading for Simon's Seat or Rylstone rather than Brimham on a day like today Simon!

Dave

Simon Caldwell - on 01 Aug 2013
In reply to Dave Musgrove:
You'll notice I've made no criticisms of YG1, the only mistakes I've noticed are trivial. As I say I've probably just been unlucky with my choice of OTM crags, but I've found non-trivial issues with both. At least with the Crummackdale topos you had correct text descriptions to back them up!

Not sure about Simon's Seat after last night's deluge, but in any case by the time I leave work and drive to the crag there's only time for somewhere with a short walk in for an evening's visit :-(

Might give Earl Crag a go on Sunday.
Frank the Husky - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Toreador:
> (In reply to Offwidth)
> But OtM was both late and contained errors...

I can say that about every single guide I've ever bought. People want new guides "now" and they want them to be "perfect". You and I both know that's never going to happen, so your comment is old news.

Mr Offwidth has very eloquently explained the challenges of producing OtM, and I thank him for that.

I could have cut and pasted from previous guides and OtM would have been out years earlier, but then the old books were full of errors too. My team researched this guide very throughly and we all felt that was desperately needed. No other guide to this area has even 10% of the effort and preparation that went into OtM and every future guide, no matter who publishes it, will draw heavily on our work.

I probably did go new routing when the weather was good instead of sitting indoors staring at scripts. So shoot me.

Simon, I appreciate all the comments you've sent me so far regarding mistakes, it's very helpful of you to do that. All of them will be absorbed into the borg when the time for updating and reprinting comes around. Any more that you find, you know where to send 'em.

Fangs a lot.


Simon Caldwell - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Frank the Husky:
> every future guide, no matter who publishes it, will draw heavily on our work.

and be all the better for it.

I'd delete some of my earlier posts if I could, should have been kept to email. sorry.
Offwidth - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Frank the Husky:

We were sweltering at Dovestones main yesterday as we wanted somewhere that would have dried nicely after the deluge. I think Mr Toreador's point about Alute is that on the 1st pitch (common with Parallel Cracks) you move left at the ledge to climb the rib and this isn't clear in the topo. I think the grade is right at S 4a* (high in both grades) as it's brilliant climbing on a compelling line with a steep crux on the biggest grit face in the UK but the rock needs care in places and it could be cleaner (its a bit cleaner today than it was yesterday :) its maybe nearer HS 4a than S 4b as it has sustained 4a on the crux (like say PMC1) and a boldish move on the 1st pitch rib (RP helps if you have one).

Also did Mottled Groove on the right-hand flake start: maybe HS 4b** (certainly 4b). The moves on this were amazing, why are more people not climbing it to keep it clean (again its cleaner now than it was yesterday :)? Finished on Blanco Direct which has an super airy crux. The big suspect flake you have to stand on seems OK at the moment and you can keep bomber gear out of the way on the right just in case. I thought VS 4c* (just too technical for 4b) and not as steep but also not as juggy as I'd expected. The easiest finish is left (as per the topo as the right finish is grassy at present).
Offwidth - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Toreador:

Big of you to apologise. I do know you're just keen that things are right and the frustration in the delay was mainly from anticipation.
Simon Caldwell - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
Yes that's what I meant about the rib (and clarified via email).
We both found the initial cracks the hardest technical thing on the route, maybe we both missed the obvious holds! Don't agree with HS 4a due to the sustained crux, yes it's sustained, but a series of moves with rests between them. I thought maybe HS 4a at the time, when I looked at how firmly embedded the blocks appeared that I'd just laybacked up...
My favourite route there (so far), 1* is mean!
Offwidth - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Toreador:

It's a truely great route for the likes of you and me and the 1 star maybe keeps away people who maybe lack the experience on the rickety flakes in the corner. I said its hard S 4a but similar to the steep bit on PMC1 (which is HS 4a). On the crack crux I laid-off the edge of the right crack facing left with ahigh left foot and could easily reach a big flat hold on the left. Reachy 4a thats hard to spot as well to be fair (we had a newbie with us who was short and she did a lovely 4b sequence).
Simon Caldwell - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> similar to the steep bit on PMC1 (which is HS 4a)

I'd give that one S 4a as well ;-)

> Reachy 4a thats hard to spot

I'd believe it's 4a rather than 4b. Just so long as it's not 3a as per the guidebook, that would be too humiliating!

Did you do anything else while you were there? Epitaph Corner looked really good.

In the lower left, I'd thoroughly recommend Black & White Traverse, well worth its stars. Would be interesting to see your thoughts on the grade...
Offwidth - on 02 Aug 2013
In reply to Toreador:

Very slow day, the slowest of my year as the heat was oppressive at times and we had a relative novice and someone nursing an ankle sprain and 4 people on the 'rope'. I really enjoyed it though and was talking about the contrast with my fastest day or the year also on a hot day, with 100 solos on Stanage. Both very memorable for different good reasons.
Simon Caldwell - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
Might have been slow for you, but 3 DQ routes in a day seems to be the norm for me at the moment!
Ramblin dave - on 03 Aug 2013
In reply to LakesWinter:
> (In reply to Ramblin dave) Nasal Buttress, Dovestones is a great HS

Out of interest, is the proper start of that to the left of the arete or the right? I pulled through a juggy overhang a metre or so to the right of the arete which was great but felt a bit stiff...

I also had a mini-epic after trying to get off the ledge below the nose by climbing up the back wall to the overhang and trying to squirm out left at that level rather than by stepping left off the ledge like a sensible person, but that's another story.

Great route!
Offwidth - on 04 Aug 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:

It's a bit mute. If you stay left its a pretty tough HS without adding pump from the steep start and its a good VS that's not done as often as it should be if you stay right.
Graeme Hammond - on 11 Aug 2013
Maybe this will help encourage everyone out to tick off some of those classics and buy the excellent guide:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/set.php?id=663

Graeme Hammond - on 11 Aug 2013
In reply to Graeme Hammond:

ps how is everyone doing? i'm slacking on 25.1% :o
ads.ukclimbing.com
Frank the Husky - on 11 Aug 2013
In reply to Graeme Hammond: What a brilliant idea. I'll have a go at this list during the week.
snapperdan - on 11 Aug 2013
In reply to Graeme Hammond: 3 per cent but I've only been climbing 5 minutes!
Offwidth - on 12 Aug 2013
In reply to Graeme Hammond:

Great stuff Graeme!
Tom V - on 12 Aug 2013
In reply to Graeme Hammond:

Wot no Broomstick?
Simon Caldwell - on 12 Aug 2013
In reply to Graeme Hammond:
12.4% for me - but that's not bad considering only about 25% are within my grade range!
Frank the Husky - on 12 Aug 2013
In reply to Toreador: I'm on 60.25%. I think this means that I need to be much less of a porker, and pull harder (in every sense). Is this topic worthy of it's own thread?
snapperdan - on 31 Aug 2013
In reply to Offwidth: Mananged a few routes including The Dervivative at Ravenstones today - great climbing in a quality location.

Hopefully I can squeeze in some more moorland days before it gets too cold. Laddow next.
Offwidth - on 01 Sep 2013
In reply to snapperdan:

Thie is a really good summer season, should be OK for a while yet.
Dave Musgrove - on 01 Sep 2013
In reply to snapperdan:

I went to Laddow last Tuesday. The first time since 1973! However it was a big mistake. It was a hot day so we thought such a high crag would be ideal but we were wrong. The humidity was very high and the wind dropped completely bringing out swarms of midges and flying ants. Just managed two of the longer classics on the main wall before being eaten alive. I thought a bit of soloing on the lower tier might be better by keeping moving but these routes were very dirty and hard to escape from through the heather fringes.

The big routes are worth a visit but choose a cooler breezy day.

Dave

snapperdan - on 01 Sep 2013
In reply to Dave Musgrove: Thanks for the tip. It was pretty nippy at Ravenstones yesterday and very breezy!

I't's great how different conditions all add to the adventure of these moorland crags. Some of the routes were a bit dirty at Ravenstones, but they were still really enjoyable.

Can't wait to have a crack at Laddow and Kinder Downfall.
snapperdan - on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to Offwidth: Chris Tan sent me a nice email and asked me to post the following message for him:

"It would really help if your second carried a stiff nylon brush and cleaned
the route while he/she climbed. Also a nut key can be used to to dig out
grass/bracken/heather/etc.

"Any help in keeping the Moorland Grit routes clean will be much
appreciated. We organise regular crag clean ups but the Moorland Gritstone
Guidebook Team + valued volunteers can only do so much. Now it's really up
to you users."
Offwidth - on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to snapperdan:

Chris is right abput that (and a good climbing partner for a dirty crag).
Ann S on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to snapperdan)
>
> Chris is right abput that (and a good climbing partner for a dirty crag).

And he just loves those offwidths.


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