/ PREVIEW: The New Yorkshire Grit Bouldering Guidebook

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Michael Ryan - on 11 Jan 2008
It has been almost eight years since Rockfax published their guide to the bouldering on Yorkshire gritstone. Much has happened since then and the book is now well out of date. New lines have been sent and repeated, standards have risen and bouldering is now more popular than ever.

So, it is without surprise that a new guidebook should emerge, this time from a group of newcomers in the form of Total-climbing.

Kevin Avery reports: http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=763
Glyn Jones - on 11 Jan 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC: Looks a nice guidebook and a good write up too imho
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC:

Looks like it's going to be a really nice guide. Chris Crags (before his post was zapped) mentioned the the A5 format, I like the format and it works well with the sexiest bouldering guide and one of the best, the Font 7+8 guide.

As for Glyns remark about the BMC/RF/Total climbing guides, well competion is often a good thing and keeps the bar high and the goal posts far enough away to ensure that the next guide is always fresh and the format reviewed.
Mr Plow on 11 Jan 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC:

Exciting that the new guide is coming out.

I hope the example pages are not final though!

3 problems a page / incorrect grades / dogdy descriptions.

I think this guide is going to be a huge let-down.

Sorry!
Michael Ryan - on 11 Jan 2008
In reply to Mr Plow:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC)
>
> Exciting that the new guide is coming out.
>
> I hope the example pages are not final though!

I am sure they aren't.


> I think this guide is going to be a huge let-down.

Pass judgement when you have a copy in your hands, not before.

> Sorry!

What the hell are you sorry for?

Mr Plow on 11 Jan 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC:

Just sorry that this is the opinion that I have decided to share. But unfortunately I believe that what I have said will be true.
In reply to Mr Plow:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC)
>
>
> I hope the example pages are not final though!

I don't think for one minute they are, I believe they were produced in the first place to sell advertising space.
>
> 3 problems a page / incorrect grades / dogdy descriptions.

The book will be judged when it comes out, but there will all ways be debate about grades.
>


Michael Ryan - on 11 Jan 2008
In reply to Mr Plow:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC)
>
> Just sorry that this is the opinion that I have decided to share. But unfortunately I believe that what I have said will be true.

The upside down, inside out, mixed up, jumbled thinking of some astounds me.

You keep on believing in make believe dude.

How the hell can you have an opinion on something when you haven't seen the darn thing!

Mr Plow on 11 Jan 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC:

> How the hell can you have an opinion on something when you haven't seen the darn thing!

Mr Nidderdale seems to be able to express his opinion without being ripped apart

Glyn Jones - on 11 Jan 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC: If the front cover is yellow that should help locating the guidebook when you leave it on the ground!
In reply to Mr Plow:

I haven't expressed an opinion more than saying "Looks like it's going to be a really nice guide". And that's been on what I have seen so far.



Simon - on 11 Jan 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC:


Looks good, and similar to Ru's successful Peak bouldering guide.

I am dissappointed that its A5 landscape again as this was the only major downside to the peak book (i.e it starts to fall apart & gaffer tape is soon needed!)

I also don't think the format lends itself to photo & text layout well, anyhoo - am looking forward to the 1st volume.

Good call on leaving out the Kebs for obvious reasons and the decision to have two volumes - as there is so much to go at!

thumbs up & bring it on!

Cheers

Si
In reply to Simon:

> I am dissappointed that its A5 landscape again as this was the only major downside to the peak book (i.e it starts to fall apart & gaffer tape is soon needed!)
>


Prahaps a ring bound version is needed?


At 19 for half the pair getting the complete volume for the area is going to be a bit eyewatering, it looks like it could be a fantastic guide but at 40 its really gonna hurt.

Is the idea that vol 1 is selective and vol 2 is the add inns becase thats not the impression I'm getting. As I understand it if you don't buy both then a whole geographic area is missing?
In reply to Northern Alliance Commander:

Vo1 is more the core areas and Vol 2 more the "esoteric" Moorland stuff.
Lemony - on 11 Jan 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC: I'm excited to see it. Not sure I'll be able to justify 40 though. Might have to persuade my housemate to buy the second volume.
In reply to A Nidderdale boulderer.:

> Vo1 is more the core areas and Vol 2 more the "esoteric" Moorland stuff.

Ah, so prahaps i can purchase vol 2 and stick with rockfax for the rest. Its a nice idea as probably most folks will buy vol 1 so it will keep the quiet places quiet.
Lemony - on 11 Jan 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC: Has anyone else tried to pre-order, it's failing at the "Calculating tax and shipping" stage for me.
In reply to Lemony:

Vol2 might be cheaper.
In reply to A Nidderdale boulderer.:

> Vol2 might be cheaper.

is that a reflection on the quality of the climbing to be found within? Could be a new way to price up guidebooks...
Lemony - on 11 Jan 2008
In reply to A Nidderdale boulderer.: I hope so, it might have to go on this year's birthday list.
Michael Ryan - on 11 Jan 2008
Climbing guidebooks are cheap.

Heavily researched and printed in low volumes, I sometimes wonder why climbers write and publish them.

Of course I know why they do!
Richard Bradley - on 11 Jan 2008
In reply to Simon: I don't agree on the kebs thing. I guide to an area without the areas second best venue is not a guide to an area.

It would have perhaps been better to add the Bridestones but put BIG warning notices on each page of that section along the lines of 'Clean your fecking boots!'.

Just my opinion of course.
Lemony - on 11 Jan 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC: I'm not arguing that it should be cheaper simply commenting that I can't justify spending that much. As I indicated above I've already tried to pre-order volume 1, I'm all for supporting these efforts.
In reply to Richard Bradley:

Hmmm, i think it was the righ choice - drastic action is needed to save some places. As I understand it whole crags are skipped out of font guides over periods of years to let them recover.
Richard Bradley - on 11 Jan 2008
In reply to Northern Alliance Commander: When have they ever left out Curvier?
Michael Ryan - on 11 Jan 2008
In reply to Northern Alliance Commander:
> (In reply to Richard Bradley)
>
> As I understand it whole crags are skipped out of font guides over periods of years to let them recover.

In our Bishop Bouldering guidebook we left out over a dozen areas and over 1,000 problems (I had recorded them and done much of the topo work).

Self-exploration and discovery (sometimes rediscovery) are to be applauded - surely that is part of the spirit of climbing.
Simon - on 11 Jan 2008
In reply to Richard Bradley:

> (In reply to Simon) I don't agree on the kebs thing. I guide to an area without the areas second best venue is not a guide to an area.
>
>


I see what your saying, but would we all be desolate if a new peak guide didn't include burbage south & just said follow your noses?

As much as I like bouldering guides to get me to new places - I tend not to use them much when I'm there (including font) as I can see without a book whats in front of me.

I think we need to tip a nod to places that are trashed and site them as examples of what happens when people (like us) over use/abuse them I guess... (your defo right about the foot wiping tho Rich!)

There are lots of problems missed out at the Bridies in the Rockfax guide as are there many places - which is IMHO a good thing.

Si
Sam L - on 11 Jan 2008
In reply to Northern Alliance Commander:
> (In reply to A Nidderdale boulderer.)
>
> [...]
>
> Ah, so prahaps i can purchase vol 2 and stick with rockfax for the rest. Its a nice idea as probably most folks will buy vol 1 so it will keep the quiet places quiet.

That sounds like a good plan, especially as I'm not much of a boulderer.
In reply to Richard Bradley:

I suppose the question has to be: will leaving the Bridestones out have any effect on the place and the visitor numbers it gets? Is prohibition better than education? (Sorry that two questions)
I left it out of Northern England at Dave Musgrove's request - though it doesn't really fit in a 'crag guide' anyway.

Chris
Tim Broughtonshaw on 11 Jan 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC: Seem to remember asking people about a bouldering guide to Kilnsey and someone mentioned the forethcoming yorkshire bouldering guide. It appears with the inclusion of the word grit and the omission of the crag in the crag list means it wont be in the guide. Anyone know if it is likely to become available in another tome?


cheers
Tim
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Well its already erroded so it will be hard to tell. If its not in the 2 new guides coming out then maybe it will prevent new climbers (over) using the crag. I guess the Font case is different because as far as i am aware the idea was to allow the vegetation to recover, the rock at bridestones isn't going to though is it. Is there any news on the french polish treatment that they were trialing at bridestones?
Richard Bradley - on 11 Jan 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC: Shirley Hugencroft should be in there complete with welcome forward from the Gooselady?
duncan b - on 11 Jan 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC:
> [climbing guides are] Heavily researched.

hmm, I'm not convinced by this, particularly with regard to the Rockfax guides I am afraid Mick ;). Although i prefer the Rockfax guides to the more traditional ones, I do sometimes wonder how much checking goes on of route descriptions, grades and first ascent details particularly in the guides that cover areas outside the UK.

Wee Davie - on 11 Jan 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC:

>Self-exploration and discovery (sometimes rediscovery) are to be applauded

Self exploration is one thing, but adding discovery AND rediscovery to that can lead to soreness.
Another point- it's difficult to applaud with hairy palms. The acoustics are rubbish.

Davie
In reply to duncan b:

I have sent you an email Duncan.

Regarding the new guide:

I think it is great timing with our Northern England guide a few weeks away from publication as well. Both guides appear to be highlighting some of the lesser-known crags dotted across the north of England and hopefully people will be persuaded to explore these far flung corners a bit more. I know that during our research I have been continually amazed at the quality of crags that I had never even heard of.

Alan


Simon - on 11 Jan 2008
In reply to Alan James - UKC:
> (In reply to duncan b)
>

>
> during our research I have been continually amazed at the quality of crags that I had never even heard of.
>
>

You know its one of area's that until you go there / see a guide - you wonder how the hell you have never been!

You have mail btw Al

Si

In reply to Simon:



Some of us have been going to these places for years and years!


Chris
mick o the north on 11 Jan 2008 - 79-66-105-135.dynamic.dsl.as9105.com
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC: why are we suddenly on font grades when everyone understands the v grade which has been used in yorks for some time and works far better than the french grade anyway ?
Simon - on 11 Jan 2008
In reply to mick o the north:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC) why are we suddenly on font grades when everyone understands the v grade which has been used in yorks for some time and works far better than the french grade anyway ?


Font grades are better accross the range of Grades & give more scope.

Also more people will have been used to font grades than V grades...(ie visited font rather than Hueco!)

I wish we never took the decision to use them.

Si
Michael Ryan - on 11 Jan 2008
In reply to Simon:
> (In reply to mick o the north)
> [...]
>
>
> Font grades are better accross the range of Grades & give more scope.

How so. Explain yourself.


> Also more people will have been used to font grades than V grades...(ie visited font rather than Hueco!)

To most climbers English tech grades make more sense.

> I wish we never took the decision to use them.

Who is this we you speak of?
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC:
> (In reply to Simon)
>
>
> To most climbers English tech grades make more sense.

But to most boulderers they don't!

>
> [...]
>
> Who is this we you speak of?

Steve Rhodes, he did write the first bouldering guide and he did (try) to equate the grades to the Hueco grading system.

Michael Ryan - on 12 Jan 2008
In reply to A Nidderdale boulderer.:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC)
> [...]
>
> But to most boulderers they don't!

That species are a very small proportion of climbers that actually boulder. Most are climbers that boulder, rather than that tiny clique that call themselves 'boulderers', and to them you will find that English tech grades are more easily understood than V or Font grades.

You've got to open your eyes and ears to see the bigger picture.


> Steve Rhodes, he did write the first bouldering guide and he did (try) to equate the grades to the Hueco grading system.

No, Simon was using the royal 'we' to describe himself. Mr. Rhodes had no experience of V grades when he wrote the OTE bouldering guide to Yorkshire Grit - and the same with the majority of UK climbers at the time, 1993.

In fact John Sherman's Hueco Tanks,' A Climber's and Boulderer's Guide' that introduced V-grades to the climbing world was only published in 1991.

It was a few years later with the rise of Hueco and Fred Nicole that V-grades started to be used and accepted in parts of Europe.

Mick

RupertD - on 12 Jan 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC:
> Most are climbers that boulder, rather than that tiny clique that call themselves 'boulderers', and to them you will find that English tech grades are more easily understood than V or Font grades.

It's irrelevant how well people understand a grading system if that grading system doesn't work.
Michael Ryan - on 12 Jan 2008
In reply to RupertD:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC)
> [...]
>
> It's irrelevant how well people understand a grading system if that grading system doesn't work.

But then you could say that it is irrelevant if a grading system works as long as people understand the grading system.

A bit like E grades.


Simon - on 12 Jan 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC:
> (In reply to Simon)
> [...]
>
> How so. Explain yourself.
>
>



I feel like I've been caught naughty bouldering at Micks Trad Climbing School.... My old headmaster used to talk like that to me!

Michael Ryan - on 12 Jan 2008
In reply to Simon:

> Font grades are better accross the range of Grades & give more scope.

Dead simple Simon; How are Font grades better across a range of grades and give more scope?

That's a statement.

Now give your reasoning behind that statement.
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC:

For V grades to work as well as Font grades you have to use V8+, a grade which only exists (partially) in the UK. Come on Mick keep up!
Michael Ryan - on 12 Jan 2008
In reply to A Nidderdale boulderer.:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC)
>
> For V grades to work as well as Font grades you have to use V8+, a grade which only exists (partially) in the UK.

Font and V-grades are identical. One was invented in France the other in the USA. There is no difference between them, only how people apply them.

"What confused me was that after saying that the Font system isn't suitable, he then attempts to par the Font linear numerical system with the V linear numerical system. I've tried working out why we should strive for this parity of grades. I have a few explanations but I won't bore you with them here. Better perhaps to explain how V8+ evolved. In his role as bouldering correspondent for Climber magazine, Simon was inundated with reports of new boulder problems often using three different grading systems: the Hueco V, the Peak B and the Font system. His column was beginning to look like a maths equation; Bernard Newman, Climber's editor, asked Simon if he could simplify the notation and just use one system.

The problem was that the V and Font Scales on some comparison charts align and on others they don't. Simon's contribution to aligning the V and Font scales was to add a V8+, to make parity with Font 7b+, where before on some tables V8 was spread from Font 7b to 7c. But he then ignores the lower grades where there is a similar non-alignment of grades between the V and Font systems. Do those lower grades not count?

But V8+ is, despite its inconsistancy, gaining ground in the UK; the new FRCC Lakes guide uses it, as does Greg Chapman's Lakesbloc website and Dave Henderson's guide to bouldering on Devonshire granite."

http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=5

North Wales Bouldering - reviewed
added Sep/2004
reviewed by Mick Ryan
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC:
> (In reply to A Nidderdale boulderer.)
> [...]
>
> Font and V-grades are identical. One was invented in France the other in the USA. There is no difference between them, only how people apply them.

Clearly not, and I quote your quote:

> "Simon's contribution to aligning the V and Font scales was to add a V8+, to make parity with Font 7b+, where before on some tables V8 was spread from Font 7b to 7c."



>
Michael Ryan - on 12 Jan 2008
In reply to A Nidderdale boulderer.:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC)
> [...]
>
> Clearly not, and I quote your quote:

You are being lazy.

Explain the difference between Font and V-grades. I challenge you.

I have yet to see a plausible explanation.
galpinos - on 12 Jan 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC:

There are 2 things I don't understand:

Firstly, why should the 2 systems line up exactly. The difference betweem 2 grades (in whichever system) is an arbitary "value". What's the chance of 2 sysetm developed on 2 continents by different people having exactly the same "value" between grades.

Secondly, if the 2 systems are linear (which they should be if they're to make sense) then how can they nicely line up apart from the v8/V9 Font 7 b area? That would imply they aren'y linear systems.

On an aside, I prefer Font grades as I've been to Font a coupele of times and I've not been to Hueco so Font grades have more meaning to me.
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC:

None apart from 7b+, unless you use the V8+ grade. But then an American for example, might be a little confused by this addition to his grading system.
Michael Ryan - on 12 Jan 2008
In reply to galpinos:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC)


> On an aside, I prefer Font grades as I've been to Font a coupele of times and I've not been to Hueco so Font grades have more meaning to me.

That nicely sums it up. It is down to personal preference and experience.

Michael Ryan - on 12 Jan 2008
In reply to A Nidderdale boulderer Wrote:

"But then an American for example, might be a little confused by this addition to his grading system."

Women climb too in America!

In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC:

Did you say that with your hand on your heart Mick?

God bless America.
In reply to A Nidderdale boulderer.:

So the big day is Thursday!
Jenn on 14 Jan 2008
In reply to no one in particular:

I think tolerance for both grading systems is the way forward. Each system has its own + and -. Overall, I prefer V-grades, just because I've climbed in areas that use them more frequently (despite living in the UK - Simon! Some people do make it further afield than Font).

Also, I've found that grades, despite whichever system chosen, have their own local peculiarities. For example in the lower grades that I climb, I've found Font grades to be much harder in Font than 'Peak Font' grades. I believe this is due to the general sand-baggy nature of Font and is part of the fun of the Forest. It almost makes the grades irrelevant!

I could say the same for Bishop V grades (hard) and the ones in the North Wales Bouldering guidebook (soft... er suits me). However when you look at their scales, you can see why.

I realise that it isn't necessary to translate back to Font grades, however, for the sake of argument....

Bishop
V1 ~ Font 4-5
V2 ~ Font 5-6
V3 ~ Font 6a-6b
V4 ~ Font 6b-6c
V5 ~ Font 6c-7a
V6 ~ Font 7a+
V7 ~ Font 7b
V8 ~ Font 7b+
V9 ~ Font 7c
V10 ~ Font 7c+
V11 ~ Font 8a
and so on...

NWB Guidebook
V1 ~ Font 5
V2 ~ Font 5+
V3 ~ Font 6a-6a+
V4 ~ Font 6b-6b+
V5 ~ Font 6c-6c+
V6 ~ Font 7a
V7 ~ Font 7a+
V8 ~ Font 7b
V8+ ~ Font 7b+
V9 ~ Font 7c (grades start to align here)
V10 ~ Font 7c+
V11 ~ Font 8a
and so on...

So for grades up to Font 7b+, both guidebooks give very different scales and might explain why one area feels harder for the grade.
TRNovice on 14 Jan 2008
In reply to Jenn:

You could try adding the Yosemite conversion table to that and maybe the BMC one as well :-)
Jenn on 14 Jan 2008
In reply to TRNovice:

Yosemite (yet another variation!)
V1 ~ Font 4+-5-
V2 ~ Font 5-5+
V3 ~ Font 6a-6b
V4 ~ Font 6c-6c+
V5 ~ Font 7a
V6 ~ Font 7a+
V7 ~ Font 7a+-7b
V8 ~ Font 7b-7b+
V9 ~ Font 7b+-7c
V10 ~ Font 7c-7c+
V11 ~ Font 7c+-8a
TRNovice on 14 Jan 2008
In reply to Jenn:

One might even think that such confusion might merit its own Facebook group ;-)
Simon Panton not logged in on 14 Jan 2008 - 213.210.57.113 whois?
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC: The advantage with Font grades is that you have more grade increments in the V3/6a - V5/6c+ range. Thus you can define a standard or soft V5 (Font 6c) and a hard V5 (Font 6c+).
andy guppy - on 15 Jan 2008
Bring back V grades...Have never liked font grades since they were used so badly in the new coffee table peak bouldering guide. Fine when your climbing 7b and above but the rest.....!!!!!
Guppy
Michael Ryan - on 16 Jan 2008

Talked to Steve Dunning yesterday and he is picking up the new Yorkshire Grit Bouldering Guidebook today and will begin mailing them out.

Mick
Chris F - on 17 Jan 2008
Guides look good, but I am confused by differentiation of the areas? Does the "central" and "Above and Beyond" refer to geographical location, ease of acces (how far from road) or perception? Slipstones is in one guide and Brown Beck is in the other, and they are approximately 2 miles (or so) apart?
Mjenn2 - on 17 Jan 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC: Anybody received their copy this morning?
RyanP on 17 Jan 2008 - cpc3-darl2-0-0-cust654.midd.cable.ntl.com
In reply to Mjenn2:

Hi
We received our first delivery of books from the printers today. All pre-ordered guides will be posted in the morning.

With regards the price of volume 2. We have not set a price for this guide yet but with it being a smaller volume we are expecting it to be under 15.

The guides look superb.

Regards
Ryan.
Ste Dunning on 17 Jan 2008 - cpc2-darl3-0-0-cust695.midd.cable.ntl.com
Also with regards the format (A5 landscape) we have used the best possible binding option to ensure that the books are as durable as possible.

Steve D.
Lemony - on 17 Jan 2008
In reply to RyanP & Steve: Cheers, that's my many worries assuaged. Looking forward to getting my mitts on the thing!

Roll on a dry day.
Serpico on 17 Jan 2008 - 78.144.152.22 whois?
In reply to Ste Dunning & Ryan P:
Now then...
Well done on getting it finished!
How much longer are you going to be in the country for?

Arran.
Ste Dunning on 17 Jan 2008 - cpc2-darl3-0-0-cust695.midd.cable.ntl.com
In reply to Serpico:
Hi Arran
Im back off to Spain on Monday. If you fancy a trip out to Catalunya over the next few months then drop me a line. Kev and Chadders are coming out (to spain!) at half term.
Cheers


Steve.
In reply to Ste Dunning:

They are now in the shops, well the one near Brimham has a pile!
co1ps - on 26 Jan 2008
In reply to Mick Ryan - Editor - UKC: As far as formats are concerned, an electronic version to go on a PDA equipped with GPS would be a nice touch, in PDF.
witnessthis - on 26 Jan 2008
In reply to RupertD:
The hueco system guides pretty well overall.Grading for instance gypsy trav in the new guide 6b+(font)to me is pretty meaningless.A crag like Almscliffe and others like it on grit with many traverse probs needs a less subtle grading system(than the font system).Otherwise the grades end up getting themselves very confused with inevitable comparable grading debates,you know the arguments re- is this a route grade or a 3move wonder grade etc etc.V grades speak for themselves no need to mentaly translate route grades or any other jiggery pokery( tricky if you do not climb routes!).
In reply to witnessthis:

I think Gypsy traverse is Virgin traverse.

"V grades speak for themselves no need to mentaly translate route grades or any other jiggery pokery" - The same can be said about Font grades.

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