/ 100 Classic Climbs in North Wales guidebook
Go for it. There's a new classic north Wales compendium on the shelves which is pretty recent....and pretty expensive ?
Your old guide is bit of a classic in it's way. The humorous tone was pretty unique in a world of po faced guide book writing.
An on-line free job would be much appreciated I would imagine.
I urge you to make it available again, Steve, as a pdf download - it's an absolute classic, with beautifully written, often very amusing, thumbnail descriptions of each route. Don't worry about other guidebooks!
i'd like to quote arnie...
I think yours is different enough from what's available not to fight with it. Be good to be able to have a read of the descriptions in it. I had a mate who had it and I looked at a few but never had the chance to read it properly. I reckon it would make good bathtime reading actually so would probably print off bits for that! :)
Please do it, I can't imagine you'd be treading on any toes because the format's so different to any other guides.
Wish you was still writing to liven up our bland climbing mags with their endless advertorials.
Please do it - one of my friends has a copy and we love it! :-)
Do it. I love that guidebook. As a low grade leader it was fantastic to have the routes described as they would appear to a low grade leader, as opposed to 'follow the obvious line to the top' style.
Ruth (not logged on)
Steve, your guides to Wales, the Peak/Yorks and the Lakes were an inspiration. I loved the way you hammed up the route descriptions and catered to the individual leader's experience at each grade. Fantastic. The +/- grades and topos were good, although it was mainly the humour that made them so distinctive. I've certainly got my money's worth over the years and still have plenty of routes left to do. Whatever you decide, I just wanted to say I really enjoyed them and thanks for doing something different and entertaining with the guidebook format.
Just been onto Amazon and there are 4 copies for sale, one for £123!!
Still use your guide
Its great and should be made available
go for it
very nice book thumbs up - can asssit with web side side of things if you want help, contact me to discuss.
Great idea Steve. You could have links to it on the North Wales Wiki web pages..
Was wondering how many I could honestly have a go at to complete these days? Fitness and weather will decide!
Our names are almost the same and I'm from North Wales...how odd
I really enjoyed that guide, it gave me real inspiration as a begineer!
Yep, we used it when we were starting out. Think I have a very tatty copy in the attic.
I well remember when it first came out my climbing partner (a noted poster on this site) and I sitting in the pub reading out excerpts from this guide aloud and chortling together.I still take it to the bath with me from time to time (the guide,not the partner).
Would be great for it to be made available again.
As someone who has bought and enjoyed a couple of your guides I just want to applaud your approach - both the idea of making it freely available and the sensitivity to other writers.
An idea - ask one of the MRTs to put it on their site, with an optional PayPal donation button?
> If you wanted you could drop them a line?>>>
Why should he want to drop them a line. He doesn't need their permission to publish a guide he owns copyright on and which preceded their twenty five quid tome by twenty years ???
I'm considering scanning it directly as a PDF and making is generally available for free (somewhere - haven't thought about that).
Have you considered approaching the CC?
'Philistines in rockboots will have to descend a scree couloir left of the arete'
Definitely my favourite line in a guide book.
> I'm considering scanning it directly as a PDF and making is generally available for free (somewhere - haven't thought about that).
> Have you considered approaching the CC?>>>
The CC have a number of guide book irons in the fire at the moment although I think in future it would be a good idea for the CC to follow the F&R lead and publish a classic compendium.
Steve's job is too quirky for the CC and would be better on the net or privately re-published
> Why should he want to drop them a line. He doesn't need their permission to publish a guide he owns copyright on and which preceded their twenty five quid tome by twenty years ???
"What I don't want to do, though, is undermine the hard work of anyone who has written/is writing an up-to-date selected guide for N Wales (I'm a bit out of touch these days). I'd be grateful for suggestions and advice on this, thanks."
Or does that make too much sense????
> Or does that make too much sense????>>
Not really.... Steves' job is light years away from the glossy Ground-up book. Can't see how an ebook which is coming from a totally different direction will put anyone's nose out of joint.
Steve owns his own copyright..he can do what he likes.
I KNOW he can do what he likes, but assumed he was asking out of courtesy. Is courtesy a foreign concept to you?
He ends by asking for advice. 99% are saying Go for it. The great unwashed UKC public don't appear too bothered about standing on Ground-Ups toes ?
Please please please publish it again. I'd even be happy to pay a small fee for a downloadable PDF like the mini-guides available from Rockfax.
I love the format & content of the "100 classic climbs in..." series. The gritstone one is providing my hit list for local climbing around Leeds & Sheffield.
For what it's worth I own the recent Ground Up select guide to N Wales and most of the definitive guides too. Having a "reprint" of you book wouldn't have stopped me buying any of those I already have.
> Just been onto Amazon and there are 4 copies for sale, one for £123!!
Anyone want to buy my old copy? I'll knock off the postage, so you'll save £2.75.
Steve this is probably my favorite guidebook ever. I lost mine a few years back on a club trip and got a new (old) one for Xmas after Lynn found one on Ebay that didnt cost a small fortune (from somewhere in Europe) and I was so chuffed. I would like to grab your signature one day for this and the peak guide; as would my good friend Nigel who loves his peak guide more than anyone healthy should. I'd be gobsmacked if you couldnt sell pdfs.
Just thought I'd say, almost 20 years later, that I've just come back from scotland having seen, in a hut, a copy of the "100 classics in Scotland" with all the same topos and text style.. -Why haven't I seen that before? -I am now inspired to get into winter climbing in a way that i've been failing to for years!
I'd pay too.
Many thanks for all these supportive comments and suggestions. I think nostalgia is playing a part here - I've just looked through the book and it's a bit of mixed bag to be honest and best regarded as an historical oddity. Plus, space was always a problem with the layout so it's all a bit cramped. Anyway, looks like it can be hosted as a free download (discussing this with a generous organisation at the moment) so I'll you know when that's set up.
Thanks again. I knew this was the place to come for ideas.
An oddity? Only insofar as a book that mixes advice, insight and humour and has a refreshing individualism that surely reflects its author's personality is odd, and if that's the case, would that everything was just as peculiar.
I don't see that as an issue myself. There was always sufficient white space on each page to make things understandable.
Sounds good. How about setting up an honesty box-type link on the site inviting people to contribute to mountain rescue in north Wales if they download it?
As your co-writer on the Lake District volume, I would be delighted to host your North Wales book as a free download on the Needle Sports website. Feel free to ring or email me.
Hope you are keeping well,
I think the Welsh one has the best writing. I say 'best' because there was a Peak one too.
"The Book of Doom" as it's known to myself and climbing partners :-)
We always use in in conjunction with a definitive guide, even if just for a laugh.
Honestly, this book brought a whole new aspect to our North Wales climbing experience. Our mission is to eventually climb them all.
Just seen this thread and would add my admiration for the guide. This is THE guide I turn to for inspiration in N Wales. Oddly perhaps in these days of photo everything, the route topos work extremely well and I have often deliberately used your guide in terms of route finding in preference to one of the more modern guides.
The text was also superb. Dream of White Horses would not be the same without it. Luckily, I did get further than looking it and didn't turn back :) But that's the beauty of your N Wales guide, it made every route seem like an adventure, which they are of course, regardless as to grade.
I am not sure there would any point in updating it, unless you were to expand it and add some colour photos alongside. If you did, it might sell surprisingly well. I am not a fan of more recent Welsh guides generally (with one or two honourable exceptions).
I do think there could be a place for an updated version of this. Don't Supertopo in the US use similar diagrams and they are pretty big over there I believe. If you took your original text, added a few more routes maybe (?), and threw in some nice photos, I think you'd be amazed at the response from todays' climbing public.
I also have your Lakes and Peaks versions, neither quite as good for some reason I can't quite put my finger on. But I still use them.
Regardless, thanks anyway for the inspiration and genuine practical assistance in route finding.
Two - a Peak limestone and a Peak+Yorkshire gritstone (which for many years was the best one on the market).
I'll add a "me too" to the general praise for the books. Given their apparently universal popularity, it's surprising that they ever went out of print!
Sadly, I'm too feeble these days to write new guides or even update this one - hence the idea to 'archive' it somewhere. There's a possibility of this - still waiting for confirmation.
Many thanks again for kind words (blushes).
For the record, there were 5 guides in the series: Scotland (Central & Souther Highlands); Lake District; Yorkshire & The Peak District (limestones); Yorks & Peak (Gritstone); and North Wales. I was the series editor but only wrote the last two. Originally there were going to be volumes for NE Scotland and South West/South Wales, but these never materialised. Ditto guides for alpine areas in similar format. Can't recall why, now.
"I think nostalgia is playing a part here" - Good nostalgia in the sense of a couple of great guidebooks that are inspiring, even today, and certainly demand a very high second hand price.
"I've just looked through the book and it's a bit of mixed bag to be honest and best regarded as an historical oddity. Plus, space was always a problem with the layout so it's all a bit cramped." - They were fun, compact, easier to use than competitors and still add interest in selecting and climbing the routes and looking back with a well earned pint.
and also very flattering. I remember whichever of the Idwal slab routes I have done, being with Steve's book. I cruised the bit with ease (ok, so it is only a Vdiff) but seeing it described as "death defying padding" or something like that in the book made it feel much more exciting!
Steve - the Southern Scotland one was seminal to me and quite a few mates who were at Glasgow Uni in the early 90s. I suspect I knew quite a few of the description by heart! I hope they are all available at some point to inspire future bumblies from Cader Idris to Ben Nevis.
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