/ New Ground Up Wales Winter Guide book
Also, I noticed quite a few routes weren't on the topo's.
I'm a big fan of Ground Up guides but wasn't impressed with this at a first glance.
Anyone looked at it in more detail than my quick glance in the shop?
I had a rapid glance in the shop. Reading the back cover I hung on the word 'definitive' and glancing at the Black Ladders section I thought: "Wow, this is what I've been waiting for".
When I arrived home I noticed that in the intro it says it's 'interim' and on the back cover it says it's 'definitive'? Which is it? It says definitive to the major venues but plenty of stuff is missing. Reading the intro further it states it only covers the North of the park (but it still misses Aber Falls).
Basically if you climb sub grade IV or are interested in the more remote areas, then give it a miss and stick with your old Campbell / Newton guide (which you'll need to keep anyway irrespective): it appears popular classics such as Cneifion Arete, Tower Slabs, Banana Gully etc. have been ommitted in favour of stuff like that D9, Bambi and obscure stuff done by the guide book writers - though to be fair they state they've recorded all the recent new routes. By missing out such classics though, and by writing, '...definitive coverage, to all the major winter venues:' on the cover, they've mislead people. Where is Cadair Idris: Trojan et al, and Maesglasau Falls nearby? It should have a cover title akin to: Recent developments and a selected guide to winter climbing in North Snowdonia.
It's of the expected Ground up quality and is of an excellent layout, but overall I'm a bit underwhelmed I'm afraid.
Ground Up are the best guide writers at the moment but I'm afraid this one doesn't keep up the excellent record.
Have to agree Dave about the lack of an index of climbs. I found this pretty aggravating when I had a wander up into Cwm Cneifion the other weekend with a mate who had just bought the new guide, trying to identify climbs before they all disappeared. I have just received the old Welsh Guide via Amazon this weekend and had no problem finding what I wanted from the excellent drawings at the back. I don't think we are being too picky about this.
There have been a few mentions that a full guide may follow at some point.
The introduction was crammed together by the look of it, no organisation went into it at all. Just a lot of writing over a few pages, instead of clear sections.
The contents page is poor, especially compared to North Wales Rock, which is superb in comparison.
Also annoyed to find that I spent £20 on a guidebook which is 'interim', despite telling me on the back that it's 'definitive'. Make your mind up? I doubt I'll be spending another £20 on a more definitive guidebook unless they seriously address the problems.
However, route descriptions are excellently detailed, it could just do with a lot of tidying up.
Did it feel rushed to anyone else?
Working from memory here but I dont think Cwm Cneifion was listed in the front index-think they just give Clogwyn Du- can anyone confirm this. Was looking for Tower slabs by the way which isn't in as previous poster said. The day was very claggy and I am not familiar with that area so led to much frustation and rude words.
The layout and photography of the new guide are superb. I really want to like it but the lack of an index is incredibly irritating.
I had been expecting a sort of equivalent to the new(ish) Scotish Winter Climbs with consistent modern topos for everything and near-definitive coverage and was a bit disappointed.
I think it is best seen as a sort of super-supplement to the 1988 guide and, on that basis, it is very good, in fact indispensable. As somebody who bumbles about on the easier grades, I certainly can see lots in there to go at - it isn't all grade VII eliminates and hard mixed routes.
I've been informed that it was on a blog somewhere. Is it a requirement that before buying a guide nowadays you need to scour the blogs? Don't think so.
Where? Had this been the case - and had it been *made very obvious* (on the cover & not in a blog) that stuff had been ommitted then I'm afraid I wouldn't have bought this one.
It sounds to me as if it has been rushed out and I find that a little cynical. I would rather have waited another year for a proper definitive guide than settle for a hasty 'interim' jobby...eapecially for £20 :-(
Whilst I think some of the criticism is valid, its certainly great Porn and the coverage of some areas really complements the older guide - glad I bought it on balance.
They don't make em like they used to.
Come on Cicerone show em how it's done.
And it made all the snow melt!
Don't mean to be rude but I think you needed to read the back of the guide book at bit more carefully:
"This book provides full definitive coverage to all the major winter venues: [list of 9 crags]. It includes full details of new and previously undocumented winter routes on all other crags in Snowdonia. There are also information updates and modern grade reassessments on a range of crags and routes."
It does exactly what it says on the tin. If you're not sure about exactly what's included, you can have a flick through the guide book in the shop.
A route index is helpful but not essential. I don't really see the point of a graded list for winter routes as the difficulty can vary by a grade or more depending on conditions and besides ice and mixed routes aren't really easily comparable.
A big thanks to the team for producing this guide book. It's indispensable for places like the Black Ladders, where the '88 guide book was pretty useless apart from the main gully lines (the wiki topos were ok but I think the ones in the guide book are better still, plus there are full route descriptions), and Glyder Fach, which got hardly any coverage in the '88 guide but actually looks like quite a good venue.
There is less need for a new guide book for some of the classic snow gully areas like Cwm Cneifion and Y Garn as the routes are pretty obvious from the '88 guide / wiki topos and there hasn't been much new development. Having said that, it would of course be great to see a fully comprehensive guide at some point (and if you don't like the latest one, perhaps you could volunteer to help out with the next one...).
The real issue is that people keep putting up new routes so it's already out of date!
Thanks Mike-good pics of Y Garn as well.
The Y Garn topo you mean? Glad you like it (he said smuggly!). I have several others like it I keep meaning to put on there & possibly a section on my blog.
I realise that a lot of effort went in to the guide - and from flicking through it at my desk, it looks really nice.
However the lack of an index is a massive omission. It's fine if you know the area well and where the climbs are - but I don't so for me that's hugely disappointing.
I also feel that they could have been a lot more up front that it was in interim guide (to be fair, some of this criticism should also be aimed at the websites). It's hard to "have a flick through the guide book in the shop" if you have to get it via mail order.
Definitely feels rushed due to lack of index etc.
I'm not saying that it's a bad guide, or even that I wouldn't have bought it had I had a chance to look through it beforehand - but I think that saying there's nothing wrong with it is a bit of a "rose tinted" view.
I winter climbed in Wales last year some and I definitely would have preferred an index-free new guide to what i had. I didn't really get on with the old one that well, and in the Venn diagram that represents Wiki-usability and my intellegence, there isn't much intersection.
Not saying your point isn't valid, just sometimes you have to go with something as it is.
> I had a rapid glance in the shop. Reading the back cover I hung on the word 'definitive' and glancing at the Black Ladders section I thought: "Wow, this is what I've been waiting for".
> When I arrived home I noticed that in the intro it says it's 'interim' and on the back cover it says it's 'definitive'? Which is it? It says definitive to the major venues but plenty of stuff is missing. Reading the intro further it states it only covers the North of the park (but it still misses Aber Falls).
> Basically if you climb sub grade IV or are interested in the more remote areas, then give it a miss and stick with your old Campbell / Newton guide (which you'll need to keep anyway irrespective): it appears popular classics such as Cneifion Arete, Tower Slabs, Banana Gully etc. have been ommitted in favour of stuff like that D9, Bambi and obscure stuff done by the guide book writers - though to be fair they state they've recorded all the recent new routes. By missing out such classics though, and by writing, '...definitive coverage, to all the major winter venues:' on the cover, they've mislead people. Where is Cadair Idris: Trojan et al, and Maesglasau Falls nearby? It should have a cover title akin to: Recent developments and a selected guide to winter climbing in North Snowdonia.
> It's of the expected Ground up quality and is of an excellent layout, but overall I'm a bit underwhelmed I'm afraid.
> Ground Up are the best guide writers at the moment but I'm afraid this one doesn't keep up the excellent record.
Sorry you (and others) were disappointed by the guide, it pains me to recieve such a slamming review after all the work that went into the book.
I don't feel we have mislead anybody though - the guide has always been pitched as an interim guide (see here: http://www.groundupclimbing.com/newsitem.asp?nsid=250 ) and as I mentioned in one of the other threads I have never described it as a fully comprehensive/definitive guide.
The back of the guide lists the crags that get full definitive coverage. It doesn't list Aber Falls, Maesglasau, Cadair etc. And it does provide 'full definitive coverage' for those listed crags.
You say we should have described it as: "Recent developments and a selected guide to winter climbing in North Snowdonia"
That is unfair - this is so much more than a cherry picking selected guide. It is actually almost a fully comprehensive/definitive guide, and includes a huge amount of information, description improvements and updates when compared with the 1988 guide. To suggest otherwise is just plain wrong.
As for the index - yes it would have been better with one, but we ran out of time.
One other thing - somebody said they paid £20 for it. The recommended price is £18.95.
Also to the gripes about definitive/interim, all the old routes are in the old guides, so why do you need to buy a new guide if you dont intend on climbing any of the new routes? It doesn't make sense.
Even if you want to buy it for new style photo topos etc, why complain that it does not have things like I dont know gully x on it, when it's blindingly obvuious that it goes up the big gully in the picture.
I think it looks like a great effort, and a labour of love done by people who get out and do it when it's in.
> I winter climbed in Wales last year some and I definitely would have preferred an index-free new guide to what i had. I didn't really get on with the old one that well, and in the Venn diagram that represents Wiki-usability and my intellegence, there isn't much intersection.
> Not saying your point isn't valid, just sometimes you have to go with something as it is.
Hear hear. I'm sure Simon would acknowledge that the guide isn't perfect. However I would much rather have an imperfect guide now than a perfect one in May when all the snow's gone.
Well done and a big thanks to Simon and his team for producing a brilliant guide. It has really opened my eyes to some new crags that I would have never considered visiting.
Now that my exams are over I can't wait for it to freeze again and to get out there with my new guide.
Please don't write the guide off before you've seen it - honestly I will be amazed if you are not impressed with what you see.
A huge amount of energy, research has gone into this book and as others have said, the photography and design is top notch. It really is a stunning production and I'm very proud of what we have achieved.
Presumably you could easily stick an index PDF on your site?
Bit of a typical ukc thread and responses* we have here. Although no one has corrected any Spellinks yet
Its a guide .. its got hundreds of new routes, nice photos and good topos. What more do you need. Ok there’s no index so what! In North Wales I find its best to pic the crag first before the route you intend to do as conditions change from venue to venue.
you’re right though its not got everything in it... but then it never promised too.. in fact I believe (could be wrong) it has more than it set out to in the first place and was produced in less than a year.
there are hundreds of routes at all grades to go at in the book so if you have the old one its a great addition and if you don’t then its enough to keep you going for a good few years.. so please just stop the moaning and get out there and climb some of them. When they are in nic that is .. (read the ethical bit at the beginning of the well worth £20 Winter Guide)
*Moan moan moan grumble grumble ooo maybe I should climb something !!
>...Also to the gripes about definitive/interim, all the old routes are in the old guides, so why do you need to buy a new guide if you dont intend on climbing any of the new routes? It doesn't make sense.
That 'logic' would suggest that all new guides should only contain new routes? (I'm not saying that this guide only has new routes in it btw, just questioning what you've said).
>...Hear hear. I'm sure Simon would acknowledge that the guide isn't perfect. However I would much rather have an imperfect guide now than a perfect one in May when all the snow's gone...
And next year?
The year after?
What about the year after that?
How long before you deice that you'd have quite liked an index, graded list, whatever else the Ground Up team had to leave out due to time constraints?
> How long before you deice that you'd have quite liked an index, graded list, whatever else the Ground Up team had to leave out due to time constraints?
A graded list of winter climbs would be pretty pointless, as winter climbing is so conditions dependent.
An index is hardly essential. I don't know about you, but I've not heard of many winter climbs in Wales and those that I have I know what crag they're on. So I can easily find them.
I know the guide isn't perfect, but it is a hell of a lot better than what went before it. Reading through it you can tell that the authors are totally committed to Welsh climbing and hours and hours of blood, sweet and tears have gone into it.
Perhaps you should see it as a definitive guide to selected crags, together with new routes supplement.
Stop being so negative, try writing a guidebook yourself, and maybe go out climbing.
Its mega hard to produce guidebooks and a metric f*ckload of work goes into it, winter guides are roduced for fickle conditions, what f we have crappy winters for the next few years? I'd rather hav had an imperfect guide for the good conditions than, as Ripley said a pefect on once it has all gone.
I don't winter climb yet bu had a flick through toms the other night and it looks good!
lovely jubbley, Dunc
Overall I find the new guide excellent, brings Welsh Winter into the 21st century with great topos and route descriptions. As winter climbing is a niche area and the print run cannot be massive I think that Ground Up have done well to keep a full colour guide down to under £20.
It is a slight niggle that for full coverage you may find yourself carrying the 88 guide as well, and the lack of an index is frustrating. The lack of an index does make it feel like there was a rush to get the book out before this season is over, but I find that understandable.
The fact the first Winter Ascent of the North Arete in Cwm Lloer is credited to Andy Cave in 2009 is a grave error ...I led this in 2007!
1 Copy and paste the routes into their respective grade bands.
2 Shuffle them up so that it looks like you haven't just copied and pasted the routes into their respective grade bands.
That approach doesn't work so well if you're creating your own index by the way.
I'm not fussed about a graded list - I was merely picking up on things that people had said they wanted.
Shame that wont work with the index, as you say.
Or that I can't seem to get the cut and paste function on my PC to work from the book I have in my hand....maybe I need a Mac?
Quick question while the folks from Ground Up are presumably reading this thread - any date for the release of the slate guide yet?
> Stop being so negative, try writing a guidebook yourself, and maybe go out climbing.
Christ -if you think that's me being negative then heaven help you when you come up against true negativity!
Why should I write a guidebook myself?
Other people make a business out of doing that.
Why is it that you (and others - but you're the one having pop) seem to think that it's unfair to criticise this guide?
If it were done for charity, or for free then I'd say that we should be massively greatful to the guys for improving so much on the prev guide.
But it's not, is it? Or am I missing something?
I didn't say it was h1t. I didn't say I could do better. I didn't (if you'll bother to read my post) even say I wouldn't buy it again given the option.
What I *did* say was that not having an index is a massive omission.
I presume that you've torn all the indexes out of your other guidebooks as they don't serve a use? Would make your guides lighter, eh?
I'd love to go out climbing Tom, sadly I have to go to work.
You should probably come up with a slightly better way of putting your point across than telling me to try doing it myself and go out climbing.
Stop whinging people, can't you flick through the pages to find the crags?
Moan moan moan.....
the best and worst of UKC....
I think a new winter guide was about due. I've got the old one and although it's excellent it's very different from the more modern style guides with photo topos etc.
I haven't seen the new guide so don't really feel I could comment on its quality but I know guide book writers do it much more for love than for the money and it would be better to have it out in winter than summer as others have stated and £20 is the going rate for guideooks these days and for the specialised nature of it I think this represents excellent value as a product. At the end of the day no one is forcing you to buy it.
Maybe people could just stop with the internet 'I'll slag everyone/everything off in anonymity because I can thing' and moderate their own comments a little more?
I know for sure if i'd spent hours slaving over a product I wouldn't want to see it mercilessly slagged off on the internet.
I'm not sure folks complaining that the book doesn't have an index is merciless slagging.
You forgot 1.5 to change a few grades at random first.
I think it's fair to critique the guide. I appreciate Simon, Baggy, and others have put a huge amount of work into it, but if people are parting with their 'well earned' they're entitled to critique aren't they?
This guide was clearly badly needed, 22 years is a long time to go 'between guides'. As already mentioned the quality of the photography and topos are excellent, but the thing I haven't been able to get my head around is why areas like Cwm Cneifion and Upper Cwm Glas have been left out, meaning there is no mention of some of the lower grade classics like Parsley Fern LH, Tower Gully, Tower Slabs etc.
Also, have to agree about the ommission of the 'graded list', as pretty much every climber I know (summer or winter) uses the graded list to work out their next 'tick'.
Well done guys, it's a great guide, and feedback is always good and i'm sure will only serve to make the full guide even better.
Really? I thought graded lists were only there to provoke arguments.
Isn't the method described by Mr Grimes the one normally used?
> Also, have to agree about the ommission of the 'graded list', as pretty much every climber I know (summer or winter) uses the graded list to work out their next 'tick'.
You can't know many winter climbers then... none of the SMC guides, or the Lakes winter guide have graded lists.
I'm really looking forward to my copy arriving in the post, whatever anyone says it has to be better than some of the old guides; I've got the old CC ogwen and carneddau guide and some of the photos/topos and descriptions on that are less than useless, I also have a old Kimber guide to Ben Nevis and Glencoe and comparing that to the latest SMC guide there were 4 routes to every one that I had listed.
It is a great looking and very useable book which has resulted from loads of hard work out and about and on the PC. So much has been done in recent years that a new guide has been desperately needed so well done on stepping in and producing one!
My quibbles probably revolve around my grasp of the hype/pre-publicity/rumours ie that we were getting a new definitive guide which covered all previous areas but with more detail/ topos/recent routes. I am glad that I still have the previous editions but for those without, there are lots of areas missing. These include some popular lower grade venues. Things like graded lists and an index, I am less bothered about, although both would have required relatively little effort to have included.
I hope criticism is taken in a constructive way and a mass UKC moaning does not ensue. If nothing else, Simon et al now have the opportunity to start on the revised edition!
There will always be grumbles - mine is I was surprised to see 2 Cold Climbs omitted, those on Lliwedd - but overall "thanks guys" for putting it together.
If the price to pay for a new guidebook in time for what looks like another amazing winter is the mere lack of a couple of non-essential lists, surely that's worth it?
There's no reason to believe there won't be a revised edition or index supplement in the near future so you may not even have to 'put up' with it for that long.
And for anyone saying that 'as a customer' you have a right to a critique, well as a business they have a right to try and maximise their sales by publishing at the optimal time. Toys released before Christmas and all that.
Just my view and I'm sure when Wales comes back in I'll consider it a worthwhile purchase.
Without going into to much detail, from this thread it seems that many contributors are complaining in regards to being mislead.
They make suggestions that certain advertising was wrong. Well I can see 4 posts on Baggy's blog, none of them make reference to it being the definitive Winter Guide to Wales, 2 actually state it is a interim guide and the other 2 state it is North Wales Winter Climbing. V12 call it North Wales Winter Climbing. Well they both would as that is what the guide is called.
Reading the guide, in particular the back page, it tells us what the guide is, so what is the problem here. Am I missing something ?
In North Wales I find its best to pic the crag first before the route you intend to do as conditions change from venue to venue.
Precisely. An index is a 'nice to have', not a 'need to have'. It's not like summer rock climbs where you might want to do a route you've heard about but don't know what crag it's on. With Welsh winter climbing (any winter climbing?), you follow the blogs and UKC threads throughout the week, then pick a crag and a type of climbing (i.e. ice or mixed) which you think would be appropriate for the conditions. Then you can have a look in the guide to see what routes you might be able to do on that crag and of that type. Hence no real need for an index.
> But it's not, is it? Or am I missing something?
It's hardly going to make any millionnaires though. Given the small print runs and the cuts that must go to the retailers, distributors, printers, etc, I'm surprised that guide books don't cost a lot more than they actually do.
Wow, didn't expect this much interest.
Was not aware this is not a full definative guide, (was only a quick look so did not read all text on cover).
No body should be put off buying the guide by this thread as photo's and general layout were very good as you would expect from Ground Up. Go and have look for yourselves and make your own minds up.
Still think that there should be an index to any guidebook (interim or not).
I may still end up with a copy! :)
> Basically if you climb sub grade IV
What guide would you (or others) suggest for someone in that situation? I'm new to winter climbing - lots of winter walking but no climbing yet. I've no guidebook, any thoughts on a good guide for low grades?
You only had a quick look and felt worth to be so critical !! good on you for being so honest in the end, and as you say its a good book and worth having.
Index or not, there is not one there, I doubt thats why the book was put together.
> You only had a quick look and felt worth to be so critical !! good on you for being so honest in the end, and as you say its a good book and worth having.
Sorry if I have misled you, I still stand by my observations in the original post.
I have not said whether it is worth having or not, just for people to go have a look and decide for themselves!
Its a great book but you do need the older guide as well. This is an interim guide and there is definately a purpose for it, its just a shame the word 'definitive' got used on the back cover, as clearly a lot of people feel short changed having expected coverage of all the area that was covered by the older guide.
I do hope that Ground Up see the need for an inclusive guide covering all the classic areas. I cant believe that Cwm Cneifion and Y Garn were ommitted. I guess the fact that there are barely/no routes above IV has deemed them unworthy of this guide.
I can see 4 posts on Baggy's blog,
bet you can !
I had a skim of the guide in a climbing shop the day after it came out and I thought it looked really inspiring, nicely laid out and far more convenient to use than the old one.
But one thing I particularly hope will be different when the full, definitive guide comes out is the binding and cover which don't look to me like they would survive many thumbings by soggy, gloved fingers, let alone an accidental drop in the snow.
There is no doubt that this is an impressive effort. Great pictures too!
It will no doubt inspire many out there to do great things.(and yes I have bought it).
In direct reply to "crashmatt" though, if you want a good guide for the lower grades then Andy Newton/Malcolm Campbell's guide is the best (and if you can find an old copy you will get it with a plastic cover too!)
It is much preferable to Rick Newcombe's guide (1974: for the youngsters out there :-) )
I think most punters out there (judging that the average winter climb on UKC is II/III) would be better off with the old Welsh Winter.
Which is not to say that the Ground up isn't a really beautiful guide. However, like the summer guides, it's selective. I'm a bit of a believer that in winter you really do need a comprehensive guide, as you need to be flexible in how your days unfold- so the old Welsh Winter is the way forward.
However, when they bring out a new comprehensive guide we'll be rocking.
I think you are undermining the general winter climbing public by calling them punters and the average person climbs above grade II-III.
Agreed on the cover but you can always laminate it with some laminating film from WH Smiths. Worth doing even for summer guide books, unless they have a decent cover (eg the CC guides).
In a nutshell, what you're saying is that it isn't a comprehensive guide book - which is because it isn't one and doesn't claim to be!
> I'm a bit of a believer that in winter you really do need a comprehensive guide, as you need to be flexible in how your days unfold- so the old Welsh Winter is the way forward.
> That is such a valid point Ander-in summer I have a plan A. Find route, climb it, go home. In winter I need Plans BCDE. Might not get to target area cos of unsafe road conditions so need a different valley. Get to target route but it's too hard/too easy etc. Get to target route and companion has forgotten crucial bit of gear. All this has happened to me and no doubt planty of others as well.
I don't have the book in front of me but don't they relate to the given grid references? :)
Bob this is a cheap shot, nothing more than point scoring exercise by a prominent member of the Climbers' Club (Bob Llewellyn is the hut custodian for the Ynys Ettws CC hut in Llanberis) against a rival publisher, and particularly galling given the extensive volunteer work I did for the three CC guides you list - strange how you omit to mention Gogarth North book in your list of recent North wales guides. Is that because it is not a CC guide?
As for your criticisms of the new winter book, none of them bear scrutiny and given the politically motivated nature of your post (as evinced by the second sentence) and the fact that you don't have the grace to say anything positive at all, I see no reason to waste any more energy on this than I have already done.
See you around some time.
As a winter climber rather than a guide book reviewer my primary aim is to go winter climbing. I've just got my copy through the post and although it isn't perfect, (which guide book is?) my chances of having an amazing snowy adventure in Snowdonia have now been greatly increased, so job done! Good effort all those concerned.
As an aside I can see that for those people who scanned the back cover before buying the first bold text bullet point 'full definitive coverage of all the major winter venues' is the first thing that catches your eye so could be seen to be misleading, although the less eaily scanned text above does explain quite clearly what is contained in the book.
At the end of the day if you don't like it then don't buy it.
Agreed, a good technique - so long as you don't get air trapped under the film! But the other thing that concerned me a bit was the binding: I hope it proves up to the job.
Shame it has had to come to this discussion, but I do agree that guidebook writers need to avoid using a term such as "definitive" if it is going to be quickly disproved.
As for the points you made, here we go one by one:
First and foremost you are criticising the book for things that it never claimed to be. If I had advertised this guide as a fully comprehensive definitive guide you would have a point, but I have not. From day one it has been referred to as an ‘interim’ guide and the statement on the back of the guide (and on the first page intro section) makes it very clear what is being offered, to the point of listing the crags deemed to be ‘major’.
Anyway, first point: Parsley Fern has been well documented to date, the Black Ladders has not. Are you not in the least bit happy to see this amazing piece of history documented, and moreover documented in such a clear and colourful fashion? Surely the volume of information is impressive on its own (an increase of 40+ routes on this one cliff), not to mention the improvements to the descriptions of old routes. Your dismissive tone suggests that you think this cliff is of minor interest when it is in fact one of the most important winter cliffs in Britain, never mind Wales.
If I’d been producing a fully comprehensive definitive guide Parsley Fern and all the other routes in Cwm Glas would have been given the full topo/description coverage. The route is only mentioned in passing as a reference to the previously undocumented IV line to its left.
The same point applies to the Fidelity area routes.
What is wrong with describing routes in the slate quarries? There has been new development here; of course it needs to be in the book.
Lliwedd – you call this a ‘major’ crag, and I agree it is important, but it has notoriously fickle conditions and is rarely in condition. It seemed entirely reasonable to only describe the new routes (far important to give full coverage to the nearby Clogwyn y Garnedd). You dismiss Dai Lampard’s background story to the girdle of the crag; this is one of the greatest achievements in Welsh winter climbing and I was very excited to be able to publish a full description of the route plus the fascinating story of the ascent.
You say in your second post that there is no info about any routes on Lliwedd – in fact there are 4 routes (6 if you include Lliwedd Bach) given full descriptions.
Aber Falls and Cadair – see above point about non comprehensive nature of the guide. The described new routes are given a grid reference and a position on the cliff – if they were next to Trojan I would have mentioned Trojan, but they are not.
The comments regarding the previous guide – all I have done is document what a lot of people both within and without the North Wales scene have expressed to me. I didn’t write the comments on that1987 page in the Pete’s Eats book – one of the authors of the previous guide did. Cannon Rib was a key route that should have been heralded for what it is; a fantastic winter route and also a pointer to what wonders lay ahead. Instead it was dismissed out of hand. I realise that this all happened a life time ago when attitudes to winter climbing were less open minded than they are now, but the point remains that in the following couple of decades Wales lagged behind what was happening in Scotland and that wasn’t just because they get more reliable winters up there.
I make no apologies for the acknowledgements pages at the back of the book. This guide was built upon a lot of very hard work and extremely valuable contributions from a large and enthusiastic group of climbers. To not pay tribute to them would be plain rude.
The index – yes, as I’ve already said, this should have gone in but I took the decision to go without because of the time pressure. Producing an index is not as simple as it might appear and with a rapidly approaching deadline I was left with no choice.
I sent the guide to the printers just before Christmas, exhausted by the effort of months and months of intense work, knowing that I’d managed to document a remarkable phase in the history of Welsh climbing. Yes a few compromises had been forced upon the production, but nonetheless I was deeply proud of what we had done (i.e. taking the idea of a new routes supplement and developing it into what is very nearly a fully comprehensive guide) – I haven’t changed my mind about that, and judging by the wealth of positive feedback I have received since I was right to be proud.
I would urge you to road test the guide at the crag before dismissing it further. I think you will be pleasantly surprised, and if all those gorgeous colour images don’t give you inspiration then I don’t know what will? I’ve been staring at them all year and I still get excited when I pick the book up and think about the next winter adventure.
dont rise to it simon!
If people want to slag it off they can, but they are lesser for it and indicative of the modern cosseted climbers nowadays, and more indicative of the claptrap on this site from alot of people who have never had the pleasure of proper old school guides and expect to be hand held up everything.
It was blindingly obvious that this book was going to focus on new and harder lines, with descriptions revised to suit modern gear, and climbed in different styles than what went before. That was the gap in what'activists' needed, not some revisiting of 50 year old grade II gully lines with exhausting descriptions which essentially say, go up the gully, put some belays in where you can, and on this topo, it's the big white line in the middle that we have conveniently put a yellow line up as well incase you couldnt figure that out.
Also why are people so concerned with aber falls and trojan? You dont need a new guidebook page to get to aber falls and climb it, it's signposted from the road isnt it? And if you know about trojan as a winter climb, you will know where it is.
I don't think there has been any "slagging off"......merely observations by potential purchasers or those like me who have already invested.
I think it was well worth the sacrifice of those items and it sets things up nicely for the 2nd edition when all that other stuff can be put in, together with the 80-odd new routes that will have inevitably been done by then (60 of them by Tim, Baggy and Chris).
Bob Llewellyn's comments come across as quite ungracious considering he must have some idea of the huge effort Si's put in to this guidebook. The comparison to CC guides was unnecessary for a start - while the CC guides nowadays are some of the best guides out there they aren't in danger of breaking any records for getting to the printers on time.
This is an interim winter guide which reflects a dynamic scene, with excellent topos and route descriptions that will get you to 80% of the traditional winter routes in North Wales, 90% of the routes that form regularly and 99% of the new routes. I'd buy one, and I'd contribute to the welsh winter wiki to help whoever makes the next edition even better :)
not true. North Wales Rock yes but still an amazing and very comprehensive guide that would keep most people busy for life.
Gogarth North - definitive
Parisella's - definitive
Slate - definitive
Gogarth South - definitive
North Wales Bouldering 2nd Ed - not sure if this is being produced under the Ground Up brand but i believe this is definitive too save for scrappy eliminates and stuff like that
before anyone gets excited those last 3 arent out yet. bring on the slate!
> not true. North Wales Rock yes but still an amazing and very comprehensive guide that would keep most people busy for life.
So it is a selected guidebook then.
> Gogarth North - definitive
It only covers half of Gogarth. 50% of the routes seems less than definitive to me. When is the other half being published? We seem to be waiting quite a while.
Isn't this little more than a computer print out pamphlet to a single limestone bouldering cave. I am sure it is fantastic and just what is needed for that single crag, but I am not sure it can be labelled a 'Definitive Guidebook'.
This book doesn't even exist.
This book doesn't even exist.
This book doesn't even exist (AGAIN). And if it doesn't include everything then it won't be definitive.
As far as I can see, Ground Up is a selected guidebook publisher and only has 3 books published despite being in business for quite a few years now.
North Wales Rock - (Selected)
Gogarth North - (Half a definitive - if they do finish the other half, then all well and good, but it's a bit late).
North Wales Winter - (Selected)
Parisella's Bouldering Pamphlet
Peak District Lime Selected Updates Pamphlet
Out of 3 books - 2 are selected and 1 is half an area with no sight of the other half.
They are nice books, but they are not definitive.
I agree with you on summer climbs but not for winter (when at best its a ticklist). Even summer graded lists will be unreliable as a rank order for an individual, given the way they indicate a nominal viewed average at best.
We may only have 3 books currently published (assuming you disregard the smaller publications), but North Wales Rock was significantly changed and updated for the second edition - it certainly wasn't a straight reprint.
The Llanberis Slate guide is imminent - hardly any work left to do on this at all. Gogarth South again is well on the way.
Not bad really for a very small company where the main workers (myself and the designer Al Williams) have only ever worked part time.
PS Glad you like the books done so far.
I think it was hard enough to get a general grade consensus for a lot of the routes, never mind then trying to put them in order of difficulty, it would be epic, and in the end never as accurate as a list for summer routes. There's just too many variables with Winter climbing that affect your perception of how hard a route is not forgetting that loads of us still don't really understand the grading system anyway!
Incidentally I really like the guide, it actually does a lot more than it was going to; Si and Baggy never said it was going to be definitive and to have included what they have is a bonus as opposed to what they left out being a negative. I am still inspired by it and it gets me psyched for the next (maybe here now...) cold snap, and that's from someone already pretty familiar with the guide.
A guide should do two jobs well, first it should direct you to and up a route and it should inspire you to go out and get one that route. Si's guide does both to a very high standard.
All I would say is that it's worth getting a guide cover for it which is nothing more than most would do anyway if taking a guide out in the Winter.
Remember to order Snow and Ice when launching a new winter guidebook.
Here's looking across from Y Lliwedd yesterday morning.
A word in the ear of Boreas and Khione may be useful. I have a direct line if you want to use it.
Why do you feel the need to be so unpleasant about other people hard work/livelihoods?
Ground Up guides books are commercial, but I can't imagine Simon or his team are in it for the money. Last time I checked he certainly wasn't driving round in a BMW or what ever.
I don't understand how you can define Gogarth North as a selective guide? It is a definitive guidebook for all the crags on the North Stack. It does explains that the South Stack crags will be covered in another guide.
In your mind it might not be a definitive guide, but the vast majority of local climbers here in Wales think it is.
I'm not really into bouldering, but I've used the guide to the cave. It might not be very big, but it is certainly definitive for the area it covers.
As I've stated earlier on the thread, North Wales winter is a definitive guide to most major winter venues; combined together with a new route supplement that covers new routes at other slightly more esoteric venues. It says this clearly on the back.
I don't understand how anyone who has seen the new winter guide can be so critical of it?
Sure, it doesn't have an index, but it does have bloody amazing topos and photographs, which inspire me to get out and climb this winter.
They're probably just jealous because they didn't get any of their photos printed in it.
Beautiful weather here this week - I had lovely run this morning.
Sound effort getting the guide out for this winter: thanks for all the hard work and driving to Grimsby or wherever to pick them up! Maybe people dont understand interim? The old guide is widely available again (£9 on Amazon)- which actually is an excellent guide and for its time was pretty innovative, particularly compared to Scottish guides of the time - attitude and weather held up Welsh development not the guidebook!! I think the 2 mesh together well - the new one is a worthy addition and to me smacks of quality and hard work. I'm sure you cant wait to spend the huge quantities of filthy lucre you'll be getting!!
On Crib Goch there's a couple of lines on the right that have become popular in recent years. I think the main section below the ridge is a bit broken and easy angled.
Glyder Fach has been the real revelation for me of late - some really excellent stuff here.
And obviously there's Clogwyn Du and the Ladders, the latter of which I dare say will keep you busy for the rest of your life!
(Oh btw, the guide does give full coverage to icy venues like the Clogwyn y Geifr/the Kitchen and snowy gully venues like the Clogwyn y Garnedd/Trinity Face. Thought I better say that just in case that wasn't clear.)
Job well done! you can't please all of the people all of the time.
Some climb easy gullies some climb harder routes a book containing both would be large and we'd still be waiting next year, slate guide anyone?
I'm grateful to the ground up team for their efforts.
If you want the earlier guide you may get it cheap on ebay or amazon.
If you like photo topo's, which aide greatly in finding the right route, get this. But make sure it covers your areas of interest.
Have I been sent the wrong book? I climb easy gullies, and also slightly harder routes (up to grade V courtesy of the new guide), and there seem top be plenty of both in my copy.
Too right Cliff, Page 122 if anyone else wants a look.
Just got my copy through the post today and it's making me curse the current weather.
I tend to chose routes for the quality of the climbing and the line rather than due to where they are in the graded list. If I'm pushing my grade I will sometimes check where it is in the graded list to get an idea but that won't be the main factor behind wanting to do a particular route. I will normally check the graded list after finishing a route but that's purely out of curiosity and so I could have something to disagree with! I think it would be fair to say that most climbers I know are like that (I might be deluded though?).
Thing is, conditions and hence difficulty vary so much in winter that a graded list would be fairly meaningless. Even grades can vary, never mind precisely where the climb falls within a particular grade.
Bee in your bonnet?
What glove system do you use?...
Just to get my oar in & going back to one of the original points made; have I missed something or aren't there graded lists at the start of every chapter (venue)?! Surely that is the best one can hope for in winter, given the variables already mentioned by others?! My SMC & Cicerone guides don't even have that!
I believe that the index was left out (amazingly time consuming to do, tho' very helpful)because they wanted to include all the new routes done in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Darn; if it hadn't been so cold we could have had an index instead of a month winter climbing & a book with another 40 routes in! Or perhaps we could just have waited for a book published in April. I know which I'd rather have.
Are you off to Norway again? we went up to scotland over the new year and everything melted as we drove up there.
by your logic the forthcoming 6? volume CC guide to Pembroke isnt definitive. i think most would suggest it is albeit split into volumes.
equally, you make it sound like Ground Up are another Rockfax when this is not the case; their planned publications clearly demonstrate this.
Parisella's is definitely not a computer print out: its a full colour fully descriptive guide that opens up the Cave (and adjacent venues) to those not so familiar with it or on a fleeting visit. not to mention a superb graded list - the indispensable guide for anyone wanting to get down and dirty with the goat pooh and glassy holds.
your post might look very different in a few months time when Ground Up will hopefully have another guide or two out there. if its a question of waiting for something equivalent in quality to their existing guides i am happy to wait.
Always fancied myself as a woman, want a date? ;-))
might need a game of bats and ball soon ! let me know if your in the area
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