/ NEW REVIEW: Boulder Britain By Niall Grimes

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Mick Ryan takes a look at Boulder Britain by Niall Grimes, a new guidebook to bouldering in the UK.

"Often we don't know what we want until we get it, Steve Jobs understood that, and so does Niall Grimes..."

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=4426
Harry Holmes - on 01 Mar 2012
In reply to UKC Gear: it says the salisbury crags are sandstone!
Niall Grimes - on 01 Mar 2012
In reply to naffan: Why that's ridiculous! They're limestone.
Dan Middleton, BMC - on 01 Mar 2012
In reply to UKC Gear:

Please buy this book so that Niall can pay me back the tenner he owes me.
Harry Holmes - on 01 Mar 2012
In reply to Niall Grimes: everyone knows they are some sort of cheese hybrid
Niall Grimes - on 02 Mar 2012
Over 4,000 people now read this review. Hope you all troop of like Hamlyn rats to the shop tomorrow and buy one.
Paulos - on 03 Mar 2012
In reply to UKC Gear:
25?! Who has that money to spare. I know what i'd rather buy with 25. Open source is the future, no more easy money for money-grabbers.
Si dH - on 03 Mar 2012
In reply to Paulos:
Strange thing to say. The quality of this guide is not something one can produce open-source.
I've got boulder britain and its brilliant - nice one Grimer. Lots of places in it that I didnt even know existed!
cha1n on 03 Mar 2012
In reply to Si dH:

My girlfriend bought me this book for Christmas. I must be honest, I wouldn't have bought it if she hadn't got it for me but it's been very useful and I've used it several times.

It's dead handy for when you're in an area you don't usually go to but you're there for a few days. I've got a peak bouldering guide and that's where I do most of my bouldering but occasionally stop by Dartmoor, Dinas Rock, etc. The other day I found myself in Yorkshire for an exam and this book was perfect for the day I spent there. Saves you having to have many guide books!
Pekkie - on 03 Mar 2012
In reply to UKC Gear:

A great guidebook and a good review. Can't understand the curmudgeonly comments posted above - well worth 25 quid. Nice quote from the book:

"If Pex Hill was a boyfriend, being brought home for the first time, then the prospective in-laws would certainly have reservations. Rough and tough, with a whiff of glue. But if daughter brought Harmers Wood home then mother would break out an approving sigh of relief. Tea would be served in china cups."

Imagine if daughter brought home The Breck (also in the book)? Needle-scarred forearms, 'love' and 'hate' tattooed on the knuckles. Pit-Bull straining at the leash. Mother would bolt the doors and call the police.

Niall Grimes - on 03 Mar 2012
In reply to Pekkie: Thank you all, glad you likes it. And the same to your girlfriend, Cha1n. She looks after you. Treat her right.
Toby Dunn - on 03 Mar 2012
In reply to UKC Gear:


a good review but a shame that Mr Ryan could not restrain himself from shamelessly plugging UKlog for several lines, before launching into it. Congrats on getting it out Grimer, I hope everyone on the planet buys a copy. Actually scrub that, the crags might get a bit crowded then.
Eagle River - on 04 Mar 2012
In reply to Toby Dunn:

> Actually scrub that, the crags might get a bit crowded then.

Don't worry about that, I bought a copy and haven't bouldered since (although that's nothing to do with the guide).
Michael Ryan - on 04 Mar 2012
In reply to In reply to Toby Dunn:
> (In reply to UKC Gear)
>
>
> a good review but a shame that Mr Ryan could not restrain himself from shamelessly plugging UKlog for several lines

.....and he was also critical of it, it is however as I stated, 'the most complete listing of UK crags available' which was in the context of my introduction which states the need for books similar to Boulder Britain to cover, trad, sport and winter climbing in the UK.
slapperv6 - on 04 Mar 2012
In reply to UKC Gear:

I thought this guide would be trying to do to much and end up being a white elephant, that is untill i had a good look at the copy my mate won at the nibl comp.

Its a fantastic encyclopedia of uk climbing, sure if you are gonna spend a lot of time at a local crag its not the right guide, but as an overview of what britain has to offer its really really useful.

I think the Mr Grimes has done a splendid job and i will be parting with some coin!!


Jonna
ksjs - on 05 Mar 2012
In reply to Paulos:
> (In reply to UKC Gear)
> 25?! Who has that money to spare.

Many people; how much money do people spend on stuff that is unnecessary - loads. I'm not saying the guide is necessary but in terms of how much you will use the guide, where it will take you, how it might inspire you, it's worth / value for money is far higher than a lot pointless **** that people spend money on.

> I know what i'd rather buy with 25. Open source is the future, no more easy money for money-grabbers.

Right, so when you do paid work, you obviously refuse to accept any form of payment given your principles? The money-grabbers comment is just ridiculous, have you any idea how much time and work can go into guidebook production, do you have any idea of the actual cost of production, do you have any idea of the distribution cost? No? Thought not.
Sean Bell - on 05 Mar 2012
In reply to UKC Gear: I have the guide and thoroughly recommend it, the layout is easy to follow, the text is relaxed but very informative and there are some amazingly slick pictures ;-) As far as bouldering porn goes, its up there with the best of them, so many areas I never knew anything about but will now be heading to after discovering them in the guide.Sometimes I can get bogged down with the same old venues but this book opened my eyes a wee bit, leafing through it is pure psyche maintenance and the ticklist is now growing rapidly....

A well researched and put together guide.

Great effort Niall.

Onion - on 05 Mar 2012
In reply to Niall Grimes:

What's your normal delivery time on the book Niall?

Just ordered it and would be good to have it this weekend for a trip to Dartmoor!
Niall Grimes - on 05 Mar 2012
In reply to Onion: Hey all, once again, thank you for all the positive feedback. With these projects you spend the whole time alone in front of a screen, making your own choices (incidentally, that was one of the biggest tasks in making a book, or anything, like this by oneself. The fact that you have to take every decision yourself and be responsible for it. The number of times I switched between V grades and Font grades :-) ). Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that it's funny when it finally tootles off by itself into the world and makes some friends.

Books in the post Onion, will be there in a day or two,

Niall
Chris the Tall - on 05 Mar 2012
In reply to Niall Grimes:
That was a cracking Hoxton Bonnet you were sporting yesterday !
Niall Grimes - on 05 Mar 2012
In reply to Chris the Tall: Is that another way of saying I'd forgotten to pull my zip up?
Chris the Tall - on 05 Mar 2012
Mick Ward - on 05 Mar 2012
In reply to ksjs:
> (In reply to Paulos)

> The money-grabbers comment is just ridiculous...

Totally agree with this and your other comments. Grimer toils for seven years in the wilderness (so to speak) and then gets bollox like this.

Looked up Paulos' profile (as you do) and found currently banned. Quel surprise!

Thankfully most folk are immeasurably more appreciative.

Mick
Toccata on 06 Mar 2012
In reply to UKC Gear:

My copy arrived yesterday as was well thumbed last night. For someone who doesn't get a lot of time to boulder and travels around a fair bit this is a brilliant book. The areas I know well are covered well with the pick of the problems or areas, giving me confidence in visiting other areas. Niall has the knack of capturing the feel of an area well (I love Rubicon but 'minging' is indeed the right word for having to lay out four plastic bags and two mats just to done one traverse) thus I hope when I have the chance to nip out for a few hours on holiday I can choose somewhere suitable. If you find Niall funny, you'll find the book funny. Otherwise it is still well and succinctly written. The pictures really are superb (apart from the one of those testicles...). The overview pictures showing access and crag layout are a brilliant idea, again essential for the one-off visitor.

Gripes? Scotland is shamefully short-changed and the book is rather let down as a result (as much through my disappointment). As the author admits it was more of an afterthought but I guess Boulder England and Wales wouldn't have been alliterative.

In summary this is a 'Rough Guide' to England and Wales bouldering and is an essential addition to your library. I look forward to the coffee table version 'Classic UK Bouldering' in which the photos will be double-paged (with mainly female ascentionists).
Michael Ryan - on 06 Mar 2012
In reply to Mick Ward:
> (In reply to ksjs)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> Totally agree with this and your other comments. Grimer toils for seven years in the wilderness (so to speak) and then gets bollox like this.

Doesn't matter Mick. In the UK making money by providing services and products for climbers is not allowed!
Niall Grimes - on 06 Mar 2012
In reply to Toccata: Hey thanks Toccata, interesting review. Just to answer a couple of points you raise:

I tried to keep any humour corralled in the intro paragraphs. With a book like this, you're essentially trying to make the book you'd like to read yourself so in some way one puts in the humour as an indulgence. However i'm also aware that humour, in general, can become annoying pretty soon, so I think all the sections on conditions, approach etc are all totally straight. I think.

Also, the Scotland thing. Well, as it says in the book, I couldn't have done it otherwise and there was a point where Boulder England and Wales was a tempting option. However in some ways i now find it the most inspiring chapter - mainly down to Richie Betts' pictures and how they capture the sandstone and landscape.

Anyway, sorry to focus on what seem like the minus points in your generous review, and thanks again,

niall
thermal_t - on 06 Mar 2012
In reply to UKC Gear: Had a thumb through the guide the other day in a shop, and will definately be purchasing it when I have the cash. As someone who does not live near any bouldering venues other than Portland, it will be nice to have a selective guide to loads of destinations in one book, and not have to get definitive guides to every area I fancy visiting for just a weekend. Great job Niall!
Thinker01 - on 07 Mar 2012
In reply to thermal_t: I appreciate the fact that it's not a definitive guide but was a bit peeved when I turned to p303 to see what Bridestones had in store for me only to find that there is NO info whatsoever barring the suggestion that I go and buy Yorkshire Gritstone Bouldering by Rockfax! 25 well spent!
Niall Grimes - on 08 Mar 2012
In reply to Thinker01: Hi Thinker, just to reply to your message and give the background to that decision.

Throughout the late 90s and early years of the 2000s Bridestones was a very popular destination with boulderers. However the rock there is much softer than other gritstone hereabouts and the result of this popularity was that some problems were very heavily eroded and practically destroyed. So much so that the latest Total Climbing guides took the decision to leave the venue out of their books altogether.

I wasn't sure whether to put it in BB for the same reason. If I did and gave a selection of problems then I feared the result would be to focus attention on those problems and further exacerbate the problem of erosion on a select number of problems. I didn't want that.

I was in contact with some of the locals and they thought that this solution was a good one. ie, just tell people where it is and what it's like and let them make their own way around it. It's the same as has been done for Bowden Doors and Doveholes in Northumberland, both great venues with delicate rock.

I hope you understand this reasoning. However i can also guarantee that you don't need a detailed guide to have a great time at the Bridestones.
Niall Grimes - on 09 Mar 2012
In reply to Thinker01: Plus, there are loads of problems on the 302 pages before that :-)
ads.ukclimbing.com
Thinker01 - on 13 Mar 2012
In reply to Niall Grimes: Thanks for that Niall - does make perfect sense just wasn't what I hoped for having randomly ended up with a weekend just round the corner from there. Cheers
Niall Grimes - on 13 Mar 2012
In reply to Thinker01: Well, I hope the next time you end up around the corner from something it's not going to be Bowden Doors or you'll be well pissed off :-)

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