/ 'New wave' of cycling mags - anything similar in climbing?
(mods - please can you not move this to the cycling bit as despite the title, it's about climbing magazines!)
I've noticed something of a 'new wave' of cycling magazines out there, the likes of Singletrack (okay, that's been round for a while), Rouleur, Privateer, etc, which seem to be characterised by more in-depth articles, fewer gear reviews, fewer adverts, better quality paper - and, unsurprisingly, a higher cover price. They clearly sell in sufficient numbers to retain a place on newsagents' shelves (for the time being at least) but I haven't seen an equivalent in the climbing press. I'm happy to admit that this is because I haven't paid particularly close attention, so if anyone knows the sort of magazine I'm talking about, is there a climbing equivalent? Should there be? Is there a market for such a thing?
I think the nearest would be Vertical and Alpinist.
There's another new cycling mag - Cyclist, issue 007 was delivered by Gert Frobe just this morning.
Cyclist doesn't seem quite the same somehow - it's an 'old-style/new-style' hybrid, to my mind.
I thought of Vertical and Alpinist - are both still around? (Please excuse my ignorance!)
And another one called "Simpson" believe it or not. It was on FB yesterday and a lot of people aren't very happy about it. Looks like a copy of Rouleur.
Sorry Clare - back on to climbing mags - yes I'd like a mag with Rouleur style articles.but I wouldn't pay 12 quid for it.
Isn't there just tons more money in cycling though? Many times more people. All probably reasonably well adjusted to spending loads of money on shiny things (even if its just paper). Climbing is super cheap compared to biking, at least it seems that way to me. Admittedly I know very little about cycling (Does this include mountain biking?)
Climbers are stingy, and any mag charging £10 a go probably wouldn't do that well on these shores. Alpinist is sold nowhere I've ever seen. Presumably you get it online.
Two of the magazines I mentioned - Singletrack and Privateer - are mountain bike based.
I think you're right about there being more money in cycling though - I also think there's been an explosion in its popularity in the last four or five years.
Am I right in thinking there have been attempts to launch climbing magazines in recent years which have quickly withered to nothing?
The cycle mag I have fondest memories of is the incredibly badly named Bicycle Action from the 1980s. It was a big glossy mag but was all tongue in cheek. It had a monthly columnist called Guttersnipe who drove a Volvo estate and started every article with "People often ask me why I hate cyclists..." He'd then deliver a hilariously ignorant rant that would fit well with quite a lot of the non-ironic posts on here about cyclists. And their mountain bike correspondent was called Rock Stallone. How do you beat that?
Climbing mags? Not sure, it's sort of been done before with 'Mountain.' It was a superb magazine that was more like a quality journal with mostly very good writing and photography, and made me want to get out there so much more than High, Bumbler and Stumbler or even OTE. Mountain Review was almost as good for it's short run but maybe didn't quite have the magic. Mountain was, from memory, more expensive but I was always happy to buy it while I always read the others in shops. I suspect, cynically, that an expensive glossy full of ripped muscle/porn, training regimes and recipes might actually sell quite well as a lifestyle mag.
In German not English, but Climax magazine from Austria seems to be trying for a similar niche: high quality photo reproduction, in-depth interviews, expensive cover price but less advertising.
Clearly it's a challenge for print media to find something they can do better than the internet, especially in a tiny niche sport like climbing where there is much less money than cycling, (or golf).
> Cyclist doesn't seem quite the same somehow - it's an 'old-style/new-style' hybrid, to my mind.
> I thought of Vertical and Alpinist - are both still around? (Please excuse my ignorance!)
Yup, both are around. Since Ian Parnell and Dave Pickford took over Climb mag that's been much improved. I would say that Climb and Singletrack are of similar style and quality, they're both great mags.
Sadly Climber is still a bit naff.
Alpinist is excellent, lots of articles for the cost and they're all top notch, however it's mountaineering mainly with very little climbing in it. Vertical is also good, but it's a bit short for the amount of money you pay. I still buy it each month tho.
A magazine named 'climax' doesn't make me think of climbing...
Doesn't quite work for climbing, while there are a lot of gear fondlers out there climbers don't quite get wet knickers about a shiny new cam the same way bike mag readers do about a new carbon frame.*
* ice climbers excepted
The ones I've referred to in the OP aren't really like that.
> A magazine named 'climax' doesn't make me think of climbing...
I know what you mean, but fortunately for them the target market - German speakers - isn't well up on English double entendres. They probably thing they're cleverly punning on "climb" as in climb and "X" like, well, "X" as in x-games etc.
Good mag nevertheless; I don't think I'd spend my own money on it, but as the Mrs. got me a subscription for my birthday I'm happy to read it.
Snoop is bang on the money, It's pure economics. Modern cycling and MTB almost seem to have been invented for people who have trouble getting rid of their money. Hence there are loads of manufacturers both of bikes and aceessories all eager to advertise to a large, free-spending group of people. Climbers by contrast are relatively few in number, hard to part from their cash and do not have to buy/replace gear very often.
So a publisher with an eye to producing a sport-orientated title would be nuts to pick climbing (though at least it would not be as bad as caving) and crazy not to seriously consider cycling as a lucrative potential market
I didn't realise that Rouleur is produced by Rapha - perhaps that's enough said.
Ironically 10 years ago the discussion 10 years ago was all 'why is there no decent cycling literature (compared to the wealth of climbing)?'
I think a Ride Journal approach to climbing could be a beautiful thing, but would probably need to be a labour of love thing, for the niche appeal it would have.
The higher cover price means less adverts, quality production and content. There are more adverts than before but it went bust last time. My mother in law got me a subscription for a birthday and I’ve renewed it ever since.
The ever-present Climbing Life (short stories, fact and fiction), Local Hero (profiles of “real people” who are out getting after it, mainly American but still inspiring), Mountain Profiles and Escape Route are always good and are supplemented by articles, poems, pictures and art.
The only downside is it’s a bit US biased but there’s still the odd article by a Brit every now and then, they even did a mountain profile on Ben Nevis!
Alpinist is just an absolutely stunning magazine. While as said very American, the prose and pictures are just amazing, and yes there has been plenty of Scottish stuff in it as well. Issue 31 is particularly good with Ian Parnell.
I think you're being a bit unfair on the climbing press, which has traditionally been far more wordy and less advert driven that MTB mags. I suspect that things started to change when Trail appeared - "Heres the gear you need to climb Everest" - but even so the likes of Climb are still well above MBUK, which I've always found a bit juvenile.
Only recently started reading Singletrack, but yep it does seem a bit different - recently a very interesting article on depression.
But yeah, there is more money in mountain biking, and biking generally, but in some ways it's daft. The same people who will happily spend a couple of grand on a bike will whinge about spending £7 for an evening at the climbing wall.
So why does climbing induce have such a tight-fisted mentality ?
I think it might be the way I wrote the OP - I should have qualified it by saying that these magazines had better paper, fewer adverts *than other cycling magazines I've seen*. Sorry - I'm rubbish.
As for climbing being about being tightfisted, I have no idea - especially when forums like this bang on about it being a predominantly midddle class activity nowadays...
MBUK *did* have Mint Sauce, but that was years ago...
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