/ Guidebook wars

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Dave Flanagan - on 07 Mar 2013
I have been given "British and Irish Climbing Guidebooks" to review for Irish Mountain Log and I was hoping to read mention of the legal battles that occurred in the 90s? between Rockfax and other guidebook producers, but there wasn't anything.

I have had a google and can't find anything. Am I imaginating things, did it ever happen?
TRip - on 07 Mar 2013
In reply to Dave Flanagan:

This is very funny, scroll down to Rockfax Fatwaar : http://www.rockfax.com/general/pokketz/


I think you are referring to when the BMC spent (wasted?!) around £20k on legal advice in the run up to Rockfax publishing the first Peak Gritstone East. Seems bonkers that that happened only a little over ten years ago! I can't imagine today's BMC doing anything like it!

Alan James have written some thoughts on it here: http://www.rockfax.com/news/2007/11/08/reflections-on-the-guidebook-debate-of-2001/

Some careful searching of the forums might find some more info.
Blinder - on 07 Mar 2013
In reply to Dave Flanagan:There was also some 'issues' between rockfax and the CC over the Pembroke guide.
johncoxmysteriously - on 07 Mar 2013
In reply to Dave Flanagan:

Not that Rockfax were anything new; there had been legal troubles between the pirate producers and the established ones before (eg West Col and the CC way back when, albeit with the CC cast in the role of pirate then).

>did it ever happen?

I'm not sure it ever did in any real sense, no. A couple of cross letters, no more. A fair bit of propaganda on both sides, of course.

jcm
GrahamD - on 07 Mar 2013
In reply to Dave Flanagan:

I think that the 'issues' with Rockfax tend to be with mainland Europe these days.
Monk - on 07 Mar 2013
In reply to TRip:
> (In reply to Dave Flanagan)
>
>
> I think you are referring to when the BMC spent (wasted?!) around £20k on legal advice in the run up to Rockfax publishing the first Peak Gritstone East. Seems bonkers that that happened only a little over ten years ago! I can't imagine today's BMC doing anything like it!
>

It is astonishing to think that wasn't so long ago. That issue came close to me leaving the BMC, and would have done if it had gone any further - I thought they were being ridiculous. I seem to remember Rockfax donated a percentage/lump sum of the sales of PGE to the BMC in a conciliatory move.

In the end, I think that the BMC did the right thing by upping their guidebook game to compete.
steve taylor - on 07 Mar 2013
In reply to TRip:
> (In reply to Dave Flanagan)
>
> This is very funny, scroll down to Rockfax Fatwaar : http://www.rockfax.com/general/pokketz/
>
>
> I think you are referring to when the BMC spent (wasted?!) around £20k on legal advice in the run up to Rockfax publishing the first Peak Gritstone East. Seems bonkers that that happened only a little over ten years ago! I can't imagine today's BMC doing anything like it!
>
> Alan James have written some thoughts on it here: http://www.rockfax.com/news/2007/11/08/reflections-on-the-guidebook-debate-of-2001/
>
> Some careful searching of the forums might find some more info.

... wishing Alan all the best with his application to join the CC ;o)
In reply to Monk:
> I seem to remember Rockfax donated a percentage/lump sum of the sales of PGE to the BMC in a conciliatory move.

We have supported the ACT and now the Access Fund since, but there was no financial transaction actually connected with the Rockfax-BMC dispute of 2001.

Alan
Andy Say - on 07 Mar 2013
In reply to Dave Flanagan: At the same time there were problems surrounding the history section of 'Peak Limestone: Wye Valley' (1999). It finished up with a substantial chunk of the history dealing with doubts about the style of some of Gary Gibson's first ascents having an 'alternative version'of history stuck on top of the 'original version' as the BMC itself was being threatened with legal action.
duchessofmalfi - on 07 Mar 2013
There were some discussion threads on UKC a while back on the topic of the copyright and license Rockfax were placing on routes logged on UKC but they have all mysteriously disappeared so I think it might still be a sore point.
bpmclimb - on 07 Mar 2013
In reply to duchessofmalfi:
> There were some discussion threads on UKC a while back on the topic of the copyright and license Rockfax were placing on routes logged on UKC but they have all mysteriously disappeared so I think it might still be a sore point.

I missed that. Interesting. So did the copyright and licence disappear along with the threads?
ERU - on 07 Mar 2013
In reply to duchessofmalfi:
> There were some discussion threads on UKC a while back on the topic of the copyright and license Rockfax were placing on routes logged on UKC but they have all mysteriously disappeared so I think it might still be a sore point.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eR3KwODDzeY
Dave Garnett - on 07 Mar 2013
In reply to Dave Flanagan:

> I have had a google and can't find anything. Am I imaginating things, did it ever happen?

No. And these are not the 'droids you are looking for.
In reply to duchessofmalfi:
> There were some discussion threads on UKC a while back on the topic of the copyright and license Rockfax were placing on routes logged on UKC but they have all mysteriously disappeared so I think it might still be a sore point.

There was a discussion here about the ©Rockfax that appeared after some route descriptions. That turned out to be a bug which we have now sorted out.

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=511410

Also, further down that thread we started talking about a clause in our T&Cs which seemed a little strange - http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=511410#x6932982

I have subsequently remove that clause.

Alan
duchessofmalfi - on 07 Mar 2013
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

Perhaps you can confirm if any of these discussions were removed by the moderators? I'm sure there was more to this thread before...

I see that we have this now:

3.2 UKClimbing Limited shall have no obligations with regard to the User Generated Content to monitor the User Generated Content to ensure that it complies with applicable laws or regulations. You remain solely responsible for the User Generated Content in accordance with Clause 6 [which is mainly about spam etc]

Which seems to suggest (amongst other things) "UKC owns UKC's stuff and the users own their contributions" - is this about right?

bpmclimb - on 07 Mar 2013
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

Thanks for clarifying that.
In reply to duchessofmalfi:
> Perhaps you can confirm if any of these discussions were removed by the moderators? I'm sure there was more to this thread before...

I am pretty sure we haven't removed any copyright discussions although it would take me hours to search in order to be sure, however I would be the most likely moderator to do anything like that and I can't recall doing it.

I did remove a short thread (3 replies) which was an angry version of the ©Rockfax bug that Mark Kemball spotted in the above linked thread. This was posted at the same time and would have only duplicated and split the discussion.

> I see that we have this now:
>
> 3.2 UKClimbing Limited shall have no obligations with regard to the User Generated Content to monitor the User Generated Content to ensure that it complies with applicable laws or regulations. You remain solely responsible for the User Generated Content in accordance with Clause 6 [which is mainly about spam etc]
>
> Which seems to suggest (amongst other things) "UKC owns UKC's stuff and the users own their contributions" - is this about right?

er ... yes, that would seem to be fair enough.

Alan
Bob Moulton - on 10 Mar 2013
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH: What may be a final word on copyright goes back to the West Col dispute over the 1977 Gogarth guide mentioned by jcm. The dispute was resolved by agreement between the two parties on the following statement, which was printed in the CC's 1981 Gogarth Supplement:

"GOGARTH GUIDE BOOK
There has been a dispute between West Col and the Climbers' Club as to the right to publish certain route descriptions that appeared in the Climbers' Club's Gogarth Guide (Published 1977). The two parties have agreed to terminate this dispute by the issue of this jointly agreed statement.

The Climbers' Club acknowledge prior publication by West Col of a number of the route descriptions that appear in the Gogarth Guide and agree that permission should preferably have been sought from West Col before publication. They regret that they neither did this, nor did they acknowledge the source of the descriptions of several of the routes.

Both parties agree that permission should be sought from originators to publish the contents of first ascent descriptions in subsequent collections of route descriptions and recommend that in all such cases permission should be granted to promote the dissemination of information for the benefit of the climbing world as a whole."

This still seems to me to be a pretty good statement of what should happen.
Al Evans on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to Bob Moulton: Bob is right the arguments between West Col and the CC well predate the rockfax travails and should be researched for the article you are planning.
In reply to Bob Moulton:
> Both parties agree that permission should be sought from originators to publish the contents of first ascent descriptions in subsequent collections of route descriptions and recommend that in all such cases permission should be granted to promote the dissemination of information for the benefit of the climbing world as a whole."
>
> This still seems to me to be a pretty good statement of what should happen.

In principle I agree that this is a good statement, however in practice it doesn't really happen anymore. It does refer to the first ascent information which appears to be the key information in this debate.

The problem these days is that the source of FA information has become unclear since we have different publishers producing guidebooks for the same areas. As an example, the CC have never approached me to ask for permission to publish FA information from the 1994 Dorset guide which had many routes covered for the first time. I would never have expected this though since we didn't approach the CC for the routes in that book that had been in the previous CC books.

The same is true in areas like Peak Limestone where there are routes first recorded by various publishers now in the record. Separating this record would be very difficult and pointless.

Our policy at Rockfax and UKC is to make no claim at all over original first ascent information that we have assembled, and we are perfectly happy for anyone to use it. The problem for people looking at the records now, be they in a CC, BMC, Rockfax guidebook, or on the UKC Logbook database, is that it is very unclear where any single piece of FA info came from originally so you don't know who to approach for permission.

Alan
Dave Garnett - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

There is no copyright on information per se. I would argue that first ascent information is free for anyone to use and publish where they like. If a whole list is reproduced verbatim then there might be an argument (especially if its scanned and reproduced including typography) but it would a pretty pointless one given the negligable financial value.

However, since much of this information is online, lifting it electronically may well be an infringement of database right.

All of which is to say that if everyone follows a few basic courtesies everyone gains and no-one gets their nose put out of joint.
Offwidth - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to Dave Flanagan:

Why would it be part of that book, which is an excellent compendium of all known guidebooks; not an essay on the motivations and controversies of their production?
In reply to Dave Garnett:
> All of which is to say that if everyone follows a few basic courtesies everyone gains and no-one gets their nose put out of joint.

I agree, but from my point of view this courtesy could easily be a credit in the acknowledgements rather than a request before publication.

I am far likely to have my nose put of of joint by people who DON'T use our guidebooks when producing theirs, than people who do use them as reference works.

Alan
Wiley Coyote - on 11 Mar 2013
In reply to Dave Garnett:
> (In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH)
>
> There is no copyright on information per se.

That is absolutely correct. You cannot copyright facts, merely the way in which they are presented either in wording or layout. So a first ascent description would be the copyright of whoever wrote it, be that on a website, magazine or scrappy new routes book in a cafe or shop.
If that information is copied verbatim or almost verbatim into a guide without permission that would be a breach of copyright. If it can be re-worded there is no problem and, indeed, the re-worded version becomes the copyright of whoever wrote that second version.
However in climbing guides that's not always easy since there are only so many ways of saying "Crack and Wall. Follows the offwidth crack and the wall above". Fortunately, as has been said above, the financial value of a single description is minimal and not worth anyone going to court over unless their favoured hobby is making lawyers richer.
yorkiespud - on 18 Mar 2013
Hi,

Is it appropriate that the author of the book joins in this debate?

As correctly stated by offwidth and a couple of others the book is a bibliography, i.e. it documents what has been published, when and by whom. It never set out to be or intended to be a history of climbing guidebook publication.

The paragraph written Geoff Milburn on publication history is the only real reference to anything of this nature.

Dotted through the book are small notes on controversial guuidebooks, including those mentioned in this thread and others including the West Col v CC Tremadoc guidebooks of the 1970s, the arguements over the 1970's Alan Austin's Langdale guide (a debate on the ethics of first ascents), and most interestingly the Keith MacCallum affair of the late 1960's.

Enough said, for those people who have bought a copy I hope you enjoy it. It has taken nearly 10 years to research, and almost all my spare time for the last 2 years. If it's not your cup of tea, well the climbing world is a broad church, lets all just get on with life.

Alan Moss
EeeByGum - on 18 Mar 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

> You cannot copyright facts

Agreed, but I believe you can copyright a database. From various heresy rumours I have heard, this was part of the issue along with the alleged copying of route descriptions.

My take is that at the time there was a traditional way of "doing" guidebooks which involved laboriously re-climbing every route, checking routes, double checking histories and then drawing intricate pictures of the crags. All of a sudden, out of the blue came some new(ish) boys on the block with their fancy colour photos, edited guides and quick turn around. Add to this that Rockfax was a commercial business rather than purely for the love and unsurprisingly, the old guard were rather put out.

In hindsight though Rockfax have done for the climbing book world what Apple have done for the smart phone and now everyone is benefiting with excellent books out to cover all tastes.
a lakeland climber on 18 Mar 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

The FRCC guides were on a database in the early to mid 1980s, not sure of the exact date they were digitised.

Alan will no doubt know when he bagan the Faxing of mini-guides which was the forerunner to the printed guidebooks that RockFax now produce.

It was a kick up the backside and to be honest the guidebook "scene" needed it. We are all the beneficiaries of this particular "arms race" as there probably hasn't been a bad UK guidebook in the last ten to fifteen years. Both guidebook producers and consumers have benefitted from the publishing revolution that has taken place that allows much shorter print runs to be economical.

Perhaps the most revolutionary part of what RockFax have brought to the table is crowdsourcing the data input. This tends to get overlooked in favour of colour photos and all the bling of modern guides.

ALC
The Ivanator - on 18 Mar 2013
In reply to a lakeland climber:
> (In reply to EeeByGum)
We are all the beneficiaries of this particular "arms race" as there probably hasn't been a bad UK guidebook in the last ten to fifteen years. > ALC

Users of the SWMC "Gower and South East Wales" 2004 might beg to differ! It is a guide with a certain esoteric charm, but does not have the ease of use in the field that we've come to expect of guidebooks since the turn of the millennium.
Andy Say - on 18 Mar 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:
> (In reply to Wiley Coyote)
>
> [...]
>
From various heresy rumours I have heard......
>

I like what you did there!
EeeByGum - on 18 Mar 2013
In reply to a lakeland climber: Totally agree with your comments but am not sure crowd sourcing is a good thing in climbing grade setting since most people climb at the lower grade and there is a ego boost to climbing something easy that is graded hard. As a result, you get grade creep as a result of ego, not because climbs are undergraded. You also get people grading climbs they haven't climbed and other anomalies. Surely part of the joy of climbing is getting an easy run for your money in Wales and then being shafted up the backside in Northumberland.
ads.ukclimbing.com
In reply to EeeByGum:
> My take is that at the time there was a traditional way of "doing" guidebooks which involved laboriously re-climbing every route, checking routes, double checking histories and then drawing intricate pictures of the crags. All of a sudden, out of the blue came some new(ish) boys on the block with their fancy colour photos, edited guides and quick turn around. Add to this that Rockfax was a commercial business rather than purely for the love and unsurprisingly, the old guard were rather put out.

I would dispute that all routes were re-climbed in guidebooks of pre-1990. Also, don't forget that the first Rockfax photo-topo guide was PGE in 2001, before that we had been doing intricate hand-drawn topos ofevery crag in the book, not just a selected few as the older books had.

However, your general point is a good one.

Alan
In reply to EeeByGum:
> (In reply to a lakeland climber) Totally agree with your comments but am not sure crowd sourcing is a good thing in climbing grade setting since most people climb at the lower grade and there is a ego boost to climbing something easy that is graded hard. As a result, you get grade creep as a result of ego, not because climbs are undergraded. You also get people grading climbs they haven't climbed and other anomalies.

In general there has been more correction of the lower grades due to crowd-sourced voting (I like that term) than in the upper grades. The crowd-sourcing has done precisely what you suggest it doesn't do - it has got people climbing at the grades they operate at, voting on the grades they operate at.

The BMC guidebook committee of the 1980s were all very competent and capable climbers who may well not have known the difference between a Diff and a Hard Severe, hence there were many nasty old sandbags in the guides from this period since you had the people behind the guidebook voting on routes they were too good to properly assess.

As I have stated before, anyone compiling grades for guidebooks and databases should think very hard before they change the grade of a route when looking at crowd-sourced voting. It needs a significant majority in favour of an upgrade in order to be considered. At Rockfax we only upgrade for routes with more than 20 votes of which 2/3 are for the next grade up.

Alan
a lakeland climber on 18 Mar 2013
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

We used to co-opt climbers who operated at a particular grade range to check routes. Our rule of thumb was that you couldn't give an accurate grade more than a couple of grades below your normal lead grade.

As for crowd sourced voting, I suspect that routes that involve unusual climbing styles, i.e. old style squeeze chimneys along with bold routes were offered as upgrades more than others.

ALC
EeeByGum - on 18 Mar 2013
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> I would dispute that all routes were re-climbed in guidebooks of pre-1990. Also, don't forget that the first Rockfax photo-topo guide was PGE in 2001, before that we had been doing intricate hand-drawn topos ofevery crag in the book, not just a selected few as the older books had.

Fair play. You will have to excuse the fact that now in my mid-thirties I am slowly turning into an old grumbly. I kind of miss the hand drawn tops that were my staple toilet reading from the 80's Yorkshire guides. That and the completely undecipherable black and white photos from the Bill Birkett Lakes guide that added more mystery to the route description than information! :-)

I will take your word for the crowd surfing thing. I am still not convinced that the masses necessarily know best! :-)
Offwidth - on 18 Mar 2013
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

For the BMC peak guides there were no lower grades revised through crowd sourcing. We re-climbed everything we could (that would be almost everything sub-VS not access affected and/or overgrown in Froggatt, and also for Stanage and Roaches.... as Moff and I with many partners did it for those aside from any checking the crag authors or editors ran). Martin and Dave had similar arrangements for their guides (and Moff and I additionally managed about 90% of Burb infinity and well over half of Moorland for non-access affected non overgrown stuff sub VS). It was good but unsurprising to see in the very much minority position where routes on UKC got at least 20 votes that crowd sources agreed with us (within the provisos on herd voting that you listed above). We also climbed a lot of routes VS and above. The Offwidth site is an open resource documenting most of what we have done.
Simon Caldwell - on 18 Mar 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:
> My take is that at the time there was a traditional way of "doing" guidebooks which involved laboriously re-climbing every route, checking routes, double checking histories and then drawing intricate pictures of the crags.

In my (limited) experience of guidebook work, the traditional way often seemed to involve reprinting information from the previous edition without looking at the route let alone climbing it!
johncoxmysteriously - on 18 Mar 2013
In reply to Toreador:

OK, this is pissing me off.

It’s no doubt true that not every route in every definitive guidebook has been checked for each edition.

Sometimes they are. Harold Drasdo climbed every route on Lliwedd (or so he said, anyway). Kelvin Neal climbed bloody nearly every one. When I broke my ankle I was doing Hen Cloud for Dave Garnett’s guide; I’d climbed one-quarter of the routes I could do there and it never entered my head I’d done anything but one-quarter of the task.

OK, those are single crags, but there’s plenty of people on here (and not on here) have spent and are spending a lot of time trekking round in all weathers doing guidebook work. The Pembroke team repeated an awful lot of stuff – hell, Paul Donnithorne even did Fools Rush In for the guidebook. Offwidth has posted above about his efforts for the BMC Peak guides

Bearing what I’ve seen in mind, lazy jibes like Toreador’s above are not called for.

jcm
EeeByGum - on 18 Mar 2013
In reply to Toreador:

> In my (limited) experience of guidebook work, the traditional way often seemed to involve reprinting information from the previous edition without looking at the route let alone climbing it!

Fair dos. My (also limited) experience was with the Chew / Kinder lot who did make a point of attempting to reclimb as much as possible.
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

There are undoubtedly many guidebook authors, from volunteer-produced guidebooks and commercial ones, who have climbed many of the routes in the guidebook they have produced.

However, the assertion that this was the way the volunteer system prior to the 1990s worked in general is not true - you only need to take a look at a few successive editions of guidebooks from the 60s to the 90s to see the same repeated text and grades appearing time after time.

It is a pretty minor point though since the current state of modern guidebooks is really good and that is due to the hard work of lots of different people, both on a voluntary and commercial, are putting in.

Alan
Andy Say - on 18 Mar 2013
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:
Using the same text and grade is no indication that the route has not been climbed and checked though. If a route is done and the description works and the grade is accurate.....
bullybones - on 18 Mar 2013
In reply to Bob Moulton:
> (In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH) What may be a final word on copyright goes back to the West Col dispute over the 1977 Gogarth guide mentioned by jcm.

Just to add to that, there was (I think) a similar occurrence in the Lakes around 1981-2. At that time, 2 pirate guides (Lakes N & S) were doing the rounds: slim selective guides clearly based on the FRCC's definitive guides. I don't have either, and I don't know what happened vs the FRCC, but the OP might find the issue worth investigating to add further historical perspective.
a lakeland climber on 18 Mar 2013
In reply to bullybones:
> (In reply to Bob Moulton)
> [...]
>
> Just to add to that, there was (I think) a similar occurrence in the Lakes around 1981-2. At that time, 2 pirate guides (Lakes N & S) were doing the rounds: slim selective guides clearly based on the FRCC's definitive guides. I don't have either, and I don't know what happened vs the FRCC, but the OP might find the issue worth investigating to add further historical perspective.

These were produced by Pete Whillance, Dave Armstrong and I think Steve Clegg - there were certainly three of them. There was due to be a third - Lakes West but it never appeared.

The guides had lots of the new routes being done at the time that weren't in the definitive guides. Possibly a bit of frustration at the long time between releases of guidebooks back then.

The FRCC dealt with the "threat" by giving them membership!

ALC
Simon Caldwell - on 18 Mar 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Don't be silly. As I said, I'm speaking from personal experience. One crag in particular, 5 consecutive editions of the guidebook were identical (and in the case of 2 routes, just plain wrong). The following edition, some descriptions changed (because they were checked) but others didn't (because they weren't checked).

I'm no more saying that everyone does this, than you are saying that nobody does it.
Offwidth - on 19 Mar 2013
In reply to Toreador:

If you read what you actually said I think you implied the practice was more common than your examples would suggest. I think even in your example you can't be sure and I'll explain why. I don't think the lower grade description and grade issues (where you and I mainly operate) was likely down to a lack of checking, it was more probably down to a lack of focus and sometimes strict honesty on grades and the different methods used to produce books then.

Starting with grades. Better climbers than us develop solo routines on grit and might easily climb 50 lower grade routes in a half day. Even I managed 100 routes on the Popular End and far right of the Plantation solo last year (with a foot injury that forced me to wear a Five Tennie guide on my left foot) and I'm a bumbly. The key questions being asked, when re-writing, were most probably: 'has anyone done it ?' (likely yes) and if so 'were there any burning issues?' (likley hard to remember). There was also maybe a tad too much respect for first ascentionists who could be a bit naughty with grades at times. There was a certain tolerance of sandbags as they were seen as educationally useful and as long as they were not too bold they could stay. The bold ones were often hard to spot by better climbers. Certainly where several folk hurt themselves routes did get upgraded, notably Sunset Slab.

Onto guidebook production. With modern dtp its hard someotimes to look back and see how scripts were managed. This was a time consuming job and had to be tightly controlled as errors were much harder to remove. Why would anyone change a good description for a minor route that worked as far as any evidence applied. The same applies for a good topo sketch.

The key difference this time in the peak area under Capitan Grimes was we were rechecking looking for a correct grade at the time and if possible trying to get a sense of the character of the route for all the good ones. We had to rewrite anyway, as the old okey-kokey descriptions don't sit well with topos. This is a lot harder in writing terms as it demands much more of the crag authors (and I congratulate them all for stepping up on this) but with dtp it's way easier to edit (some might say so easy it encourages some bad habits: in the old guides once you set 'the crag script' the proofing demands were lower; in the new system the proofing demand is highest after the fiddling around to make things fit in the most interesting way...at the end when people are tired and time pressured).

All of this occured with the background context of the internet where no-one can hide anymore and we can all vote on UKC. I say vote but as I pointed out above a single comment from a regular user who clearly demonstrates they know their craft helps me more than 100 votes.
Simon Caldwell - on 19 Mar 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
I didn't imply, you inferred ;-)

I'm certain about my example, having spoken with some of those involved. I've also seen some of the original route descriptions. A route repeatedly described as traversing left when it actually traverses right can't have been checked!
Dave Flanagan - on 19 Mar 2013
In reply to Offwidth:

There is a history chapter at the start.
Michael Hood - on 19 Mar 2013
In reply to Toreador: and the route is?
Simon Caldwell - on 19 Mar 2013
In reply to Michael Hood:
Not saying :-)
Andy Nisbet - on 19 Mar 2013
In reply to Toreador:
>
> I'm certain about my example, having spoken with some of those involved. I've also seen some of the original route descriptions. A route repeatedly described as traversing left when it actually traverses right can't have been checked!

It's very easy to type left instead of right, but hard to pick up the error by simple proof reading.

Simon Caldwell - on 19 Mar 2013
In reply to Andy Nisbet:
> It's very easy to type left instead of right, but hard to pick up the error by simple proof reading.

True. But as soon as you actually climb the route the error becomes obvious. Hence my view that successive writers just copied the previous edition.
In reply to Toreador:

Of course your were right with your original assertion - going back more than 20 years and beyond many of the routes weren't checked between editions.


Chris
Offwidth - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to Toreador:

Well I've checked routes and done that mayself and even in a few cases teken correct routes and described routes the wrong way in my notes. I think we picked up any problems in the published work but there are likely still occasional left-right errors on Offwidth.

In reply to Chris Craggs

Since there are 10000 or so routes you may be right with many. But how big is that number on the popular crags? I can believe it in somewhere obscure but all those low grade sandbags on Birchen, Stanage and Burbage north must have been soloed by someone on the team. There is a big difference between reclimbed by someone sometime and checked properly. Anyhow as one of the activists that started the 'wars' and a leading BMC worker before that I guess you know best....well before my time.
bullybones - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to Chris Craggs:
I'd like to add to that a disturbing trend in some guidebook areas to omit routes in the new edition, rather than go out and check them.

Errors of omission like this are particularly difficult to spot at the proofreading stage...

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