/ Gogarth South Guidebook

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Matty - on 21 Oct 2013
Just wondering if anyone had any news on the Gogarth South guidebook that Ground Up are supposedly producing?

The Gogarth North guide came out December 2008 and at that point it seemed like the sister volume would be published in 2009.

Then in 2009 we were told that the A55 guide was being dropped to focus on the Slate and Gogarth South Guide.

In 2010 news was that the guide was still in progress.

By February 2011 we were told that work was well under way but Ground Up were hoping for a 2011 release.

By March 2012 the final chapters were being written ready for a Summer release. A few months later we were told that the guidebook was 80% but the release date would be pushed back to allow the writers to finish the job to a high enough standard.

Here were are at the end of October 2013 and no further news. What is going on?
Martin Wing - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to Matty:
I emailed them a couple if weeks ago. They are trying to sort out money to finish it off.
Misha - on 21 Oct 2013
In reply to Matty:
I've heard they don't have the money needed to get it over the line and published and were possibly going to get a loan from the BMC.
DubyaJamesDubya - on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to Matty:

I emailed them 3 years ago and was told that they hoped to finish it soon...

How come Ground Up are doing this. The Tremadog/Llanberis guides don't seem to have the same issues.
ian caton on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to Matty:

It is hardly likely to come out is it? The market is tiny, given the selected guide gives descriptions of all the "plums".

Not only that but all the decriptions for any one who is interested are on line.



http://gogarth.wikifoundry.com/
DubyaJamesDubya - on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to ian caton:
> (In reply to Matty)
>
> It is hardly likely to come out is it? The market is tiny, given the selected guide gives descriptions of all the "plums".
>
> Not only that but all the decriptions for any one who is interested are on line.
>
>
>
> http://gogarth.wikifoundry.com/

I'll be buying it if it ever comes out (not too happy at the delay)
Coel Hellier - on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to the thread:

So, at the risk of getting into controversial waters:

The NW local-activist definitive guides are on the margins of commercial viability. And the Ground Up finances are buoyed to a large extent by their North Wales Rock selective. And Rockfax are now competing head on with the Ground Up selective. Is this going to endanger or at least delay local-activist definitive guides to North Wales?
highclimber - on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:
> (In reply to the thread)
>
> So, at the risk of getting into controversial waters:
>
> The NW local-activist definitive guides are on the margins of commercial viability. And the Ground Up finances are buoyed to a large extent by their North Wales Rock selective. And Rockfax are now competing head on with the Ground Up selective. Is this going to endanger or at least delay local-activist definitive guides to North Wales?

Does the new RF guide include anything on south stack and to what extent?
In reply to Coel Hellier:
> The NW local-activist definitive guides are on the margins of commercial viability.

Are you just referring to the Gogarth guide here? I can't believe Slate and North Wales Bouldering don't sell in enough numbers to make them viable, and North Wales Limestone is not a GU guide and appears to be being funded on a volunteer basis anyway.

> Is this going to endanger or at least delay local-activist definitive guides to North Wales?

The Gogarth guide is 4 years delayed already. I don't think the problems with this guide can be laid at Rockfax's door.

Alan
In reply to highclimber:
> Does the new RF guide include anything on south stack and to what extent?

Yes, we have included a selection of routes from Mousetrap Zawn, Red walls, Castell Helen and Yellow Walls.

http://www.rockfax.com/databases/results_crag.html?id=924

Alan
Coel Hellier - on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to highclimber:

> Does the new RF guide include anything on south stack and to what extent?

28 routes on South Stack according to their web pages, but anyhow that isn't the only issue, the issue is also about competing with the Ground Up NW selective, such that it can't underpin the definitives.
Coel Hellier - on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> The Gogarth guide is 4 years delayed already. I don't think the problems with this guide can be laid at Rockfax's door.

I agree, since the Rockfax isn't on sale yet. I'm just thinking that, if Ground Up are already having finance issues, despite the income from the popular selective, then there could well be bigger problems for future definitives, given competition reducing their income from the selective.

The CC does a sterling job on many NW definitive guides, but can't really do them all, as shown by the fact that Gogarth was passed on to Ground Up. Thus the NW scene needs a healthy Ground Up.
1poundSOCKS - on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier: I've got the Ground Up guides for the slate and for North Stack, and they're excellent. It'll be a pity if the South Stack guide doesn't get finished.
In reply to Coel Hellier:
> I agree, since the Rockfax isn't on sale yet. I'm just thinking that, if Ground Up are already having finance issues, despite the income from the popular selective, then there could well be bigger problems for future definitives, given competition reducing their income from the selective.
>
> The CC does a sterling job on many NW definitive guides, but can't really do them all, as shown by the fact that Gogarth was passed on to Ground Up. Thus the NW scene needs a healthy Ground Up.

You are really only talking about the Gogarth guide here and that wasn't exactly 'passed on' by the CC but that is another debate.

I agree that guidebooks in any area need healthy competition, this competition has brought us some superb books from many producers across the country in the last few years - some new and some older established producers. So yes, the North Wales scene needs a healthy Ground Up, but only Ground Up can do this.

Alan
Dave Williams - on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:

You're right. Current definitive guides apparently aren't selling well. This has been the case for some time and seems to be getting worse.

As already stated, the reasons are obvious . People are getting their info on-line and/ or only buying the selectives. (Whether North Wales needs yet another selective is an essentially separate issue.)

Not only is there a need for a 'healthy' Ground Up to be able to produce a much needed Gogarth South, the same applies to the CC.

If people continue to buy fewer and fewer definitive guides, then current publishers will have a cash-flow problem due to having stocks of unsold guide books and so won't have the required revenue stream to produce any new definitive guides as, seemingly, is the case here.

This isn't some scenario that may or may not happen in the future; it's already happening now.

Dave
Coel Hellier - on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> I agree that guidebooks in any area need healthy competition, ...

I think that competition *between* areas is good and healthy, so that a good guidebook to one area can show other areas how it's done.

I'm a lot more dubious about competition *within* an area, since the total market may not be sufficient to support it.
In reply to Dave Williams:

Hi Dave

I certainly agree that definitive guides are in a state of transition. This has been happening for years and not just because of competition from selectives since those have always been around.

Online topos, and the higher demands of modern guidebooks with regard to production are major factors as well. However the main issue is one of number of routes. Pembroke in five volumes is a superb effort by the CC, and the fact that they are all magnificent books is quite remarkable as well, however they aren't going to make pots of money for sure, and they will contain huge numbers of routes that may never get climbed. Gogarth in 2 volumes was always going to be a tall order to make work.

I notice that the FRCC have with their new Langdale guide have dropped a complete listing and moved some of the more obscure routes onto their web site. This seems to me to be a really sensible solution. I think the BMC may be considering something similar with their forthcoming Peak Limestone guides.

One of the most important factors of any guidebook is the one of sustainability. The question a publisher should be asking when they produce a new guidebook is "what will the next edition look like?" I think many current publishers fail to ask this question, they produce beautiful one-off guidebooks, but these can make the next edition either an incredibly distant prospect, or a dated re-print. Something slightly less ambitious but with a solid basis of a linked online database and tight technical structure in the InDesign/Quark files makes the next edition very straightforward.

Alan
In reply to Coel Hellier:
> I'm a lot more dubious about competition *within* an area, since the total market may not be sufficient to support it.

I have said this before and I will say it again, I could produce a profitable guidebook to any area in the country, you simply have to design the right book. I am still certain that such a book could be definitive however I probably wouldn't produce a fully definitive paper publication to certain areas any more and instead host the definitive record online, but it could be done.

Alan
metal arms on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to Martin Wing:
> (In reply to Matty)
> I emailed them a couple if weeks ago. They are trying to sort out money to finish it off.

Maybe someone from Ground Up could comment?
If it is a finance thing I'm sure that some climbers would donate some funds to help out (I would anyway). Would it be worth considering setting up a way of donating? My Gogarth North and Slate guides would love a companion on the shelf to get used outside once before the fear got to me! If it means we end up with a product as great as Gogarth North I think it would be an excellent investment...
ian Ll-J - on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to metal arms:
> (In reply to Martin Wing)
> [...]
>
> Maybe someone from Ground Up could comment?

I've sent him an email, but to be honest wouldn't be surprised if he didn't post on here as many anti Rock Fax threads / comments are being deleted by Alan at the moment.
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In reply to ian Ll-J:
> I've sent him an email, but to be honest wouldn't be surprised if he didn't post on here as many anti Rock Fax threads / comments are being deleted by Alan at the moment.

Simon is more than welcome to respond.

We are happy to debate and discuss issues, but we won't host comments on UKC/Rockfax that are just unsubstantiated digs - why should we?

Alan
1poundSOCKS - on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH: Perhaps because you'd actually look better if you allowed people to express their views. If the comments are unsubstantiated nonsense, respond to the comments and we can make our minds up. Otherwise we just have to take your word for it.
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:
> (In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH) Perhaps because you'd actually look better if you allowed people to express their views. If the comments are unsubstantiated nonsense, respond to the comments and we can make our minds up. Otherwise we just have to take your word for it.

Well it is a tricky issue. I intend to do an online discussion about the forums next week where we can talk about this issue amongst others.

For the time being, can I ask that we try and keep this thread on topic.

Alan
ian Ll-J - on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH: So KSJS's comments about mistakes in the new Rockfax North Wales guide are unsubstantiated?

The Cloggy error is there for all to see and I've seen a number of errors on the Rockfax database for the Slate section, I mentioned this in an email to you and yet you were not interested in asking me what those errors are.
DubyaJamesDubya - on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to metal arms:
> (In reply to Martin Wing)
> [...]
>
> Maybe someone from Ground Up could comment?
> If it is a finance thing I'm sure that some climbers would donate some funds to help out (I would anyway). Would it be worth considering setting up a way of donating? My Gogarth North and Slate guides would love a companion on the shelf to get used outside once before the fear got to me! If it means we end up with a product as great as Gogarth North I think it would be an excellent investment...

Perhaps an upfront purchase cost?
Martin Wing - on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to metal arms:
> (In reply to Martin Wing)
> [...]
>
> Maybe someone from Ground Up could comment?
> If it is a finance thing I'm sure that some climbers would donate some funds to help out (I would anyway). Would it be worth considering setting up a way of donating? My Gogarth North and Slate guides would love a companion on the shelf to get used outside once before the fear got to me! If it means we end up with a product as great as Gogarth North I think it would be an excellent investment...

I'd happily donate funds to help produce the guide.
In reply to ian Ll-J:
> The Cloggy error is there for all to see and I've seen a number of errors on the Rockfax database for the Slate section, I mentioned this in an email to you and yet you were not interested in asking me what those errors are.

To be fair we were talking about a number of things, but apologies for not getting back to you on this.

If you have seen some errors in the RF Database then please use the form that is on every route to submit the error to us. This goes into the system and is picked up for us for future editions and the app - that is the sustainability I was referring to above. Comments on the forums are less likely to get picked up.

Alternatively, you can send an email with them on - it is up to you, and thanks in advance for the feedback.

Alan
Simon Panton - on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to metal arms: Apologies for the delay. I had put the Gogarth South guide on the back burner while we worked on the new North Wales Bouldering guide, but that situation may be about to change. We are currently exploring some options to help finish the Gog South guide. I would dearly love to get this book published; the finished chapters look amazing and I'm sure it will kick start a surge of interest in the area once people see what we have done.

The timing of this thread is apposite - I actually had a meeting with Martin Crook this morning to discuss some topos and approach details for a new area on The Range.

For Gogarth fans, do keep an eye on the V12 news site - I do regular news reports (often with topos) on new routes. Here's a few from recent months:

http://news.v12outdoor.com/2013/10/03/a-dozen-new-routes-on-the-range-gogarth-from-sev-to-e5/

http://news.v12outdoor.com/2013/06/25/new-believers-e12-5ab-%E2%80%93-new-line-and-new-stakes-on-the...

http://news.v12outdoor.com/2013/06/01/wave-of-new-sea-cliff-routes-at-gogarth-from-vs-to-e6/

http://news.v12outdoor.com/2013/05/10/you-e4-6a-%E2%80%93-new-addition-to-yellow-wall-gogarth/
metal arms on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to Simon Panton:

Thanks for replying Simon. I'm glad to hear it's still in progress and am sure it will be worth the wait.
In reply to Simon Panton:

Thanks Simon, looking forward to the book.

One question, do you post news via the V12 site more nowadays than on the GroundUp web site?

Alan
Simon Caldwell - on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to Misha:
> I've heard they don't have the money needed to get it over the line and published and were possibly going to get a loan from the BMC.

Couldn't they get a loan from the CC?
Offwidth - on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:
> (In reply to 1poundSOCKS)
> [...]
>
> Well it is a tricky issue. I intend to do an online discussion about the forums next week where we can talk about this issue amongst others.
>
> For the time being, can I ask that we try and keep this thread on topic.
>
> Alan

Trouble is, it's all tied up as this is the main UK forum for discussion on things rockclimbing and UKC are part of the news at times, like it or not. The debate (still based on rules) would be better aired more and people can then judge the content or fairness of such posts (and respect UKC for hosting it).

Al Evans on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH: Except you got some first ascent details wrong, certainly I led the major pitch on North West Passage not Jim Moran, I'm sad because this was probably my best contribution to Gogarth.
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH) Except you got some first ascent details wrong, certainly I led the major pitch on North West Passage not Jim Moran, I'm sad because this was probably my best contribution to Gogarth.

Have you put a comment to that effect on the Database?


Chris
remus - on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to Toreador: I'd be surprised if the CC had enough money to start subsidising other people's guidebook efforts.
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH) Except you got some first ascent details wrong, certainly I led the major pitch on North West Passage not Jim Moran, I'm sad because this was probably my best contribution to Gogarth.

Blimey Al, that is a bit nit-picking. I think you had better contact the CC as well, or Ground Up since that will be wrong in their records.

I have always taken multiple names on multi-pitch routes to mean that the leads were alternate, or certainly the first 2 names. We dropped including the mention of '(alternates)' in our FA descriptions since it seemed to be so inconsistently applied.

Besides, both pitch are 5b.

Alan
In reply to Offwidth:
> Trouble is, it's all tied up as this is the main UK forum for discussion on things rockclimbing and UKC are part of the news at times, like it or not. The debate (still based on rules) would be better aired more and people can then judge the content or fairness of such posts (and respect UKC for hosting it).

As I mentioned, I'll be doing a specific Q and A on the forums next week on Monday.

Alan
slacky on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:
>
> I think the BMC may be considering something similar with their forthcoming Peak Limestone guides.

They've already done it with the Froggat to Black Rocks guide...

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/download-support-for-froggatt-to-black-rocks
In reply to slacky:
> They've already done it with the Froggat to Black Rocks guide...
>
> https://www.thebmc.co.uk/download-support-for-froggatt-to-black-rocks

Of course, I forgot.

Alan
Offwidth - on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

I'm grateful for that Alan just pointing out it wasn't strictly speaking 'off topic'.

There were also BMC downloads for The Roaches update and Over the Moors and I can see this being increasingly important for everyone in guidebook production as electronic information takes over (much as some purists dislike it). I still maintain there has probably never been a true definitive guide to anywhere (editors always left some known climbed stuff out).
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Al Evans on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
> [...]
>
> Blimey Al, that is a bit nit-picking. I think you had better contact the CC as well, or Ground Up since that will be wrong in their records.

Well the CC got it right, as did http://gogarth.wikifoundry.com/ but Ground Up haven't done it yet, though they did get things wrong in Gogarth North, crediting me on some routes where Jim did the main pitch just because I led the first pitch (e.g Tequila Sunrise).
My issue with this is that the true history of routes gets subsumed if it is once put in a guide wrong, and it has to be said that R/F is guilty of that crime more than most guides with an authoritive aura.
In reply to Al Evans:
> Well the CC got it right, ....

er, no they didn't. It is listed with J Moran first in the 1990 CC Gogarth guide.

Alan
Al Evans on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH: Yes but with the proviso Alt Leads.
Al Evans on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH: Even if that were true it doesn't give Rockfax an excuse for not getting it correct.
Michael Gordon - on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to Al Evans:

Al, is this not partly the result of how you originally recorded those routes? If you will list yourself second when you led the crux pitch what can you expect?
In reply to Al Evans:

Let me get this straight Al,..

As an example of poor historical research in a Rockfax, you are quoting a first ascent that you say has been listed in the wrong order, yet it is in the same order that it has been for the last 23 years in the only other place it has been published, a fact which you see to have only just been made aware of.

Also; are you saying that your name should be listed first because you led the main pitch or because you led the first pitch? (Is there actually any established system for this?)

Alan
Michael Gordon - on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
>
> (Is there actually any established system for this?)
>

Don't think so. Quite a few folk seem to just do it alphabetically - admittedly this probably causes rather than avoids confusion!

John Willson - on 22 Oct 2013
In reply to Michael Gordon:
> (In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH)
> [...]
>
> Don't think so. Quite a few folk seem to just do it alphabetically - admittedly this probably causes rather than avoids confusion!

As the most prolific CC editor over the last 20+ years (and stemming from the two Cordee Wye Valley guides before that) I have adopted the following system:

The first named is presumed to have led the whole climb unless there is the qualification AL or VL. If AL is used, then the first named led the first pitch and then the climbers alternated. If VL is used the sequence may be not known or not consdered material. If any of this does not reflect fairly the relative effort or achievement there is always the option of adding a comment such as 'X led the crux pitch'.

Because some first ascensionists and past guidebook authors and editors may have used different formulas, there is no guarantee that the lists will always be wholly accurate, by these principles, or in other respects. The records can only be improved, as Alan says, by people writing in when they know of or spot errors. Both UKC and the CC (for its own guides) have online facilities to do this, which removes one of the problems of the past in such messages not getting through to the compilers of the next addition. It may, of course, be some time before the correction appears in print or even online.

Another point: the leader is presumed to have climbed in the implied style, but the second may not have.

Sometime it may be worth discussing whether strings of tiers-on to FAs of ground-level-starting, single-pitch routes, especially sport climbs, should all be credited. And then there is the new qualification LL (both led or all led) which have allowed myself to be cajoled into adopting, against my better judgement.
MCK - on 23 Oct 2013
In reply to Toreador:
How about a crowd funding support using something like KickStart?
Enough people sign up for a slightly discounted first print run that covers costs
and ensures publishers are not out of pocket?
Michael Gordon - on 23 Oct 2013
In reply to John Willson:
> (In reply to Michael Gordon)
> [...]
>
> The first named is presumed to have led the whole climb
>

That a find strange as it would be usual for alternate leads to take place, not for one person to lead the whole thing. I would usually have assumed both led sections but the person named first led the crux.

a lakeland climber on 23 Oct 2013
In reply to Michael Gordon:
> (In reply to John Willson)
> [...]
>
> That a find strange as it would be usual for alternate leads to take place, not for one person to lead the whole thing. I would usually have assumed both led sections but the person named first led the crux.

In pre-war years it was common for one person to do all the leading on new routes, certainly more common than alternate leads which is probably why the AL clarification came in. It was probably with the Rock and Ice and similar clubs that alternate leads became common as teams were made up of climbers of closer ability.

ALC

Michael Gordon - on 23 Oct 2013
In reply to a lakeland climber:
> (In reply to Michael Gordon)
> [...]
>
> In pre-war years it was common for one person to do all the leading on new routes
>

Fair point though those routes of course only make up a very small percentage of the routes we have now.

My thinking is that the person named first is that who probably contributes more towards the ascent (i.e. led the crux), so to an extent it doesn't matter if the other led or not. And of course if they both led on a route with no definite crux then it doesn't matter which order they appear.
In reply to John Willson:

Thanks John, that is interesting reading.

Combing through a few FA lists I am pretty sure that there are many ascents recorded with a list of unqualified names where in reality it was alternate leads since the occurrence of the Al or VL seems to be rarer than I would expect. I suppose this is inevitable to an extent since not everyone reporting a FA will be aware of the conventions.

We can certainly look at following the convention in future guides.

Alan
Al Evans on 23 Oct 2013
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:
> (In reply to Al Evans)
>
> Let me get this straight Al,..
>
> As an example of poor historical research in a Rockfax, you are quoting a first ascent that you say has been listed in the wrong order, yet it is in the same order that it has been for the last 23 years in the only other place it has been published, a fact which you see to have only just been made aware of.
>
> Also; are you saying that your name should be listed first because you led the main pitch or because you led the first pitch? (Is there actually any established system for this?)
>
> Alan

No Alan, I'm saying it should be listed as the CC, FRCC and the BMC have done since the dawn of guidebooks, with an A/L if there were two leaders or as the Wiki does a note on who lead each pitch.
In reply to Al Evans:
> No Alan, I'm saying it should be listed as the CC, FRCC and the BMC have done since the dawn of guidebooks, with an A/L if there were two leaders or as the Wiki does a note on who lead each pitch.


I think John Wilson has already pointed out that this has been far from consistent over the years. The Wiki is like most wikis, lots of bits of information but with no real consistency in the way it is presented. That is the nature of wikis.

I also just noticed that I was wrong about the 1990 CC guide being the only published source for this route. GU included the route in their North Wales Rock guide with the precise same listing as we have and no pitch qualifications.

But don't worry Al, myself and I suspect loads of other people have always assumed that multi-pitch routes were alternate leads between the first two listed names in most cases anyway, so I never doubted that you had led pitch 2.

Alan
Al Evans on 23 Oct 2013
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH: Thank you Alan :-)
Simon Caldwell - on 23 Oct 2013
In reply to John Willson:
> The records can only be improved, as Alan says, by people writing in when they know of or spot errors. Both UKC and the CC (for its own guides) have online facilities to do this

and FRCC, and Yorkshire MC (via Leeds Wall site). The SMC have an email address for corrections.

Anyone know whether the BMC have anything similar for Peak guides?

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