/ New Borrowdale Guidebook

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callwild - on 09 Aug 2016

Having climbed in Borrowdale for some 44 years it has always been with excitement that I have looked forward to the publishing of a new guide to the valley. It was no different this time and with the last guide being published in 2000 it was long overdue.
However after after first impressions of a nice up to date colour guide on further inspection it has left me frustrated and disappointed.
Firstly, the size. I do not see the point of making it so big that it it is virtually impossible to carry on a route. The new Langdale and Scafell guides seemed to cope well with photo diagrams yet still be a reasonable size to fit into my windproof pocket. The reason given that Borrowdale is a low valley destination where the guide need not be carried is wrong and even though I know the crags intimately I still like to carry the guide on multi-pitch routes and can find myself referring to diagrams and descriptions halfway up pitches. It may be a valley but there are still plenty of multi--pitch routes where a guide is required on the rock.
My second and probably main critic is the loss of so many routes lost into the so called archives and omitted from the guide. While I understand the problem of so many bad and overgrown routes taking up space and the wish to streamline the book to reduce the overall size, the resulting selected climbs guide is now not the fantastic historical read that the FRCC guides were so famous for and makes it worthless to the climber looking for potential lines.
The selection of routes to be omitted does appear to be a bit random and so far I have found several omissions which I have always regarded as worthwhile, while the inclusion of some dodgy climbs and dirty crags is questionable. I acknowledge that this is purely personal preference and as with any selection there will always be those that have different opinions
So to the archives which are now supposed to replace the definitive guide book !!
Its all very well saying refer to the F.R.C.C. archives on their website but in practice this is actually impossible. The so called archives are just photocopied pages of the historical list from previous editions. this does not actually make it possible to find out if a potential new line has ever been climbed and claimed before. Several routes are listed in this under the names they may have been originally climbed as and then free ascents and variations are lost among the small print. A simple list of route names and first ascent dates is not an archive of where the routes go and makes it impossible for climbers to find out if a potential new route has been climbed before or not.
A true archive would be a full reproduction of the last definitive guide with diagrams and descriptions. Only that would make it possible to see where these historical routes went. As the culling of these routes from the current guide is just a personal view then many borderline good/bad routes are now effectively scrubbed from the rich history of Borrowdale climbing to be lost forever, whereas they may be still worthwhile.
It would even be far more helpful if at least the archived routes were gathered together in crag order with reference to the crags they were on although this would still make it hard to define where these routes actually went.
If the FRCC really want to keep a historical archive then it should have the whole of the year 2000 definitive guidebook copied and available on the website and not just an useless list of route names and peoples names without any clue of where and on which crags they are.
So while the new guide may be nice on the eye and for most users achieve its aims of showing where the most popular routes are it is a disappointment to me and has effectively made it a selective coffee table book.

Post edited at 18:04
callwild - on 09 Aug 2016
In reply to callwild:

I apologise for my rant above about the archive as I have now found the historical list of routes on the FRCC site and it does do a good job of showing the routes which have been climbed. My bad.
Dave Rumney - on 09 Aug 2016
In reply to callwild:

I bought this guidebook on Sunday in Llanberis, assuming it has been out a while?
My previous guide was from 1986 so there are plenty of new crags that look worth a visit.
A5 format works fine for me. I have an A5 guidebook holder, but I mostly photograph the pages I need on multi pitch routes these days anyway.
I worry that the hollow star system will discourage traffic even further on quality routes.
Generally, looks a good guidebook. Looking forward to making use of it.

Ps. Wasn't Bludgeon on the front cover of the last guidebook?
In reply to Dave Rumney:

No - it was The Grasp.
Rick Graham on 09 Aug 2016
In reply to callwild:
> I apologise for my rant above about the archive as I have now found the historical list of routes on the FRCC site and it does do a good job of showing the routes which have been climbed. My bad.

Don't apologize Stu, a lot of old information has been lost in the latest revision of the archives/website.

Regarding the A5 size, Its a tricky one, but with the bulk of Borrowdale routes being single pitch, I am happy with the decision. Even the older guides were becoming too much to carry, use a phone or photocopier. edit not forgetting the App.
Post edited at 19:38
1poundSOCKS - on 09 Aug 2016
In reply to callwild:

> I do not see the point of making it so big that it it is virtually impossible to carry on a route.

Surely you're not serious?
Dave Rumney - on 09 Aug 2016
In reply to Stephen Reid - Needle Sports:
Thanks for clarifying. Ive done them both according to my guidebook, but Budgeon is the only one I remember.
Post edited at 21:44
GrahamD - on 09 Aug 2016
In reply to callwild:

I feel your pain on guidebook size. I was climbing with an old Ogwen guide in my pocket the other weekend and it's a pleasure to use such a compact guide
Rob Parsons on 09 Aug 2016
In reply to callwild:

I haven't seen the new guide yet. I'll buy a copy - but I am disappointed with the move to the A5 format.

I realise we've had the same discussions here before - most recently in respect of the new Lakes selected guide by Wired - but I discussed the physical format with one of the FRCC folk a while back, and was told that the new 'standard' size was going to remain that of the recent Langdale and Scafell guides.

Why the jump in size?
Simon Caldwell - on 10 Aug 2016
In reply to Rob Parsons:
I don't like the new size. But the reason is given in the introduction to the guide.
"This is appropriate for Borrowdale as many of the crags are 'outcrop' style and only a short walk from your base. It also gives us a much bigger canvas for presenting the material"

I don't really agree, particularly as some topos (eg the single pitch routs at the left of Raven Crag) are too small to be of any use at all. But it's a reasonable justification, and if they really do restrict the decision to Borrowdale, I'm not going to get too upset about it. I haven't bought the Wired guide because it's too big for multi pitch routes, but have bought the Borrowdale one because most routes are single pitch so less of an issue. It sounds like they'll revert to the size of the Scafell book when they get round to Dow/Duddon; if they don't then I probably won't buy it.
Post edited at 10:51
Rob Parsons on 10 Aug 2016
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

Thanks for that.

I don't really believe that 'bigger canvas' justification. The same was said of the Wired selected guide but, if you compare that to, say, the Langale and Scafell definitives, you can see that, for example, the font size is bigger - i.e. exactly the same info is just expanded to fill the space available.

Nor do I buy the 'short walk from your base' comment. That's not the problem: it's equally about carting the book up the route.

I reckon something else is going on here: my suspicion is that producing the book in A5 is cheaper than using a smaller size, and that the decision was based on that. But of course I don't know.

Maybe someone from the FRCC involved in the decision will make a comment?
Lord of Starkness - on 10 Aug 2016
In reply to callwild:

Being an owner of the infamous Lancashire 'Brick', I'm unlikely to complain about anything that's substantially smaller!
Simon Caldwell - on 10 Aug 2016
In reply to callwild:

I eventually found the archive pages for Borrowdale - I expected they'd be linked from the Borrowdale section, but they're not. Seems curious that there are many routes that were starred in the 2000 edition that are now only in the archive, and without and comments as to why. Have they fallen down? Got overgrown? Or just a disagreement on quality? One thing's for sure, they're unlikely to ever get another ascent (unless they follow an obvious line in which case they'll probably get reclaimed at some point)!
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> I reckon something else is going on here: my suspicion is that producing the book in A5 is cheaper than using a smaller size, and that the decision was based on that. But of course I don't know.

> Maybe someone from the FRCC involved in the decision will make a comment?

I'm not really "involved" any more as I'm no longer concerned with FRCC guide production and am just the guidebook writer for Ennerdale, but I don't think this is true. I believe the argument is that A5 guides sell better, which is true according to sales data from areas where different sized guides doing much the same job are available - e.g. North Wales.

Why this should be so, given that guidebook purchasers presumably realise that they will have to lug the things up multi pitch rock climbs, would make an interesting subject for a final year degree project!
Rob Parsons on 11 Aug 2016
In reply to Stephen Reid - Needle Sports:

> ... I believe the argument is that A5 guides sell better, which is true according to sales data from areas where different sized guides doing much the same job are available - e.g. North Wales.

Thanks Stephen.

I remember that the case of North Wales guides came up in a previous thread on the same topic. There were claims made then about which format sold better - but I'm not sure if there were any definitive 'like for like' comparisons.

If it's *really* true that the 'same' guide sells better in A5 than it does in a smaller format, then - whatever my own preference - game over, I guess. But it would be interesting to see some real proof of the claim: without that, all this could just be groupthink.


ian caton on 12 Aug 2016
In reply to callwild:

Haven't seen it, but it sounds like a good job to me. Not convinced by the size, but I guess you can photograph the pages easily with big print.

I have long wanted guidebooks to be guides to what's worth doing, as opposed to an archive of everything that has been done. Especially in the lakes.
Simon Caldwell - on 12 Aug 2016
In reply to ian caton:

Who decides what's worth doing? The authors of the 2000 guide obviously disagreed with the authors of the new one, as they didn't give any stars to routes that now get 1 or 2, and did give stars to routes that have now been relegated to the archive.
1poundSOCKS - on 12 Aug 2016
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

> Who decides what's worth doing?

> The authors

Hmm.
ian caton on 12 Aug 2016
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

The guidebook writer. Things change.

If it's in the book it should be worth doing and roughly accurate at the time of writing.

I'm looking forward to seeing the new guide, sounds like a breath of fresh air. If the guide can be trusted the routes will get more traffic.
Simon Caldwell - on 12 Aug 2016
In reply to ian caton:

We're planning on using it at the weekend, will take the old guide too and try to spot where some of the previously-starred-now-archived routes go/went (they're all too hard for me to climb at the moment!). Perhaps they're under a few feet of heather.
ian caton on 12 Aug 2016
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

Good luck
Jim 1003 - on 12 Aug 2016
In reply to ian caton:

I find the awarding of stars in the lakes is very optimistic at times, and some complete dross gets stars in the wired guide. This appears to be on the basis if people go and do the routes they might get clean enough to be worth climbing!
The experience of those who climb the routes in the UKC logbooks seems to be completely different to the guidebook writers rose coloured specs.
ian caton on 12 Aug 2016
In reply to Jim 1003:

I hope the new guide changes that.
Simon Caldwell - on 15 Aug 2016
In reply to ian caton:

> I hope the new guide changes that.

Sadly if our experiences yesterday are anything to go by, the new guide maintains that trend. We did two recently added routes at Hind Crag, which are given 2 stars each in the guide. One of them was maybe worth a star, the other definitely not - even if clean it would be nothing special. The other route we did was an old one, recently upgraded and given a star, which it deserves if you like long mountaineering routes despite loads of heather - which I do but my partner doesn't! So all very subjective, obviously.

The previous edition has two 1-star E1s and a 2-star HVS, both of which have now been archived, so on the basis of the above would have been black-spot routes. We didn't get to look at the lines as they were on the far side of the crag and we ran out of time to get there. They're not even in the UKC database so it wouldn't surprise me if nobody's climbed them in recent years and vegetation's taken over, yet they were thought worthy of stars 16 years ago.

On the plus side, there are 3 more new routes on a different buttress that looked as good as the guide suggests, and we met another pair there who'd just enjoyed them all. So we'll be going back for those, and if the aim of the new guide is to encourage exploration by the addition of stars then it's succeeded!

But comparing the contents old and new editions, it does have the feel of a selected guide rather than a definitive.


Dave Cumberland - on 15 Aug 2016
In reply to Simon Caldwell:
> The previous edition has two 1-star E1s and a 2-star HVS, both of which have now been archived, so on the basis of the above would have been black-spot routes. We didn't get to look at the lines as they were on the far side of the crag and we ran out of time to get there. They're not even in the UKC database so it wouldn't surprise me if nobody's climbed them in recent years and vegetation's taken over, yet they were thought worthy of stars 16 years ago.

Sounds like you have answered your own question - you could go and clean Turbulence, Natucket Sleighride and Serenity - all excellent routes and they would get multiple ascents and be restored to life after years of neglect.
Hoping you pulled a bit of heather off the heathery route - I did two Lakes classics yesterday and it is amazing how many people climb them yet do not do a little cleaning to keep them in shape.
DC
Simon Caldwell - on 15 Aug 2016
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

Yes, pulled some heather off, though to remove it all would take many hours (and some of it is very useful as hand holds). Also dug some holds/gear placements out of the deep moss.

> you could go and clean Turbulence, Natucket Sleighride and Serenity - all excellent routes and they would get multiple ascents and be restored to life after years of neglect

The problem is that they wouldn't, as they no longer appear in the definitive guidebook. Admittedly when they did appear, and got stars, they still weren't climbed, but the chances are no that much less ;-)
Duncan Campbell - on 15 Aug 2016
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

Just had a quick flick through, seems pretty good to me - what are you old giffers whinging about?
Simon Caldwell - on 15 Aug 2016
In reply to Duncan Campbell:

I agree, it is very good. I'd just prefer it if it was still definitive - even if details were kept on the web, it would only take a few words to acknowledge the routes' existence in print.
mike123 - on 16 Aug 2016
In reply to callwild:
I ll be buying it when I get back off holiday and doubtless will have little gripes and moans BUT (and I heartily apologise if I've missed it ) I've just had a reasonable scan of the thread and can't see this under the only thread on the subject :
New borrow dale guide : a small group of volunteers spend hundreds if not 1000s of hours producing a guide foe me and my mates to fool around in the evenings avoiding our responsibilities . I wish I could increase the font size here : THANKS FOR ALL YOUR HARD WORK GUYS AND GIRLS . GREAT JOB . WELL DONE .
Post edited at 09:03
sn - on 16 Aug 2016
In reply to mike123:

I would second the thanks to the teams who put together this and all the guidebooks in Britain - when you look at how most foreign guides compare (both in coverage and design), they generally don't !

However I'd add one point - I don't think people should shy away from (constructive) criticism as that is the way standards are improved. I remember a number of years ago the arguments over the entry of Rockfax into the guidebook market and how it would undermine the definitive guidebook market. Fortunately that didn't seem to happen and probably contributed to a marked improvement in standards.

On this particular guide, having brought it I was slightly surprised how much had been taken out compared to the old guide - but would accept that the majority of those routes were probably buried under 2 ft of moss now. I guess I can use the old book if I want a real adventure! Maybe they could have put the archived routes in the back of the new guide verbatim from the old guide ? (in as small a font as possible)
Simon Caldwell - on 16 Aug 2016
In reply to sn:

> I don't think people should shy away from (constructive) criticism as that is the way standards are improved

They say as much in the introduction to the new book and give an email address for comments. I'll be sending them my views once I've had a chance to take the book to another crag or two.

> In reply to mike123:

Agreed they've done a fine job. It'd be a pretty pointless thread though if it just kept saying how grateful we all are! Personally I'd rather receive criticism for my efforts so I can do better next time
pebbles - on 16 Aug 2016
In reply to callwild:

think the archive section is a good solution - it will never be the case that everyone wants the same thing from a guidebook, and personally I like guidebooks not to list each and every route no matter how poor - I dont like doing a big walk in to a crag only to find the enticing list of routes is mostly mediocre and overgrown. some may say thats part of the adventure, but given limited time and weather windows I just find it frustrating. A list of "also at this crag" at the back sounds like a good compromise.
icnoble on 19 Aug 2016
In reply to callwild:

Its a great guide book. The answer to the larger size and taking it on routes, why not just copy the relevant pages.
Lord_ash2000 - on 19 Aug 2016
In reply to callwild:

It's obvious there needs to be a trade off between a completely comprehensive record of all things ever climbed and having a guide book small enough to be usable at the crag / on route.

Maybe a good idea would be to have two versions. So you buy a physical book which lists the worthwhile routes on most of the crags which maintains a reasonable size to take on route, then inside the front cover have a unique code which allows you to download a PDF version which is totally comprehensive. That way, you have the book for 90% of the time when a typical climber gets to shepherds crag and wants to know where the classics are and the full reference you can consult at home if you want to check if something have been climbed or if you want to know the way up some esoteric choss-fest on a long lost crag.

When I go out bouldering, I find the Lakes bloc website invaluable, I can download a super up to date PDF guide of wherever I'm going to my phone and take it with me to the crag.
GrahamD - on 19 Aug 2016
In reply to icnoble:

> Its a great guide book. The answer to the larger size and taking it on routes, why not just copy the relevant pages.

For me at least I don't know ahead of time which crag I'm going to - it depends on weather and conditions on the day. But in any case why should I be forced to buy a book and then have to make paper copies of it ? its ridiculous. Why not make the book the right size to be used as a guidebook to start with ?

And no I certainly do not intend to jeapordise an expensive phone on a crag.
Rick Graham on 19 Aug 2016
In reply to GrahamD:

Buy two and rip the pages out of one?

( I do that to my "good " sole copies. )
oldie - on 19 Aug 2016
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

Not just about this particular guide, but I've long thought that many guidebooks should now be produced in the old small size but split into 2 volumes by grade. say mod - E1, and E2 and above. To prevent crag diagram replication these might be included in a thin 3rd volume. Obviously this might increase price, which could be ameliorated by having E2+ in PDF. All this would mean that most climbers would not have to cart around a load of descriptions which they don't need. Every area would have different requirements depending on its nature and 'clientele'.
However it may well be that I'm completely out of touch with the majority of today's climbers!
Rob Parsons on 19 Aug 2016
In reply to oldie:

> Not just about this particular guide, but I've long thought that many guidebooks should now be produced in the old small size but split into 2 volumes by grade.

Equally, you could split into two (or more) volumes by crag, or sub-area - as was done for example in old editions of the CC guides for Ogwen/Carneddau, Avon/Cheddar, and Pembroke.

I myself don't see that the larger A5 version of the new Borrowdale guide offers anything that wouldn't be offered by the the same content in the more manageable format of the current Langdale and Scafell guides. Why change the format mid-stream in the current series? The 'large canvas' argument doesn't work when, for example, we still have crag diagrams split across a two-page spread (e.g. Raven Crag): it's impossible to see the detail near the centre of the page.

Quoting from FRCC's 2013 'Langdale': 'This is the ninth edition of the Langdale guide, and is the first to embrace the new FRCC style. It has almost full photodiagram coverage, benefits for the first time from Harveys mapping, and *retains the pocket-sized convenience of FRCC guides*' (my emphasis.) What changed? Maybe the 'Wired' influence? The new Borrowdale guide seems to have inherited a lot from the recent selective.

Okay, okay! - before I get accused of mindless whingeing, and told to 'write my own f*cking guide', let me say that I welcome the new guide, appreciate the effort behind it, and have bought (and will use) my own copy. But I still have questions about the change of style.
Jim 1003 - on 02 Sep 2016
In reply to sn:

> On this particular guide, having brought it I was slightly surprised how much had been taken out compared to the old guide - but would accept that the majority of those routes were probably buried under 2 ft of moss now.

Some of the ones they have left in are buried under 2 metres of loose rock and choss unfortunately...they are referred to optimistically as a unique Lakeland experience, something most normal people would prefer not to have...
Simon Caldwell - on 05 Sep 2016
In reply to Jim 1003:

The nature of a definitive guide is (or used to be) that it includes everything, even if most normal people would prefer not to climb it, or in the case of the high E grades, if most normal people are unable to climb it. A guide edited for route quality becomes a selective guide, of which there is a very good one available for the Lakes.
Rick Graham on 05 Sep 2016
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

> A guide edited for route quality becomes a selective guide, of which there is a very good one available for the Lakes.

Just had a page count. The new Borrowdale guide has about one sixth the content of the Lakes Selective guide.

The definitive guide has been replaced by a fairly comprehensive coverage of Borrowdale climbs ( in an economically viable package ) with an archive of everything else done.

The guidebook team should be congratulated for producing a modern package.

( Should make clear that I am a part time / occasional helper of the FRCC guides )
Jim 1003 - on 05 Sep 2016
In reply to Rick Graham:

It's not much good if doesn't go in your pocket when your climbing, or is it just for single pitch routes?
Simon Caldwell - on 05 Sep 2016
In reply to Jim 1003:

Most Borrowdale crags are just 1 or 2 pitches so this isn't so much of an issue as elsewhere in the Lakes. Unfortunately it also doesn't fit in the top pocket of my rucksack, so gets stuffed in the main compartment with the climbing kit, which is bound to affect its longevity.

pec on 05 Sep 2016
In reply to Rick Graham:

> Just had a page count. The new Borrowdale guide has about one sixth the content of the Lakes Selective guide. >

Which begs the question. Why on earth does it have to be in the cumbersome A5 format?

> The definitive guide has been replaced by a fairly comprehensive coverage of Borrowdale climbs ( in an economically viable package ) with an archive of everything else done. >

I had a look through the archive of the stuff that's been missed out and its huge, nearly half the old guide! Now I'm sure there's been a bit of new routing since 2000 but there can't possibly have been enough to make an A5 book necessary.
Its not even as if the bigger pages make for clearer photos. Many of the crag topos in the Wired selective guide are exactly the same as the ones in the new (smaller size) Langdale guide and the pictures are of a higher quality in the smaller book.
For those who are content to buy a guidebook and then photocopy it or prefer to take a photo and carry your camera/phone up a route it doesn't really matter what size the original was but it does to those of us who prefer to carry the book and the vast majority of the routes I've done in Borrowdale are multipitch and I have carried the book with me.





Rick Graham on 05 Sep 2016
In reply to pec:
My original wording was a bit misleading. I meant to say that the Borrowdale coverage in the Selective guide is only a sixth of the full new guide.

The A5 format was chosen as, on balance, it was thought to enable a better product, not to make more space for routes.

Talking of guides to multi pitch areas, I wonder what size the new Chamonix Rockfax is ?
Post edited at 21:41
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Dave Ferguson - on 05 Sep 2016
In reply to callwild:

I too am disappointed with the new guide, for all the same reasons listed above, Too big, too many pictures taking up space that could be used for text, selective not definitive etc. Now I know how much work goes into a guide and I also know how soul destroying endless criticism is (I was one of those responsible for the no starred Tremadog guide!). So rather than just slag it off and offer no solutions (husbands of UKC will know what I mean here). I would like to suggest a solution to the quandary the FRCC find themselves in.

They could publish an alternative guide in pamphlet form, like the supplements of old, with ALL the borrowdale routes in. No pictures, just words, cheap to produce and in proper (Scafell) size with a card cover. If its too much for one pamphlet it could be split Borrowdale east/west etc. This could be carried on multipitch routes, and used in conjunction with the current guide to actually carry on the crag and climb routes that are deemed "too dirty" or out of vogue. I would pay a tenner for said item and a few other old scroats probably would too.

If this isn't possible (financially viable) then at least let me download the archived routes in a publisher type form so I can make my own little booklet much like the CC do for Lundy.

Of course you may disagree (husbands of UKC stay with me here) but at least its an alternative that may actually work!

and before anyone says it. No - I am not going to carry my phone on the crag.............................ever!!
pec on 05 Sep 2016
In reply to Rick Graham:

> My original wording was a bit misleading. I meant to say that the Borrowdale coverage in the Selective guide is only a sixth of the full new guide. >

Fair enough but with amount omitted I can't see why what's left couldn't fit into a Langdale size guidebook and still be very useable.

> The A5 format was chosen as, on balance, it was thought to enable a better product, not to make more space for routes. >

Not many on here at least seem to agree that A5 is better, though no doubt it will sell because its Borrowdale, not because there is a clamour for larger format books.

> Talking of guides to multi pitch areas, I wonder what size the new Chamonix Rockfax is ? >

Almost certainly far too big and heavy to carry up an Alpine route. The alternative of taking a photo is even less practical in the Alps with battery life on multiday trips being even more of an issue than when cragging and it being almost impossible to see a screen in bright light above the snowline.



Jim 1003 - on 07 Sep 2016
In reply to Simon Caldwell:
> Most Borrowdale crags are just 1 or 2 pitches so this isn't so much of an issue as elsewhere in the Lakes. Unfortunately it also doesn't fit in the top pocket of my rucksack, so gets stuffed in the main compartment with the climbing kit, which is bound to affect its longevity.
It's an issue as soon as you do any route more than 1 pitch, it's just as annoying on a 2 pitch route as a 4 pitch. I agree about stuffing it in the sack as other big books I have require constant repairs.
Post edited at 13:10
3leggeddog on 07 Sep 2016
In reply to Dave Ferguson:

I am awaiting the frcc's wifely reply of

Waa, that wont work because nobody works as hard as the frcc and nobody gets as tired as the frcc.

Joking aside the pamphlet is a good idea.

I disagree with leaving out the vegetated routes, how will they ever be cleaned? And I also dislike the size.

I have been saying for a while that I suspect guide publishers are hoping to create another market with their coffee table guides, be that a pamphlet or a phone app, it is on its way. Pamphlet for me please, printed on old fashioned none glossy paper whose pages can be separated after a soaking and drying. Not ending up like something that you would find under a teenage boys bed.
cas smerdon - on 11 Sep 2016
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

> They say as much in the introduction to the new book and give an email address for comments. I'll be sending them my views once I've had a chance to take the book to another crag or two.

Can you give this email address so I can let them know that I won't be buying the A5 guide.
I've had a look through the old guide at routes I have marked up and they are all multi pitch. So I will carry on climbing with the old guide.
I don't see how they can say A5 books are more popular unless they publish in both formats and have them side by side in the shop.

USBRIT - on 23 Sep 2016
In reply to callwild:

Well I definitive guide it is not. The space that would have kept the history of Borrrowdale climbing intact has been replaced with posed photos of the various authors . I had myself had quite a lot of FA's in Borrowdale but at least 30 ( a few that had been given two stars) of them have been omitted plus several crags we opened up...One would think they could have at least mentioned the very first recorded route in Borrowdale 1892 by the old Fell and Rockers the Abraham brothers.Some descriptions are incorrect or changed from the original and the line drawings on the crag photos might help but even some of them can be misleading.. .The best bet is to keep hold of the 2000 FRCC guide or find one on Ebay.This 2000 guide book was also was the right size .They claim than we might find the missing climbs somewhere on the internet ... I guess its there somewhere ? Still looking.
pec on 23 Sep 2016
In reply to callwild:

I had a look through the new guide at the climbing wall last night, side by side with old one. The new one is a lot thinner so the bigger format certainly wasn't to fit in all the extra routes, it would appear that there's actually far fewer routes. There also appears to be a lot of blank (a.k.a. wasted) space on many pages.
There was clearly no pressing need to make it A5 so why did they think that's better?
Every time a new A5 book comes out people complain about it, I've never heard anyone complain that a book was too small.
I presume they've been seduced by the idea of a slick looking semi coffe table production rather than a functional guide which ought to be its primary purpose. This is a shame as the new Langdale guide looks very professional and inspiring whilst still (just) being a usable size.
Personally I think when a book gets unmanageably large they should split it like the old CC Ogwen/Carneddau guide, Borrowdale North and South for example. It might add a few quid to the cost but I'd pay 30 for that whereas I'm not paying 26 for this one when it has fewer routes than the old one and is too big to cart up routes.

Andysomething - on 24 Sep 2016
In reply to pec:

I've started taking pictures on my smartphone of the relevant pages for my day out, and leave the book in the car or sack - have found this works pretty well.

I like the feel and robustness of the earlier guides but I find that the routes are much easier to pick out from the pictures in the new guide.
Mark Eddy - on 24 Sep 2016
In reply to Andysomething:

I too am taking a photo of the topo and route description, although with a regular camera rather than phone as battery life can be so short. I was on Black Crag, Troutdale yesterday, took the new guide with us in case our chosen route was really busy (it wasn't) then a couple of photos stored in the camera going up the route with us, works a treat.

Also find the new guide much easier to use, with clear photo-topos it's actually possible to set off on a route with a good idea of where it's going.

The 5 star ratings are a good idea too, about time we started shouting about how brilliant Lakeland climbing is.

Over the last week i've visited crags I didn't know existed, all thanks to the new guide, and there's a few more on the list, again thanks to this guide.

Let's remember the author and contributors to this and all Lakeland guides are giving their time freely for these publications, and overall doing a fantastic job.
cas smerdon - on 24 Sep 2016
In reply to Mark Eddy:

They managed to get new photo topos into pocket sized books for Langdale and Scafell so why did they not stick with this size for Borrowdale?
I don't want to take my smartphone out of my pocket part way up a multipitch route to check the next pitch.
pec on 24 Sep 2016
In reply to Andysomething:

> I've started taking pictures on my smartphone of the relevant pages for my day out, and leave the book in the car or sack - have found this works pretty well. >

The problem with that is that I find it really hard to see screens in anything even approaching bright light and impossible in when its really sunny and furthermore, what's the point of having extra large guidebook photos if you're going to have to look at them on a 2" screen? I know you can zoom in but then you lose the overview and trying to zoom in and out mid pitch on lead is next to impossible and do you really want your second to be fiddling about with a screen trying not to drop an expensive phone/camera whilst belaying you?
It just doesn't work for me (and clearly many others), if it works for you then fine, photograph away but it wouldn't matter what size the original was then.
The photo topos in the new Langdale guide are superbly clear despite being smaller than A5, I'm sure they'd be fine to photograph if that's what you like to do.

Mark Eddy - on 24 Sep 2016
In reply to cas smerdon:

Fair point and yes a slightly smaller size would probably be easier to use, certainly would be easier to handle whilst on a route.
None of the guides (FRCC / CC / Rockfax) fit in any of my pockets, and looking through the Scottish and European guides on the bookshelf I see none of those fit either.
Solution = guidebook cover. Clip to back of harness and take up route. Keeps the book in good condition when stuffed in a backpack and less chance of us dropping them from the crag as we can attach the cover to rope, etc whilst reading.

Initially I wasn't convinced it was a leap forward from the previous or selected guide. But having used it a few times I am now realising it is a leap forward and well worth having.
3leggeddog on 08:18 Sun
In reply to Mark Eddy:

A friend made a valid and incisive comment about the new borrowdale guide.

"They took out all those routes and left Dalt Quarry in"

I think that sums it up for me.

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