Wendigo, Gogarth Gogarth is indisputably one of the finest and favourite cliffs in the UK, countless climbers have no doubt spent some of the best days of their climbing lives there. It even comes in at number six in Planet Fear's top 20 Best Crags of England & Wales (click here to read Adrian Berry's profile of Gogarth). But what is a mere number where experience is concerned?
The last guidebook to Gogarth was published by the Climbers' Club (website) in 1990 and reprinted in 2003 - 17 years without a new guidebook, including no information on 200 new routes. On November 28th 2006 after talking to several climbers, a conversation with the well-known Climber magazine editor, Bernard Newman (website) and off-the-record interviews with several high-ranking members of the Climbers' Club, UKClimbing.com ran a news article asking " CC Gogarth Guide - Where is it?" (link) To quote, "Early 2007 will also see unveiling of the anticipated Ground Up, North Wales Rock, the successor to the much loved Paul William's select volume, which contains a fairly hefty 'best of' Gogarth chapter. Ground Up has a Slate guide in preparation and possibly a North Wales Limestone. Will they possibly turn their gaze to Anglesey?"
Spurred on by the publication of the well received North Wales Rock, recently published by Ground Up, a thread was started at the UKClimbing.com forums by 21 year old 'withey' of Bangor, Wales (profile) suggesting that Ground Up should take over the publication of the much-awaited and long-in-preparation, Gogarth guidebook (read the thread here). It seems his question was quite prophetic.
Late last night, in an apparent exclusive, UKClimbing.com received the following announcement from Simon Panton of Ground Up, the publishers of the new North Wales Rock guidebook (website)
“I would like to announce that Ground Up will be going ahead with production of a definitive guide to the Gogarth cliffs. We have deliberated over this issue for some time, and, particularly of late, many individuals have approached us suggesting that we should give it a go. Now that the North Wales Rock book has been published, it seems that the time is right. In our opinion Gogarth is the best crag in Britain – it needs a classic modern guidebook that reflects its greatness. It is our intention to produce such a book, and to produce it as quickly as is feasible.”
The proposed guidebook team will include a number of the most experienced Gogarth campaigners, such as Adam Wainwright, Pete Robins, Steve Mayers, George Smith, Noel Craine and James McHaffie. This strong team will be backed up by the directors of Ground Up (Simon Panton, Rob Wilson, Graham Desroy and Simon Marsh), all of whom are confirmed Gogarth devotees with many years of experience on this wonderful sea cliff. To say that they are keen to throw themselves into this exciting project is something of an understatement."
This is not the first time that the Climbers' Club have gone head to head with a rival guidebook publisher to a climbing area in Wales.