/ Best guide for bouldering in the peaks?

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JessMc - on 01 Aug 2017
Wondering which guide to invest in? Not climbed too much outdoors so would be great if there was a good mix of things! Cheers
afx22 - on 01 Aug 2017
flaneur - on 01 Aug 2017
In reply to JessMc:

Vertebrate's Peak District Bouldering is by far the best one to get.
galpinos on 01 Aug 2017
In reply to JessMc:

Vertebrate's Peak District Bouldering is the definitive guide.
deepsoup - on 01 Aug 2017
In reply to JessMc:
I just checked in to see if anyone had ranted at you yet for saying "Peaks" instead of "Peak". Very disappointed that you've had three on-topic replies and nobody has told you off yet. Standards are slipping. ;-)

Another vote here for the Vertebrate guide, but both are good (as you might have guessed).

If you're thinking of climbing routes as well as bouldering, it's worth mentioning that the current BMC definitive guides to the gritstone routes also have quite good coverage of the bouldering. Each one only covers a section of the Peak though, obviously, so wouldn't really be worth the money unless you're going to be a pretty regular visitor.
Offwidth - on 01 Aug 2017
In reply to galpinos:
There is no such thing as a definitive Peak bouldering guide. The closest you get is the BMC definitive collection (which are not definitive for bouldering) alongside numerous other local sources including: the Peak Bouldering website, UKB wikis, UKC logbooks, the High Over Buxton guide, and the Kirklees climbing website resources. I've got all of the local guides I know of and I still include loads of lower grade stuff unlisted anywhere else on my shared website Offwidth.
Post edited at 16:29
galpinos on 01 Aug 2017
In reply to Offwidth:

`Connoisseurs Guide?
bouldery bits - on 01 Aug 2017
In reply to deepsoup:

I was just coming to bellow at you for saying 'Peaks' instead of 'Peak.'

As it happens I like the vertebrate guide.
In reply to JessMc:

I think the Rockfax Peak Bouldering is the best:

It's in the Rockfax app too which links to your UKC logbook (only on iOS at the mo, Android later this year)

The maps in the Vertebrae guide aren't great but I do like that one too. It's good if you already know where the boulders are, lol.
dilatory - on 01 Aug 2017
In reply to bouldery bits:

How does one use it in a sentence? I'm going to The Peak? I'm going to Peak?
Chris Craggs - on 01 Aug 2017
In reply to Paul Phillips - UKC and UKH:

> I think the Rockfax Peak Bouldering is the best:

Agreed - the Rockfax book is more up-to-date, easier to use and has more lower-grade stuff in it - if that is what is required,


bouldery bits - on 01 Aug 2017
In reply to dilatory:

We have a cottage in the peak.

There is grit bouldering in the peak.

I am going to take a peek at the peak as it does pique my interest.

alx on 01 Aug 2017
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Should Chris and Paul declare their conflicts of interest as part of this discussion

Of course you should really being buying the Birdie Num Num and Lemming edition full of foul mouthed Peak classics and dogging hotspots
keith-ratcliffe on 01 Aug 2017
In reply to deepsoup:
This thread contains some amusing items including the 'Word according to Gordon' definition of the origin of the name. Worth a read.
In reply to alx:

I did consider announcing it. To be perfectly honest though, the fact that I work for UKC has no bearing on my recommendation. If I thought the Vertebrae guide was better I'd say so!

Considering this is for a beginner to Peak bouldering, the Rockfax guide is the clear choice for me.

Besides, it's pretty obvious I work for UKC from my username
stp - on 02 Aug 2017
In reply to deepsoup:

The correct term is either 'The Peak District' or 'The Peak District National Park'. 'Peaks' implies there is more than one peak. Having been to The Peak District I can confirm that this is indeed true. Both 'The Peak' and 'The Peaks' are shortened slang forms so I think either works fine and I'm not sure one can ascertain incorrect slang.
In reply to Paul Phillips - UKC and UKH:

I'm with Paul on this one, I really can't see any reason (other than nostalgia) that someone would choose the VP guide over the Rockfax Guide in the case of Peak Bouldering. The former is counter-intuitive, difficult to use, and falls apart.

Much like Paul, if I thought it was a better guide I'd say so, but it isn't. Whilst Alan would probably flog me for saying this, I'd buy the Pembroke Rock Wired Guide over the Pembroke Rockfax these days, as it is (sorry Alan) a better guidebook - full stop. There's probably a number of other good examples I could list, but in the case of Peak Bouldering I actually thought VP's previous edition (the one with Ben Moon on the cover) was a much, much better guide.

Anyhow, that's enough stoking of the fire for now - I'll await my P45 in due course...
dilatory - on 02 Aug 2017
In reply to bouldery bits:

This weekend I'm headed to the Peak, which I'm told is the correct way to refer to the Peak District in short. It being a district of Peaks presumably, but I should only refer to one.
steveb2006 - on 02 Aug 2017
In reply to dilatory:

Nothing to do with peaks as in hills and mountains - see link above on keith-ratcliffes entry. But it is a favourite discussion point on UKC
Offwidth - on 04 Aug 2017
In reply to steveb2006:

Yes it is is you read Gordon Stainforth's linked comments on the recent direct threads on this subject. If you are going to be a pedant at least get your facts right. It should be Peak but its etymology probably involves peaks.

To quote Gordon, who wrote a book on the area,: " 'Pecsaetan' means the (Anglo-Saxon) 'Settlers of the Pec', the Celtic name for the area we now call the Peak. And, contrary to what some pundits claim, Peak does mean 'pointy/peaked' and has exactly the same derivation as the word Pic in Europe (eg. the Pyrennees and France). Also a whole lot of other anglo-saxon and norse words have a similar origin eg. pick, peck, pike, spike, prick, beak."

Chris the Tall - on 04 Aug 2017
In reply to Offwidth:

But the question of whether the name is derived from people or landscape sheds no light on whether it should be the Peak or the Peaks, nor on why people get so wound up by it that they have to jump in on every thread with the absolute certainty that they are right and someone else is wrong.

El Greyo - on 04 Aug 2017
In reply to stp:

What I am doing wading into another Peak/Peaks debate I don't know but here goes.

I believe that the original name for the region is the Peak (or previously Peake) and 'District' is a more recent addition. 'The Peak' is therefore not an abbreviation or slang.

For example, I came a reference to the 'Peake' in Samual Pepys diary from 19th January 1663: '... and that was all that passed but my Lord did presently pack his lady into the country in Derbyshire, near the Peake; which is become a proverb at Court, to send a man’s wife to the Devil’s arse a’ Peake, when she vexes him.' (search for 'Peake' in ). So perhaps it should be Peake, but it shouldn't be Peaks. Pepys didn't recommend which bouldering guide to use though.

So if anyone can find a reference to 'The Peaks' (or 'Peakes') that predates 1663, I shall humbly start calling it 'the Peaks' (possibly through gritted teeth). But until then, Peak is what I prefer to call it.

Can I rest my case, m'lud?
Offwidth - on 04 Aug 2017
In reply to Chris the Tall:

Well as a non-word/grammar pendant I find it amusing that people keep saying it can't be Peaks due to the singular tribe whom it was named after when they were named after peaks. Such things happens so often to word pedamts on UKC that there should be a new named law for it. It must drive Gordon bonkers that people are getting the right name for the wrong reason still after pointing out so often (if you excuse the pun).
deepsoup - on 04 Aug 2017
In reply to Offwidth:
> Such things happens so often to word pedamts on UKC that there should be a new named law for it.


No need to name a new 'law', there are plenty already:'s_law
Ramblin dave - on 04 Aug 2017
In reply to flaneur:

I've got the Vertebrate, but would probably get the Rockfax if I was buying again. There's clearly a lot of love gone into the Vertebrate guide, but there's pretty much no overview information about the different areas which makes it quite hard to use if you don't already basically know where you want to climb on any given day.

Obviously if you want to be safe, though, you could get both, plus the BMC gritstone definitives, plus Boulder Britain for good measure.
r0x0r.wolfo - on 04 Aug 2017
In reply to flaneur:

Got to say I have both and the VB stays at home now.


Poor overview information, whilst crag maps and topos were no better than rockfax at best, frustrating to use at worst.

Whilst landscape seems to make sense for a bouldering book in theory, they never actually use this aspect to it's full advantage. You're not actually getting any large wide topos, as larger images are reserved for the obligatory climbing shots.

If O.P wants my VB (which is still a good book, overall criticism aside) they are welcome to it.
Offwidth - on 05 Aug 2017
In reply to Ramblin dave:
I forgot that Boulder Britain is the only current guidebook with any coverage of Pleasley Vale bouldering, Its a really handy venue as it is not far off the M1 near Mansfield a two minute walk in and highly sheltered and gets better weather than the main Peak areas in any case and can rescue a trip for those travelling longer distances who were rained off the bigger name venues. I'd put the stuff under the roof at Woodhouse Scar in a similar category (for those on the M62 when rained off north Peak or other venues): 1 minute walk-in and just off the M62 in Halifax.
Post edited at 10:36
Jono.r23 - on 06 Aug 2017
In reply to JessMc:

I initially bought the vertibrate guide on recommendation. But found it a bit of a pain in winter/high wind due to the 'landscape' format. Its very good to browse at home though. I since bought the rockfax Peak Bouldering package for the iphone app. Which is very handy as its one less thing to carry especislly when going out solo. I did speak to the Vertibrate guy about the format at the recent british bouldering comp in sheff..and he said the next edition will be in regular format as theres way more content..but didnt get any indicstion of publication date. If ur feeling flush or like the flexibility i'd say buy the vertibrate book and the rockfax app. Both have thier uses and can be cross referenced
dilatory - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to JessMc:

Having just returned from a weekend in The Peak, getting thoroughly spanked on grit (akin to first few days in Font) and happily heading home to flip through new North Wales guide, before watching a few videos, knowing the beta and wanting to head straight back... I'd say the Rockfax book is cracking, easy to follow and navigate. Lots of stuff for our whole troupe to try,
paul__in_sheffield - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to JessMc:

I suppose it's down to what is meant by 'best'. If you mean most routes, then Rockfax wins hands down. However, if it's down to production and design values, then it's VB. The BMC area guides are similarly brilliantly produced and also have routes in to highball and solo;-)
I've got VB, Rockfax and the BMC, used depending upon what we're up to. The Rockfax gets looked at and photographed as it's a brick to carry around and left at home. VB is the one usually in my bouldering bag.

My vote for the 'best' Peak guide is the VB bouldering guide to Churnet Valley, brilliant production and pretty well comprehensive. This time with SatNav coordinates for individual buttresses. I'm a bit crap at finding stuff even with the best guide, and just seemed to spend time in the Churnet thrashing around on steep unstable soil, never finding anything. Last time out with this guide, followed satnav on my phone and boom! found the Virgin Wall Traverse and sent it! For punters like me, this is essential.
paul mitchell - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:

As with route guides,it is possible, and more interesting,to have a go at what you fancy when you arrive at the venue.You can check the guide afterwards. Such a pathetic sight,people wandering round with guidebooks for ages,and ages,not climbing,trying to make a choice.Doh!
Offwidth - on 07 Aug 2017
In reply to paul mitchell:

Be careful there Mitch.... that sounds way too much like adventure. From Boulder Britain: " This book seeks to give a good visit to each give you a great flavour... For most .. there is a vast amount of further problems, often just as good...Go... explore."

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