UKC

A national guidebook 

New Topic
This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
 Mlewis 26 Aug 2022

As I am traveling/climbing for the next 12 months I have been digging around for climbing information, although when I find it it's is often hard to know if the area is actually worth a visit. 

I was wondering if there are any guide books that cover an entire country showing the top 25 ish crags to visit if you are passing through, it could make a great series of guide books! (Would probably require minimal effort as the information is already there) 

On top of that I was talking to Danish climbers and told them that UK is well worth visiting for a climbing trip. That got me thinking what crags would you advise people to visit if they were in the UK for a week or two. 

This is where my thoughts of a national guide came from. In short, if you were putting a UK guide together, limited to 25 crags, what would you include. 

I realised I love every place I have visited. 

Short list for me would be -

Corning Granite - Bosigran, Chair Ladder & Sennen

Baggy point

Peaks - Stanage popular & plantation

Llamberis slate (mostly because it's such a unique environment)

I haven't visited much more so hard for me decide...

4
 Retro Rowan 26 Aug 2022
In reply to Mlewis:

Rockfax digital is probably the best option for travelling around the UK. Pretty much covers all the major crags and it fits in your pocket.

 TheGeneralist 26 Aug 2022
In reply to Mlewis:

Jingo wobbly

13
OP Mlewis 26 Aug 2022
In reply to Retro Rowan:

I already use the app and love it, although I still prefer a guidebook when I'm going to a new place. It's nicer to sit down and flick through. 

 Doug 26 Aug 2022
OP Mlewis 26 Aug 2022
In reply to Mlewis:

Perfect, now it just needs one for every country and come in one of those series/box sets the book triolgys come in. 

Boulder Briton is good, shame it's focused on bouldering. 

2
In reply to Doug:

Which covers the UK too if you just need the best 25 crags covered

2
 jimtitt 26 Aug 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

Strange that in my long climbing career I only went to Scotland once. France is better in all respects. To be fair the delights of the Peak district only managed to tempt me to leave my southern paradise twice!

Post edited at 16:41
17
In reply to jimtitt:

> Strange that in my long climbing career I only went to Scotland once. France is better in all respects. To be fair the delights of the Peak district only managed to tempt me to leave my southern paradise twice!

How do you know France is better in all respects if you've only been to Scotland once? Or do you mean better than England?

1
 jimtitt 26 Aug 2022
In reply to Robert Durran:

For all the much vaunted benefits of Scottish education your reading comprehension is suprisingly poor. In my climbing career I visited Scotland once (in fact twice but that was winter climbing) BUT  I have visited Scotland many times, I'm in fact half-Scots. No doubt many of the crags are wonderful to a Scot, the weather, insects, beer, cuisine, girls and many other factors make a twelve hour drive unappetising compared with say France

41
 ExiledScot 26 Aug 2022
In reply to Mlewis:

Ken Wilson solved this in 3 books according to grade range. 

 FreshSlate 26 Aug 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

> For all the much vaunted benefits of Scottish education your reading comprehension is suprisingly poor. 

"I only went to Scotland once". I don't think it's his reading that's the issue.

Try 'I've only climbed in Scotland once' or 'I've visited Scotland many times, but I have only climbed there once'.

2
OP Mlewis 26 Aug 2022
In reply to ExiledScot:

I guess that's half the work already done, just needs to make it more of a guidebook!

 spenser 26 Aug 2022
In reply to ExiledScot:

Like hell he did!

He edited a series of books he could get his mates to write essays about. You can't say that Great Gully, Crypt Route, The Long Climb or Powder Monkey Parade are sufficiently high quality that they warrant being in a national guidebook.

7
 ExiledScot 27 Aug 2022
In reply to spenser:

I never said his books were the definitive guide for the uk, the best 100 ever type thing, but go to any area, pick a route and you won't have a bad day. They cover the full breadth of the uk geographically, rock types, settings, styles and grades, what more do you need from a 'national'* book?

* national, not best överall, most starred, etc..

Post edited at 06:58
In reply to ExiledScot:

> Ken Wilson solved this in 3 books according to grade range. 

And modern guide books aspire to be the same size.

OP Mlewis 27 Aug 2022
In reply to Presley Whippet:

I was a little upset when my copy of classic rock arrived. I imagined it to be a small book which I could take with me. How wrong I was 😂

 Andy Moles 27 Aug 2022
In reply to ExiledScot:

> Ken Wilson solved this in 3 books according to grade range. 

Those books are

a) not guidebooks

b) extremely dated

c) include far more than 25 crags and a sizeable minority of mediocre or poor routes

Their abiding influence is a fettering weight around the neck of UK climbing culture

4
 ExiledScot 27 Aug 2022
In reply to Andy Moles:

> Those books are

> a) not guidebooks

True, but I've known people just copy a page to take with them. They inspire, more than step by step guide, a little like Gaston Rebuffet's Mont Blanc book. But if you just appeared in the uk and wanted a general summary of uk rock in a single book (or 3 if you want Diff to E6+), what other book would do that?

> b) extremely dated

Some routes have changed a little due to rockfall, but not many.

> c) include far more than 25 crags and a sizeable minority of mediocre or poor routes

I'll grant you will o the wisp wasn't a great inclusion. Cwfry Arete would be better choice for the area.

> Their abiding influence is a fettering weight around the neck of UK climbing culture

A negative influence, in what way?

 Andy Moles 27 Aug 2022
In reply to Mlewis:

So just for the craic, here's a proposal of 25 crags, attempting a balance of different areas and styles without too much compromise on quality (I haven't factored in grade range because you didn't specify):

Bosigran

Lower Sharpnose

As big a chunk of Range East Pembroke as can be reasonably called one crag

Dinas Cromlech

Clogwyn Du'r Arrdu

Gogarth Main Cliff

Stanage

Almscliff

Malham Cove

Kilnsey

Scafell East Buttress

Gimmer Crag

Bowden Doors

Buachaille Etive Mor

Carn Dearg Buttress

Shelterstone

Creag an Dubh Loch

Coire Mhic Fhearchair (Beinn Eighe)

Sron na Ciche

Dun Mingulay

Pink & Grey Walls, Pabbay

Mangersta

Rubha Coigeach, Reiff

Sheigra

Fair Head

That would be quite a good trip.

 mrphilipoldham 27 Aug 2022
In reply to spenser:

I still fail to understand how Powder Monkey Parade (S 4b) gets two stars. It's nothing more than a bang average eastern grit severe. Forgettable nonsense. I've climbed better no star grit severes.

 Andy Moles 27 Aug 2022
In reply to ExiledScot:

Negative only in their eminence. The obsession with 'ticks', the unimaginative challenges, the piety with which they're held. As for dated, I mean mostly in image and writing style. They do have a lot of the best routes of course, though Classic Rock are are often past their best with polish and Extreme Rock was premature - a lot of those routes were fresh off the press and quality consensus wasn't established, and plenty of better ones in the grade range were done later.

 BrendanO 27 Aug 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

> Strange that in my long climbing career I only went to Scotland once. France is better in all respects. To be fair the delights of the Peak district only managed to tempt me to leave my southern paradise twice!

Yes, that IS strange.

 henwardian 27 Aug 2022
In reply to Mlewis:

I've got a lot of doubts about how useful/profitable a guidebook for an entire country as big as the UK or France or Spain would be if it only had a handful of crags in it but assuming it is something people would want/buy, I think maybe:

Gogarth

Pembroke

Scottish mountain crag (pick from Shelterstone, Dubh Loch, Ben Nevis N face, Coire Lagan, Etive slabs or Carnmore)

2 scottish sea cliffs (this would just be so hard to narrow down, Mingulay and Pabay might be contenders but who would ever go there without getting a guide showing every route? Hoy and Screaming geo (+other geos) are superb but they don't get any traffic and both are long ferry trips to get to. Reiff and Sheigra and Neist Point are all popular and great quality but they are also rather shorter pitches... a bit of a lack of scale. Ellen's Geo is fantastic but it's also very new, it could be considered a pretty brave pic.)

A couple of grit crags (not my area of expertise).

Kilnsey or Malam for the limestone sport stuff (not my area of expertise).

Something in the Lakes (not my area of expertise).

Sharpnose/Bosigran

.....

Ok, I've thunk about it a bit more, I don't think you want 25 crags, If you create a book where the whole of Scotland has like 5 crags in it, I just can't see how it could be useful. I think you want more like 100 crags across the UK with 10 to 30 routes per crag - that fits in a largish book and gives people some options with route and crag picking.

I did once start looking at making a UK guidebook aimed at visiting climbers but never got beyond a bit of research (i.e. climbing!). It might be helpful to take every crag in the UK and start narrowing down from there, that means you don't miss anything too obvious out. There are only a few thousand crags in the UK and a huge, huge number of them you could discount instantly for being grotty quarries or isolated as hell slabs with just a couple of routes. I think before you knew it a list would start to form quite organically.

Unrelatedly, when did jimtitt turn into such a troll? I swear he used to make interesting and useful posts but this is like the third thread I've read with obvious trolling... Did his account get hacked?

 jimtitt 27 Aug 2022
In reply to henwardian:

Err, I was responding to a troll!

3
 Andy Moles 27 Aug 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

That wasn't a troll, that was just a site function that occurs whenever a thread including the words 'best' or 'top' is posted

In reply to Mlewis:

As luck would have it, I've just written a guide covering all the 3* crags of East Anglia (covers Essex, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk). Pasted below

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Was only one part of the UK but I hope it helped in some way. Feel free to redistribute it.

Post edited at 13:12
 spenser 27 Aug 2022
In reply to ExiledScot:

I suspect your definition of "a bad day" will differ significantly from many people.

I maintain that Classic Rock's inclusion of things like Great Gully was part of an effort to put off inexperienced climbers, however for an experienced climber such routes offer a degree of "entertainment".

 peppermill 27 Aug 2022
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

> I still fail to understand how Powder Monkey Parade (S 4b) gets two stars. It's nothing more than a bang average eastern grit severe. Forgettable nonsense. I've climbed better no star grit severes.

Yeah it's like that strangely really popular  slab at Froggatt (I forget the name...) that's top-end VS at  most but loads of people rave about and keep saying it's an E1?

;p

 henwardian 27 Aug 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

> Err, I was responding to a troll!

Two wrongs do not make a right :P

(also I did miss the fact that Rob's post was a troll when I did a quick scan of the first dozen or so replies).

 ExiledScot 27 Aug 2022
In reply to spenser:

> I maintain that Classic Rock's inclusion of things like Great Gully was part of an effort to put off inexperienced climbers, however for an experienced climber such routes offer a degree of "entertainment".

All gullys have their moments. Bryants Gully, no point doing it unless it's been raining steady for half a day! 

In reply to Mlewis:

> I was a little upset when my copy of classic rock arrived. I imagined it to be a small book which I could take with me. How wrong I was 😂

I get the same feeling everytime a new guidebook arrives.


New Topic
This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Loading Notifications...