Was looking at the recent photos and clicked on the route link which led to the following route descriptions (Avon, Sea Walls)...
The Featherless Biped: 52m, 3 pitches.
Hugh's Groove: Pitch 1 of The Featherless Biped.
Bisector Wall: Pitch 2 of The Featherless Biped.
Exterminating Angel: Pitch 3 of The Featherless Biped.
Not particularly useful I thought - not that this instance affects me.
How many other similar circular descriptions are out there in the database - "prize" for the most convoluted 😁
I think it's in the Welsh winter guidebook there are a number of descriptions of winter routes where the whole description is based around where the winter route goes in relation to a summer route - and those summer routes aren't described in the book. I think it's fair to say, this isn't terribly helpful.
Not sure what is "not particularly useful" nor "circular". This route links together better pitches from other routes to provide a higher quality route overall from bottom to top. All of these pitches are described independently as pitches of the route they belong to. What is debateable is whether it is valid to name it as a seperate route in it's own right. I suspect this was done mainly for convenience. I have done it a couple of times and it is worthwhile in this format and better overall than the individual components, if that makes sense.
The old Wye Valley guide positioned one route in relation to another, but the latter was not among the regular list of routes. Instead it was referred to in a bit of prose about the layout of the crag, along with words along the lines of "disappeared years ago under the ivy". Not much help, that, I thought....
It's a natural-enough failing among the guidebook writers who know a crag very well, and to whom the obvious landmark routes are, well, obvious landmarks. On the other hand, to the bewildered traveler in the dawn they remain a mystery.
In a similar vein but not really circular as the OP requested and a little guidebook-nerdy ...
It was in the curiously-named 2-volume Wye Valley Limestone guide from 1999 (which actually covered Chee Dale, Raven Tor and Water-cum-Jolly and had nothing to do with the Wye Valley in the southwest). At the last minute, this guide was split into 2-volumes after the huge Lancashire brick published earlier in the year was heavily criticised. Vol 1 contained the routes for taking to the crag, and Vol 2 contained the FAs and history for bed-side reading.
Unfortunately, there was quite a lot of crucial information included in the FA descriptions. For example Theology (7c) was nicely described in the routes book but in the history book the FA listing mentioned that holds had fallen off and the route had never been reclimbed (probably still hasn't). This particular omission was carried over to the Peak Limestone North 2015 guide which omitted the FA information altogether and then stuck the north history into volume 2 - Peak Limestone South so you still needed 2 volumes to find out that this route was unclimbable!
Having said that I never really figured out why such crucial information would have been hidden in the FA lists anyway! I have always thought it is far better to have a single entry for a route that gives you everything you need to know about it rather than having to check the FA list (even in the same volume) to see if there might be extra crucial information.
> The old Wye Valley guide positioned one route in relation to another, but the latter was not among the regular list of routes. Instead it was referred to in a bit of prose about the layout of the crag, along with words along the lines of "disappeared years ago under the ivy". Not much help, that, I thought....
The mid-90s Dorset guide did a bit of that. It described the sport routes on Portland in relation to the older trad routes. There was a little logic in this in that they followed cracks and corners, however, no one had ever heard of any of them since we hadn't included them in the 1994 Dorset Rockfax.
One of our golden Rockfax rules is don't assume that the person reading the guide starts at the beginning of the page/chapter/book and reads it from beginning to end. People don't use guides like that, they dip in and out, so you should try to make descriptions self-standing and not rely on people reading lots of text past a load of other routes before they find the one they are looking for.
Not questioning the quality of the routes, etc.
But if Route A has the description "Pitch 1 of Route B", and the description for pitch 1 of Route B is "Route A", then that is surely circular and not at all helpful since it tells you nothing about the route.
That is what I described in the OP as per the UKC database - not quite sure why you're not seeing this.
I didn't recall any such confusion when I did it so I looked in the guide book to be certain and that makes perfect sense. You did say "link" so apologies.
> Thats because it is a logbook and not a guidebook. The descriptions are in the guidebook.
True, I wasn't doubting what was in the guidebook (not seen an Avon one for several editions), merely commenting on the circular info in the logbook.
The Rockfax app - which is a guidebook - does it use the logbook descriptions or something else (I don't have the app so can't check).
> I didn't recall any such confusion when I did it so I looked in the guide book to be certain and that makes perfect sense. You did say "link" so apologies.
Ah, I understand where the confusion arose, my OP maybe should have emphasised that I wasn't talking about the guidebook descriptions - no worries 😁
> The Rockfax app - which is a guidebook - does it use the logbook descriptions or something else (I don't have the app so can't check).
No, all descriptions in Rockfax Digital either come from the corresponding print book, or are written independently if it is digital-only content. We do use UKC logbooks for reference and it is the best guidebook writing aid ever created, however the route descriptions it contains are user-submitted in an ad hoc way. As pylonking suggests, it shouldn’t really be expected that it is a consistent and comprehensive guide. Having said that, there are some excellent descriptions in there and also amusing less-useful ones like the one you found.
> What is debateable is whether it is valid to name it as a seperate route in it's own right. I suspect this was done mainly for convenience. I have done it a couple of times and it is worthwhile in this format and better overall than the individual components, if that makes sense.
In the OP's example, I would have thought a far better name was Hugh's Bisecting Angel or something like that, then when you take to UKC, you can claim to have both renamed and not renamed the route and confound proponents of either side of the issue
It's certainly not at all unusual to have things like:
Route 1 - "the crack left of Route 2"
Route 2 - "the wall right of Route 1"
The system works fine provided you already know where one of them is
There's a lot of this in the 2 Scottish Rock guides - it's like there's one "key" route that *everyone* should have climbed and then it all makes sense, but often you spend quite some time tying to figure out and locate the "key route"....
I guess this is logical when the key route is a big obvious feature but it often isn't...