I'm starting a petition. Well... an electronic one anyway.
I suggest that Si Panton and his Ground Up compatriots join forces with everyone who has done so much work towards creating a new Gogarth Guide, and get's one made, finished, published, and in the shops.
Not wanting to put undue pressure on Si, and not wanting to draw away from anyone else's effort, but the current (reprinted) guide, is terrible. The Gogarth/Holyhead Mountain section in North Wales Rock is better than the CC guide, and is so much better to work from. Maybe it's getting towards the glossy Rockfax type of guidebook, but if it's helps people to find the area easier, and gets people out to explore the wider reaching areas (like the Lleyn) then surely that's a good thing.
Gogarth is one of North Wales' top climbing crags. It has so much character, and a guidebook with dodgy descriptions, routes no longer climbable, and so many missing new routes is in my opinion, unacceptable.
P.S. I don't want to cause problems between old school, and new skool writers. These are just my opinions. Maybe we could get them together, have a fight, and whoever wins, wins the right to do the next guidebook? Just a thought.
> > I suggest that Si Panton and his Ground Up compatriots join forces with everyone who has done so much work towards creating a new Gogarth Guide, and get's one made, finished, published, and in the shops.
i'm confused...they've done "so much work" but it's not in the shops?
Anyway what about the new Nth Wales Rock guide....or does that just have a small proportion of what's available at Gogarth?
In reply to withey: Errrm I'm a CC member, and guidewriter for them, and to Gogarth, and I simply just dont agree with your stance.
I do however agree we have taken too long to get the new guide out.
BUT, nobody is going to do it better. The ridiculous thing is that the Gogarth reprint was one of our best selling guides. STUPID, and I have had lots of words to say at the CC AGM's. For which I have been mega sidelined by the club for, I agree we have been far too long getting the guide out, but nobody will do it better,
I could tell you who to blame, but I'm not going to.
Al, I fail to see how you can make such a dramatic statement that no-one could do a a Gogarth Guide better than the CC!!!..your "keep the faith" attitude is comendable but perhaps a touch myopic and bias.
The last guide was ok...I found it very inspirational although the descriptions to starts of routes and where they went are very poor indeed. I now know my way around the Main cliff reasonably well but this has only come about thro' doing a lot of the routes over the years. The guide...on many occasion has failed to describe the route accurately.
I would imagine the re-print sold well as its such a major venue....and whoever does the next ....then it to, will sell well.
As for a petition, I'm not sure what this will do. I think the CC are very aware that a new guide is necessary. Its finding people who are prepared to put the time in checking/editing the guide. From what I know a lot of the work has been done.
Funnily enough I mailed Simon the other day(on another matter) and did mention how good the New N.W Guide looked ...particularly Gogarth. I indicated he was the man to take on the task......no comment on that...I suspect he's had enough for now. Shame 'cos he'd do a good job.
So, yeh..if a swell of public opinon can influence this situation....then lets get this thread nice and fat and send it to the CC.
> (In reply to withey) Errrm I'm a CC member, and guidewriter for them, and to Gogarth, and I simply just dont agree with your stance.
> I do however agree we have taken too long to get the new guide out.
> BUT, nobody is going to do it better. The ridiculous thing is that the Gogarth reprint was one of our best selling guides. STUPID, and I have had lots of words to say at the CC AGM's. For which I have been mega sidelined by the club for, I agree we have been far too long getting the guide out, but nobody will do it better,
> I could tell you who to blame, but I'm not going to.
Al. I'm a CC member too and I wish someone would produce the guidebook commercially. Who's to blame doesn't matter, but it would be most excellent if someone in N Wales had the balls to rock the boat. The fact is that ideally we would have all the activists involved and have the CC produce, but it just hasn't happened. You've got to be pragmatic or we'll be heading down to North Stach with our Zimmer frames, clutching a tattered copy of the 1991 guide. Someone like Twid should write it from the word documents that are being emailed around and Si Panton publish it or whoever. Or for a starters, stick it in a database and get it on UKC.
> (In reply to Al Evans)
> So, yeh..if a swell of public opinon can influence this situation....then lets get this thread nice and fat and send it to the CC.
It would get filed under 2020 AGM or something. The world has changed. People have too many committments. You need a nice little capitalist to make it happen. IMHO. Or do a BMC and employ someone full-time. It's not like the CC is short of wedge.
In reply to Al Evans:
Sorry Al, I'm with the OP - the current Gogarth guide is rubbish. You've been climbing there for years, you know your way around it, but for a first time visitor that guide is awful. Very few maps and diagrams, approach information all over the place, diagrams that are labelled in the opposite order to the text and are a dozen pages away from the route descriptions, not to mention route descriptions littered with errors.
As for nobody will do it better..... Rockfax raised the bar with guidebooks, but they also raised people expectations. The BMC has risen to the challenge with the Roaches and Burbage guides, and whilst I haven't got the North Wales guide yet, it looks like they have too. Even the FRCC is getting its act together.
Will the CC modernise it's format ? Or will it stick to the "these are our crags and we'll do it our way" mantra. By the looks of things the Ground Up guide isn't the sort of thing you'd want to carry up all the way to Cloggy, and certainly not have with you on a route at Gogarth, so there's still a market for small definitive guides that fit neatly in your pocket. Just make sure they are laid out in a logical order, but don't save paper by skimping on maps and diagrams.
In reply to Tom, UKC News Editor: And Richard, I'd actually go for Adam Dewhirst. But for the CC.
No Tom, I know you and are a big fan of yours, But the integrity and therefore revenue of the CC and the BMC guides is vital to us getting regular and decent guidebooks. And guides to less popular areas.
Rockfax does a lot of good, but it also does a lot of harm, I like its guides, and will always buy them, but the CC, The BMC and the FRCC are seriously needed, and if they are usurped, they just wont happen.
In reply to Chris the Tall: Chris, nobody will do it better, why do you think Rockfax hasn't already? Because its a bloody difficult guide, The RF to Pembroke was crap, the RF to Swanage is only ok if you use it in conjunction with the CC guide.
> Rockfax does a lot of good, but it also does a lot of harm, I like its guides, and will always buy them, but the CC, The BMC and the FRCC are seriously needed, and if they are usurped, they just wont happen.
If the BMC, CC and FRCC disappeared, then user-friendly guidebooks to any area that needed them would still appear. It would take a while, and they may not be fully definitive in print format, but they would appear.
The process of producing small profitable guides to small areas is relatively straightforward if you do it right.
> (In reply to Chris the Tall) Chris, nobody will do it better, why do you think Rockfax hasn't already? Because its a bloody difficult guide, The RF to Pembroke was crap, the RF to Swanage is only ok if you use it in conjunction with the CC guide.
I have toyed with the idea of a Gogarth classics guide for a while but we have too many other projects on, and it is not an area I know well enough in recent times, however it is an obvious gap.
Pembroke was in fact a great guide and proved that we can easily cover sea cliffs accurately. If you think otherwise then you obviously never tried to use it.
I think there may be a problem in getting commercial group interested in creating a fully definitive version of Gogarth. The huge amount of work required would surely make it unprofitable without volunteer input?
In reply to Al Evans:
Sorry Al, but I much prefer Rockfax to CC for Pembroke. And that was primitive Rockfax, given how much Rockfax has improved over the years I'm sure they'd be even better now (hint hint Mr James)
> (In reply to Alan James - UKC) You are wrong Alan, seriously wrong.
Nope, you are wrong.
In support of my case I quote Merseyside Sandstone, North Wales Limestone, Peak Southern Limestone, Peak Mid Limestone and Clwyd Limestone. All areas that the volunteer sector couldn't give a shit about and all now covered (Clwyd and NWL definitively) by profitable Rockfax guides.
In reply to Alan James - UKC: Did Alan, but maybe not the most recent one, still think the CC guide was better. Dont get uptight about this, I like your guides, unlike a lot of people in the CC, I actually support you in meetings, in the face of hostility, but you are actually wrong. We need the CC,TheBMC and the FRCC, and in fact the SMC, be careful you dont destroy them.
> (In reply to Chris the Tall) Chris, nobody will do it better, why do you think Rockfax hasn't already? Because its a bloody difficult guide,
You really don't think that it can be done better than its current state? You don't think that any of the things which have made it into mainstream guidebooks in the last 15 years could make it any easier to use?
For seacliffs where you can't step back to get perspective (places which fall straight into the sea, basically) then clear instructions and diagrams to get you to the correct abseil point/descent scramble/whatever, combined with good descriptions of the routes themselves, with photos if they actually help, make it reasonably okay. I'm not convinced that its necessarily that hard, you just have to understand how to best guide people.
Some guidebooks are difficult. But to dismiss 15 years of innovation is just moronic.
> The RF to Pembroke was crap, the RF to Swanage is only ok if you use it in conjunction with the CC guide.
Balls. If the current Dorset Rockfax was definitive, then I would bet a few pints that only people who get discounts on CC stuff or who have Rockfax-hate would use the old CC one. Have you actually used both? Portland/Swanage is over ten years old, and its very much a guide of its era.
You can say I'm wrong as much as you like but it will continue to sound like nonsense unless you support it.
I am NOT saying that the volunteer sector produce bad books and the sooner the whole thing becomes commercial the better. What I am saying is that, if the volunteer sector were to disappear tomorrow, then the commercial sector would step in to fill the gap. But let's hope they don't.
To be honest the BMC and the FRCC seem to be in fine health judging by the quality of their publications. The CC do seem to be stagnating which is a shame.
I don't really know where you're coming from Al. I'm sure all this has been said before, but I pay my subs to the CC and BMC and would like them to invest in historical books like Welsh Rock and Lakes Rock. I love guidebooks, always have done, but the times are a changin. The BMC have someone full-time on the guidebooks and the FRCC employed a specialist design agency on the Lakes Selected to do the graphics. The CC have stood still from what I can work out. The CC should record all the history in a big book of Gogarth tales of terror and let the commercial producers point you at the routes with frequent editions. Actually, a lot of Gogarth is more easily done as photo topos than most crags and it would be cool to have a guide with descriptions separate to removable topo cards to carry up the Main Cliff. That's what I'd do anyway if I was in the guidebook business. And the Rockfax guide to Pembs was/is good, though selected of course. The CC guide was clearly produced by martians with a penchant for giving every E5 3 stars. It's such a crap guide Al. You can only use it together with the Rockfax.
> The CC do seem to be stagnating which is a shame.
Kind of a mixed bag wouldn't you say?
Of their most recent crop, the Forest of Dean one looks quite good in an odd way, not had the chance to use it though.
Cloggy got very good write-ups, whereas Avon/Cheddar seemed to be much the same as the last one in layout, and Llanberis had that diagram messup.
Portland looks from the crag photos that appeared in a mag a while back to be very modern - clear photo-topos and so on.
It'll be interesting to see what their next lot is like (Swanage, Lundy, and the Wye Valley ones are probably next for them?), could confirm whether they are going to follow the trend set by Cloggy etc, or whether those bucked a trend and the result will be more of the old style..............
> Portland looks from the crag photos that appeared in a mag a while back to be very modern - clear photo-topos and so on.
The big question is; where is the Portland guide? Those 'clear photo-topos' were in the mag in early 2005 and yet there is still no guide. I can understand that they probably didn't want to go head-to-head with our new Dorset guide in 2005, but it seems strange that the authors of the CC Portland guide, and the rest of us, were strung along under the belief that they might produce it in 2005.
Very curious and hardly inspiring much faith in a new-found efficient approach.
In actual fact the Forest of Dean guide is the only publication they have made since 2004 which is a significant slow down on their usual productiveness.
It is over 11 years since Noel Crane enthused about great new routes at Gogarth.
I just want to see a new Gogarth guide in print.
If it doesnt come out soon I will have passed my prime and those great routes will be beyond me!
I have offered to help with the guide and have even join the CC but I would be willing to help anyone (everyone) produce the new guide. Perhaps a joint venture. CC, Rockfax, Si Pantons Team, Tom and myself...
Must go I am off out...
pasbury14 Feb 2007
In reply to withey:
This seems to have opened a can of worms!
As a user of the CC Gogarth guide when it first came out I thought it was spot on and that wasn't because there was no choice. Selected guides just don't cut it for some of us - they're useful but they aren't the real thing. Think Readers Digest condensed novels and you're not far off.
CC (and other club) guides usually lead you reliably to the start of a climb and tell you where it goes - is telling you how to do it part of the remit? If you can't put up with descriptions rather than topos then so be it - buy the rockfax.
Club guides represent more than just some 'old school' way of doing things - they are a good way of definitively describing the rock climbing of an area; history, crap filler-in routes and all.
Commercial guides can best the clubs sometimes; Simon Panton's North Wales Bouldering being perhaps the best example - it isn't just a guide it's a f*ckin work of art! Point being that I guess the motivation behind it was an enthusiasm and love for what they were documenting and a genuine need.
The CC guide to the Forest of Dean is a good recent example of how to document an area while making the thing useful.
The Rockfax guide to Eastern grit is a good recent example of showing people where routes go up the crag.
both have their place.
In reply to withey: Right where do I start. Gogarth guide, CC and modern guidebooks? Nu Skool vs Old School
Fact: New modern guidebook are far better at getting the information across to a wider selection of the climbing public. Anyone that argues any other way is quite frankly madder than I am!
Fact: The last gogarth guide was written in the 1980's. Thats over 17 years ago. Surely they could have got there act together by now!
Fact: Despite a long attempt by the CC to get a new guide to the area together they obviously feel that it is not important to force through the system. If they did then the guidebook would have come out by now.
Fact: The CC are incapable of producing a modern guidebook! I back this claim up with thier attempt to produce a 'modern' guidebook with the llanberis pass guide and tremadog guide. It ain't rocket science to produce topos, get the reproduction right (the fact that the Llanberis guide needed a 'stick in' supliment to address appauling reproduction, says it all) and get the content right. If the CC is unwilling or unable to address modern design principles themselves then perhaps they need to step aside, or like the F&RCC employ a professional designer to meet the needs of a modern guidebook.
I strongly disagree that the CC style of guides are the only way to go with a definitive guidebook. Whoever made that comment really needs lobotomising.
I strongly disagree with the CC's stance on wanting a moral high ground because there guidebooks are written by volunteers. Why do they cost so much if the CC isn't channeling the money into something other than guidebook production. If so where does the money from a guidebook that is prodcued for free, printed in the far east and sold for up to £20 go?????
I am not suggesting a conspricay, they apparently put the money from the successful guides into the less successful areas. But an free and frank sharing of the cash that flows through the 'guidebook' branch of the CC may well help swing support in their favour. As a climber who has no ambition or wish to join the CC. I do wonder how the cash flow works out, do we pay for the CC christmas bash, help with the upkeep of 'their' huts?
I also believe that no one has the rights to produce a guidebook like the OP refers to. No one has a right to a route, not even the first ascentionist, who after all wrote the first desciptions. When you climb a new route you clim b it for others to follow, if you don't then you simply don't report the route. New guides need to be written by those who care, and they should be rewarded for there work, with a take from the cash from the sales. The CC argument that the lesser know areas just aren't commercially viable is utter trash.
Why don't the CC put all it's guidebooks on line. If the money ain't the issue for producing a guide then I am sure that enough commercial interest can be made to pay for the hosting of a simple website???? Imagine on line guides? Techniology, Progress and a modern approach.
Anyway if I have upset any dinosaurs who are members of the CC, or anyone who has helped the CC produce what they believe is a modern guide then I apologise. The volunteer work at present with the guides is great, but why should a non-CC member be bothered to become in helping a guidebook produced by the CC, other than out and out aulterism.
Maybe the CC need to remove the mistique about there "old Boys" club. Sorry to the younger member, but lets face it you are only proping the old generation whom run the outfit up with your sub's.
Actually for those in the CC systems that I have offended I really don't apologise. Instead I request that you answer my questions about your finances, in order to get the climbing public, who will vote with there wallets and buy the best guide for there needs to an area.
Fortunately we have the new NWC guide sections on gogarth, so for the majority of climbers they won't need a definitive guide for at least a year, until they outclimb the new guide.
<runs for cover>
pasbury14 Feb 2007
In reply to Dringo:
Yeah what the hell we're all consumers now aren't we. Lets just get the 'product' out there for the punters.
Lets just get out to the crag - maybe using satnav - get to the starred routes and do em. Who did the first ascent, whats the story behind the route - who gives a shit?
Commercialisation leads to honeypots.
Hey maybe its not such a bad idea after all; any inconvenient crag is going to deserted in afew years time!
In reply to Dringo: 'Fact: The CC are incapable of producing a modern guidebook!'
Not a fact - Nick Dixon's Cloggy guide was a superb production.
I'm not sure quite what is holding up major new CC guides such as the Gogarth and Pembroke ones, but there definitely is a problem. Possibly one or two key members of the publications subcommittee are heavily overloaded - I don't know. The problem is not shortage of money, though.
Perhaps the CC should be looking at taking on paid guide coordinators on a contract basis, rather than on a permanent salaried basis as the BMC have done.
In reply to Alan James - UKC: Alan, I really don't want to talk to anybody else but you and Tom.
You have to seriously think about your role in this. The clubs and their guides are the history of our sport, we need to keep them,
You do just pick and take the best selling adventures. Its a very bad thing even though your guides are good, I have already said I defend you, but your stuff in the UK is very destructive to the history of our sport. Why not stick to foreign guides, which you are brilliant at, theres lots more you could identify yourselves with.
In reply to Al Evans: RF to Pembroke isnt crap and as someone else has pointed out, this was published ages ago (the next RF guide will be even better).
i dont follow the 'RF / modern style topo good, CC style guides bad' school but i do get frustrated about what seems to be a deliberate policy, by the CC, to make route finding difficult or an art form; its almost as if you can only consider yourself a climber when you can decipher the hints and clues. i realise im exagerrating here but there definitely seems to be an element of this. i have climbed at Tremadog using the CC guide for a few years and im pretty sure that anyone turning up there without prior knowledge could easily find themselves at the wrong crag or on the wrong route.
i love the history of climbing and i like to know about the routes / areas im climbing on / in but not at the expense of being confident that im on-route or knowing that it wont take hours (not uncommon) to find the start of a route. equally, Rockfax isnt perfect and the one or two line route descriptions are sometimes completely inadequate not to mention their incorrectly traced route lines on photos.
i am certain the CC could combine the best elements of 'modern' topos with their existing format to come up with a series of outstanding definitive guides.
i hope a sensible way forward can be found as it would be shame not to have definitive guides which give a real context and sense of place to our climbing.
martin k15 Feb 2007
In reply to all and sundry: one of the great things about the new north wales guide select guide is that it's proven that there's no such a thing as a 'difficult' crag in terms of guidebook writing.
it's often said that gogarth is difficult to produce in the 'new' style (i.e. meaningful colour topos), and that text based guides are more appropriate. that is clearly no longer a valid argument.
if the CC is to have a successful gogarth guide, it must be in the modern style. if it's a text heavy tome with unclear access and route descriptions, then it will have failed it's audience. it may well be successful commercially, because gogarth is a national treasure and everyone does or should aspire to climb there. this means that they will buy it, (unless a more accessible commercial guide comes along in the meanwhile)
it's odd that this should be degenerating into a Them and Us scenario. after all, we're all climbers so we must all want he same thing, surely?
I wondered what everyone was moaning at about finding their way round Tremadoc with the old guide then went there to have a look last year and realised.
The guide was perfect when it was written, easy to find your way round, BUT, there has been a lot of tree growth since it was written, either you need the new guide and a machete or some of the trees should be cut down/back.
If you find it difficult still, go to the BMC area meeting and have your say or contact 'Veronica' on here about going to a clean up day.
The CC has a website and forum, take comments to there as well as some of them think this site is anti them and refuse to use it.
> You do just pick and take the best selling adventures. Its a very bad thing even though your guides are good, I have already said I defend you, but your stuff in the UK is very destructive to the history of our sport. Why not stick to foreign guides, which you are brilliant at, theres lots more you could identify yourselves with.
Best Selling - Clwyd Limestone (and Peak Limestone come to that!)
Destructive? and I thought we had pretty much single handedly persuaded the BMC to up their game?
I thought it was Ground Up who had just produced a North Wales Select - not RockFax?
Future plans; Deep Water Soloing, Northern England, Lofoten, North East Spain - which of those are you uneasy about?
In reply to Al Evans: Historically the CC have produced definitive guides to Wales and the South West. Over the years they have done a pretty good job of this, always including the sort of historical information that both you and I want to see in a guide.
They have no legal monopoly to produce guides for these areas however. Some people would claim that they have de facto copyright over the routes descriptions that they have published in the past, although this has never been tested in a court (and I sincerely hope that it never will be tested).
Some of the areas which they cover have not seen a new guide of any description for a long time now, despite numerous new routes and changes to existing routes in those areas. Gogarth is the most longstanding example of this, Pembroke is another (although at least a couple of supplements have been published for Pembroke).
I do not see how you can object to anyone else producing selective or definitive guides to these areas. In doing so they are doing nothing to prevent the CC from bringing out their own definitive guides with full historical information, they are simply providing competing publications.
As it happens, nobody has produced anything like a definitive guide to either Gogarth or Pembroke to compete with the CC offerings.
It is true that a lot of first time visitors to Pembroke buy the Rockfax, and there are good reasons for this since the access and route descriptions are far clearer than those in the CC guide. The point is, though, that if the CC produced a definitive guide that was as clear and as easy to use as the Rockfax selective guide then there would be no market for the Rockfax.
What Rockfax have done, as demonstrated by the new BMC Peak guides, is to advance the art of guidebook production. The CC need to recognise this and to get on with the task of producing guides to the areas that they traditionally cover - moaning about Rockfax (who have no competing guide to Gogarth anyway) will achieve nothing.
If the CC are really worried about Rockfax then they need to produce guides that are better than the competing Rockfax offerings. I strongly doubt, for instance, that we will see Rockfax or anybody else produce a definitive or selected guide to Cloggy - what would be the point?
Simon Panton15 Feb 2007
In reply to withey: I would have answered this yesterday afternoon, but I was out checking routes in Vivian Quarry for the new Slate guide. (Tellifant is ace by the way, but it does need re-bolting – so keep the donations coming folks!)
At the moment I can’t seem to walk down the street in Llanberis without somebody stopping me and asking me if I’m going to do the Gogarth guide. The truth is, I would love to produce a Gogarth guide; it’s my favourite crag, always has been, and I suspect it always will be. It does pain me to see a situation where we are approaching a 20 year information gap, after all one of the key arguments in support of the CC being left to look after certain areas is that they maintain the definitive record. There are a very large number of routes about which there is no public information. Clearly this is an unacceptable situation.
However, all that being said, I do have sympathy with the CC, as time goes on and guidebooks become increasingly sophisticated and difficult to produce they are facing a corresponding increase in workload. Modern guidebooks are complicated entities, requiring enormous amounts of time to photograph, write, edit, design and produce. The BMC recognises this reality (thus they have a full time guidebook employee: Grimer), and so does the FRCC (who employed Jon Barton’s company Vertebrate Graphics to produce the Lakes selected guide).
Perhaps it is time the CC followed suit and considered either employing somebody directly, or pulling in a commercial contractor (there are plenty of us around). It has to be worth consideration.
And by the way, Al Evans assertion that ‘nobody’ could produce a better guide to Gogarth than the CC is so ridiculous, I’m not sure I should even be answering the point. But I can’t let nonsense like that go unchallenged. Go and take a look at any one of the roster of modern guidebooks being produced by likes of Grimer, Rockfax, Vetrebrate Graphics, and might I humbly suggest: Ground Up.
As for this imaginary divide between CC guidebook producers and capitalist outsiders – what a ridiculous notion. In N Wales the vast majority of local activists (myself included) who actually do the ground work for all guidebooks (including CC guides) are not members of the CC. We’re just climbers. Somebody once shouted at me in a BMC meeting where guidebook production was being discussed, words to the effect: “What the f*** have you ever done for the CC?” My reply was that I’d written specific sections in a couple of their guides (Lleyn and Llanberis), and I’m currently writing a section for the forthcoming Ogwen guide.
In reality, there is no ‘them and us’, just a lot of climbers who want the best resolution to a difficult situation.
> You have to seriously think about your role in this. The clubs and their guides are the history of our sport, we need to keep them,
I have no intention of getting rid of them, in fact I am happy to offer help to volunteer guidebook producers and have done in the past. The problem I see is that the current approach of the CC is "this is the way we have always done it" and of the BMC is "never mind the cost, feel the quality". Neither of these approaches will produce sustainable guidebooks in the long run. I accept that Rockfax has contributed to the changes in UK guidebooks over recent years, however they probably would have happened anyway. The current decisions being made by the BMC and the CC though are not the fault of Rockfax, but in both cases I believe that they are making bad decisions.
> You do just pick and take the best selling adventures.
Nonsense, as Chris has pointed out. Chuck in NWL and Mersey Sandstone as well.
> Its a very bad thing even though your guides are good, I have already said I defend you, but your stuff in the UK is very destructive to the history of our sport.
Again, nonsense. Who has done most work towards the online cataloguing of routes in this country? This is essential for the long term preservation of the history of our sport.
> Why not stick to foreign guides, which you are brilliant at, theres lots more you could identify yourselves with.
Foreign guides have big issues as well and I actually feel more uncomfortable about our impact on Spanish local guidebooks than I do about our impact on UK guidebooks.
>There are a very large number of routes about which there is no public information. Clearly this is an unacceptable situation.
Well are they on the CC website, if not they should be for all to see, or on here or V12 website, in fact guidebooks that do not get updated should have copywrite protection removed if the owner does not have plans to get up to date, say 20years. Then others could use the information to put up a new guide, it may kick some people into action.
> ..... as time goes on and guidebooks become increasingly sophisticated and difficult to produce they are facing a corresponding increase in workload. Modern guidebooks are complicated entities, requiring enormous amounts of time to photograph, write, edit, design and produce.
A thoroughly agree with all you post Simon, this bit in particular. It has long been assumed by those not in the know that modern graphic guides are easier to produce than definitive volunteer productions, and this is often used against commercial producers. As you and I well know, nothing could be further from the truth and in fact modern guides take about 4 or 5 times as much work per page to the old text-based style.
martin k15 Feb 2007
In reply to Alan James - UKC: hi alan, it's interesting that you say that those of us on the BMC's guidebook committee have such a 'cavalier' attitude to guidebooks: "the current approach...of the BMC is "never mind the cost, feel the quality"
i can assure you that when we go order pizzas for our meetings, we ALWAYS go for the 'buy two, get one free' offer.
i'm also impressed with your in-depth knowledge of our decision making process. i wonder how you can possibly know. the truth is that we vote on whether to have pepperoni, hawaiian and spicy chicken, or to go for three of the same type. the evidence says that all our decisions to date have been absolutely spot on.
In reply to AJM: wait untill you see Steve Taylors new CC guide before you decide. The CC like the BMC and other major definitive guidebook producers do move on, I quote again, Dave Garnetts recent Roaches guide.
If the BMC, CC and FRCC disappeared, then user-friendly guidebooks to any area that needed them would still appear. It would take a while, and they may not be fully definitive in print format, but they would appear.
The process of producing small profitable guides to small areas is relatively straightforward if you do it right.
I whole heartedly agree. Nick Dixons new guide to Nesscliffe for example is a home produced publication that brilliantly covers this important yet esoteric venue. I haven’t spoken to Nick about his reasons for producing the guide but I bet it had more to do with a personal passion for climbing at the crag and its history rather than abject commercial gain. Throughout the country there will always be local activists with the passion and drive to write guides.
In reply to Simon Panton: Simon, I did not actually say, or at least mean that the 'nobody' could produce a better guide to Gogarth. BUT I really think no one will do it for longer (100 years) or that there is ' them and us'.
Like I said I support Rockfax, but don't you see that their picking of 'the plums' will in the end make the publishing of the definitive guides, historically important to our sport, not attainable.
Alan and Chris do great guides, but I wish they would it abroad, which they are brilliant at, obviously somebody could do a great 'one off' guide to Gogarth, but I assure you, not like the CC.
> Like I said I support Rockfax, but don't you see that their picking of 'the plums'
Al, either stop making this point or tell me what is 'plum' about the areas that have twice been listed above - Clwyd Limestone, North Wales Limestone, Mersey Sandstone, Peak Limestone (south and north).
V12 Outdoor15 Feb 2007
In reply to Al Evans: Are you seriously trying to say that we couldn't bring out a better, nicer, more interesting (and of course definitive and historical) guide than the CC in 100 years. You obviously haven't seen the Gogarth section of the new guide then, the CC have never and may never produce anything of that ilk....Or are you just challenging someone to do it whilst making out that you support the CC
The list of reasons for not going to print with Portland and Lulworth is getting shorter now. Another problem is that people keep doing new routes, so we have to keep adding them while we are delayed.
I agree with a number of points made already - the CC should either employ someone full-time to push the production process along (one candidate comes to mind easily) or, as Simon Panton says, pay subcontractors to produce guides.
The CC have moved with the times, as have the BMC, but you've yet to see the evidence.
In reply to withey: A legal question on the subject of guidebooks, and specifically this guide. If say I had word document of the new routes since the last CC text, and I was to publish free of charge onto a website, so anyone can download the up dated information, just how much trouble would I be in on a legal stand point?
Especially if the CC had paid for the document to be typed up, albeit some 3 to 4 years ago now?
PS I have no house or anything of worth in my life. So you'd be very disapointed if you sued me!
In reply to Alan James - UKC: Alan, sorry, maybe its slightly over the top, but I am trying to support you too, even if from your point of view it doesn't seem like it, and Steve Taylors point is valid, maybe we should be looking at contracting out, maybe even to you.
BUT one of the major sources of revenue to the club is its guidebooks, and that is why it can keep on publishing them.
Would you have ever published for example John Sumners guide to Mid Wales?
Don't be altruistic, you are quite rightly a commercial enterprise, so you pick plums, its called the free market, I just ask you to be careful so that you don't risk the history of our sport.
> (In reply to Al Evans)
> Rockfax is part of the history of climbing in the UK, and a very significant one. I am however biased!
But Mick, it doesn't report it, which is crap, thats the problem with Rockfax, plus it doesn't have the history of reporting it.
Sorry Mick, but it just doesn't. Thats the problem with Rockfax guides. Plus how can you equate the history of Rockfax to that of the CC,The FRCC, The BMC and the SMC.
>BUT one of the major sources of revenue to the club is its guidebooks, and that is why it can keep on publishing them.
Al, that is the stupidest thing you have said on here, if they wanted money surely they would have a full time person producing them like rockfax, and new editions every 5 or so years, after all there are new people coming into the sport all the time and the regular climber often ends up collecting every edition there is.
As things are, they are LOSING income according to your theory by not publishing. A bit like a car maker not making a new model for over ten years, they would soon go out of business.
In reply to sutty: No Sutty, the guidebook thing is one of the biggest incomes to the club, which is exactly why I don't want it to be destroyed, and also why I think its important that it shouldnt, and the same goes for the FRCC, the BMC and the SMC.
Trouble is if they employ someone Alan will tell them he's done his calcualations and they can never break even. :-O
Being more serious, I think CC really do need to pull their finger out (or employ someone) or someone else will move in. I also think they are falling behind the standards of prodction of the other major guidebook producers and are fooling themselves relying on recent reviews from good keen climbers; the main market is punters and they seem unhappy in my experience.
> (In reply to sutty) No Sutty, the guidebook thing is one of the biggest incomes to the club, which is exactly why I don't want it to be destroyed
Guidebook publishers serve climbers. They have to give climbers what they want. The old days of a publisher having a monopoly on an area are gone thank goodness. Competition is good and is the main factor why guidebooks have improved. There is no way on earth that the history of climbing will ever be lost - it's a lot more than just guidebooks.
My cup is always half-full. Be prepared for more, timely and better guidebooks, including from the CC.
Mick, I can't make an official statement on behalf of the CC, but I am on the main committee in my capacity as the recently appointed editor of The CC Journal, and the Club's quarterly newsletter.
The debate within the CC Main Committee and amongst the membership concerning the Gogarth guide is just as vigorous as on this thread. I too am concerned, and will be raising the issue in the next edition of the Newsletter. One suggestion that might help to concentrate the minds of the CC Publications sub-Committee is for you and anyone else to register on the CC Forum and voice your complaints there as well. Members of the CC are welcome to contact me with their views and I will publish if they wish.
In reply to Offwidth: Having not climbed in N Wales for many years I'm a bit of an outsider to this but haven't there been 'commercial guides' to Welsh crags in the pass (eg Westcol) which have been pretty definitive and partly published in response to the CC being slow to get certain guides published/updated (my memory is hazy so may have that wrong).
It does seem that most of the clubs who have traditionally produced guides to certain areas (FRCC, SMC) have made efforts to improve their products & to get them out relatively regularly - it seems only the CC who are lagging - why ?
Two of your points Al, are ones that I feel I have to take issue with.
1. You state that guidebooks are a major source of income for the CC.
2. You say that Rockfax only take the plums and this makes it uneconomical for the production of a definitive guide.
Point1 - This argument doesn't really hold up. If guidebooks provided such important income then surely the CC would be more inclined to publish them more frequently.
Point2 - as for Rockfax picking the plums. This is true but doesn't necessarily prevent the feasibility of definitive guides.
The coexistence of "Eastern Grit" and "Burbage, Millstone and Beyond" (release dates quite close to each other) would seem to bear testament to this. The latter represents the gold standard for a definitive guide (at least on grit). I think that Grimer would probably admit that part of the reason for the improvement in standard of this guide was the influence of Rockfax.
It's really not that long ago, 1999, that the BMC released the woeful 2 volume "Peak Limestone - Wye Valley" (a nadir in guidebook production). For anyone who wishes to climb on esoteric traditional Peak Limestone the only usable definitive guides are the 1987 BMC 3 volume set (South, Stoney and Chee Dale).
I think you are understandably protective of our institutions. I too feel that they are very important to us as a community and that they need our support. This does not however free them from potential criticism. The right to be in charge of receiving, maintaining, collating and publishing climbing route information, also holds a great responsibility. The failure to produce an effective update for Gogarth suggests that the CC do not take this responsibility as seriously as they should.
Surely it is actually easier to manage the whole guidebook process these days (computers, email, desktop-publishing).
The existing Gogarth guide is loved by many as it's all we've got. It is however not a very good guide. Although I appreciate that the Main Cliff is a tricky area to describe the descriptions in that guide are poor. A particular fault is that virtually every single route description depends on referencing points on other routes. This only becomes usable once you've done half the routes (which I have).
Please take my comments on the Gogarth guide as constructively intended. I make them because I've spent a good portion of my life climbing / going-off-route on Gogarth with people like Mr. Kirby (who is a particularly bad route following offender).
> BUT one of the major sources of revenue to the club is its guidebooks, and that is why it can keep on publishing them.
I don't believe that to be the case but, as others have pointed out, they are missing out on a lot of income if this is true.
> Would you have ever published for example John Sumners guide to Mid Wales?
I would be happy to consider a guide to somewhere like this. You seem hell-bent on ignoring my point about the many publications we already have published to areas that very few would consider to be 'plums' - Clwyd, NWL Peak L, etc,......
In reply to Nick Harvey:
How about a website host for a wiki Gogarth guide. As a communal effort it could be pretty substantial within weeks.
martin k15 Feb 2007
In reply to Iain Peters: Iain Peters: hi iain, i'm glad there's some 'vigorous debate' going on within the CC...ken *will* be pleased! i looked at the only forum i have access to and found a single thread about the guide (which i posted in aug '06). the thread has had no replies, depite over 1000 views. i appreciate that you can't speak for the guidebook commmittee, but is the CC debate going on in one of the private forums, or somewhere else?
I'm not sure which of my posts you are replying to?
If its about the Portland/Swanage vs Rockfax argument, then I'd argue that "wait for the next one, you'll see!" is not a valid response to the opinin that the rockfax is miles ahead of the current cc guides.
If you mean in response to my comments about it being a mixed bag, then yes, I'm looking forward to seeing how the CC develop their guidebook style.
I like definitive guides, I like a decent historical and F.A. lists, its nice to be able to get to out of the way areas, and stuff like that. But if the selective is lots better, and I don't visit often, then I know which I'll buy (I only own Scottish Rock Climbs and Lakes Rock, plus two old definitives for Borrowdale and Northern Highlands 1 which I got cheap - I just don't think the old style SMC and the current FRCC guides are worth paying real money for at the moment). As a counterpoint, I own all the SW definitives, pretty much, because I don't think SW Climbs is any better and I prefer the definitives wherever possible.
I own the current Portland/Swanage guide because I got it cheap, I live nearby and I can forsee myself running out of routes in my grade in the Rockfax in some areas. Probably not Portland, to be fair, but if its a well produced guide then I'll certainly be acquiring it, and more probably the new Swanage one when it appears. Same probably for the Wye Valley guides if they are good.
In reply to Dringo:
It's looking good already, that new routes info seems pretty accurate to me. Probably the best way to get people interested now is to produce a really dodgy controversial graded list for Gogarth. Maybe I'll kick off.......
In reply to Iain Peters: Hey Iain, Are the one I know? The one who was at Baggy when we had that great BBQ, and John Barry did his infamous stunt?
And we all got thrown out of the night club because John threatend to beat up the bouncer, A good night, if you were not there you should have been.
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: Mick. I love you, but you are not strong on debating, I guess Alan isn't either, but its a debate that needs to be had,
Commercial guidebooks or ones that serve history?
> Mick. I love you, but you are not strong on debating, I guess Alan isn't either, but its a debate that needs to be had,
'Fraid Al that you are the one who is showing themselves up as being weak on debating. Debating means that you support your argument with reason and evidence, and adapt your responses when someone counters. So far you have just reiterated the same weak and unsubstantiated point and not produced any back-up argument or example to support your point. You have also completely ignored any examples presented back at you.
For the fifth time - do you consider Clwyd Limestone to be a 'plum' area?
> (In reply to Ian McNeill) Ian that was mighty sporting of you.
> the climbing community has everything to gain.
> I'll say this again, it is open access for now, which has potentially monsterous consequences.
totally true heres to a new online guide ... -- rock and roll ---
Frankly I'm not sure that I need a new Guidebook. I've done lots of routes at Gogarth but still have loads to do in the old guidebook. What I could really do with is a data base or a somewhere where I could see the opinions of recent ascensionists . A lot of the routes have changed over the years since the guide was produced and the gear rotted etc. I just want to know what state the routes are in at present. e.g what are the old aid points/protection pegs on citadel like? Have they been replaced? The lines and the history of the routes have not changed significantly but the condition of the routes may have.
A rockfax type database would suffice!
This would be easy to set up but probably not very profitable.
Are there that many new routes at Gogarth to justify a new guidebook. I certainly haven't seen many in the press over recent years.
In reply to Dringo:
Nice one Dringo, you made it possible. It could be a landmark in climbing guides. It is the future, it is accurate, up to date and it is free. Add some pics and you could have www.gogarth.com. In fact......
Robert Wilson15 Feb 2007
In reply to alan monks: Check out the wiki site to see just how many and remember that the CC produced a new Cloggy guide with only 16 new routes in it, so it's not always about the quantity of routes, but more about the updating of route info which is a large part of what you want.
In reply to dr evil:
Unfortunately gogarth.com and gogarth.co.uk are taken but gogarth.org.uk and gogarth.net are available. They only cost about a tenner a year but all you get is the name. Might be better to just rely on links via google
> it's not always about the quantity of routes, but more about the updating of route info which is a large part of what you want.
Totally agree with you! This is what it is about and on a sea cliff like Gogarth where routes change this is the important factor. A guidebook cannot keep up with this change whereas a web based database can. The wiki guide is along the right lines but is not high enough profile to become used by enough people to make it work.
In reply to Al Evans: No, I'm not that one,Iain Peter without the's' later went on to P-y-B etc, whilst I wrote the (better whisper this in the context of this thread!) 1988 North Devon and Cornwall Guide for the CC. Note for Alan - how about a Rockfax to Henna, Beeny and Tintagel, maybe even Gowla?!
It does seem to me as I follow this debate with interest that the only way forward for all guidebooks, Club, BMC or commercial is to find an author who is passionate about the book, and completely committed to sharing that passion with others. That way you get regular guidebooks, topo or trad, a vibrant climbing scene and intelligent and informed debate.
When I wrote my guide, I had superb support from my editor David Hope, and from Bob Moulton, but essentially I climbed the routes then sat down and wrote the thing. No committees, no band of volunteers, each with their own agenda. Publish and be damned!
> Mick. I love you, but you are not strong on debating, I guess Alan isn't either, but its a debate that needs to be had,
Jesus Christ Al. Have you seen the quality of argument you have put forward on this thread. I hate to be rude but you couldn't win a debate against a corpse, and you wouldn't know what a well argued point of view was if it slapped you round the face.
You have a tendency to say thing as though they are self-evident, and then regard that as your argument made. Thats not debating I'm afraid.
Well f@ck me, am I the only one who thinks that this is a right old storm in a teapot?
First off, I love guidebooks; I do believe that I own a copy of every current guide to the North Wales area, trainspotting style.
Despite this, I am increasingly of the opinion that we have lost our way with regards to the relentless documentation of climbing on this small isle.
Does anyone else think that a definitive, uber-accurate, topo-filled guide to ADVENTUROUS sea cliff climbing is perhaps slightly oxymoronic? Are we not tarnishing a great deal of this adventure for future generations?
The same goes for this Tremadog cleanup - if the vegetation reclaims routes then so be it, maybe someone's going to have a great time unearthing it in years to come, maybe not. Routes don't have to be climbed.
I for one have done plenty of new routes and left them unrecorded, someone can rediscover them and, perhaps, have just as much fun as I did in years to come - I often think its enough to simply indicate where some good climbing is, then leave the rest to be discovered.
I fully understand why many people will disagree with these sentiments, some part of myself included – in fact I'll probably buy the Gogarth guide when it comes out
> (In reply to Al Evans)
> Jesus Christ Al. Have you seen the quality of argument you have put forward on this thread. I hate to be rude but you couldn't win a debate against a corpse, and you wouldn't know what a well argued point of view was if it slapped you round the face.
> You have a tendency to say thing as though they are self-evident, and then regard that as your argument made. Thats not debating I'm afraid.
> (In reply to Iain Peters)
> That was one hell of a guide, a classic - congratulations!
Agreed, I always thought it was the Iain I know though, who did a lot of stuff at Exmansworthy, and tried to persuade me to go there about a day before it fell down. And yes the guide says Peters with an 's', First new route done in 76, but I could be getting you mixed up with P O Sullivan.
anonymoss16 Feb 2007
In reply to Ian McNeill:
I understand the need to register to add information, but fail to see the need to register to read information.
Surely, one of the points of this thread is to provide easily accessible and (more) upto date info. on Gogarth for everyone?
In reply to anonymoss:
you do not need to register to read a wiki ...
the little red ? are a prompt waiting for content not blocking access
... to be added its the way the wiki works links to pages are created than a page is added .. totally unlike normal websites...
anonymoss16 Feb 2007
In reply to Ian McNeill:
Appologies, I'd mistaken a (current) lack of content for access blocking.
In reply to Dringo:
Its good to see Smurf Zawn at long last getting some coverage. It would also be good to see some access info here (I seem to recall that access to this zawn used to cross land belonging to a violent [and sometimes drunk?] farmer - is this still the case?).
In reply to Al Evans: Pete O'S was a good mate/rival over many years and we 'discovered' Exmansworthy and The Lizard crags, such as Vellan Head and Bass Point together. Great days, but the world's moved on. For me, the greatest thrill in climbing is a ground up on sight ascent of a new route on a new crag, but after that, a well presented guidebook, topo, definitive or whatever, which gets me to the bottom of a good route, shows me where it goes, and helps me get off safely is the next best thing. The CC needs to get its act together, fast, and competition in the form of other guides to the same piece of rock, whether threatened or actual, has got to be a good thing.
In reply to Alan James - UKC: If it gets people back to these areas, I'm all for it. Tell him to get in touch!
xxxhk118 Feb 2007
My god, at those who complain the style of RF books. Have you seen the supertopos.com for the states? The traditionalists will obviously throw up on first sight, but most of us ejaculate.
And the wiki guide already look so good. I can see this exactly like hongkongclimbing.com, stu spent his free time collecting info and making small guides for crags in HK and put them online free for anyone to use. Others contribute and help. And then eventually had enough (for the bouldering anyway) and just put them all together and printed a brand new guide (last year?) - which is already sold out. And then the real (non bouldering) one will come out soon for sure.
Hmmm, now I'm going to have a wet dream tonight thinking a supertopo approach (an extreme which is probably not suitable for the UK for multiple reasons, fair enough) to Uk crags.... and I love reading the history sections.
There are whole zawns, which aren't covered in the old guidebook. For those of us who have done a lot of climbing at Gogarth, but aren't so local that we know every little nook and cranny, a new guide would stimulate us into going and having some new adventures. Guidebooks are inspirational, especially to younger climbers. I spent hours in my yoof pouring over the 1991 guide. The development of Zen Zawn, for example, with the photos of Big George barring across Bar Fly and a description of The Henious Flytrap (which Crispin Waddy said was the best new route he'd ever done) are memories in old copies of High magazine. These things deserve to be in a guide to inspire the current generation. The 1991 guide is of a different era, when the sweeping walls of North Stack and L Hand Red Wall symbolised the cutting edge. A new guide would not just point you at popular routes, but celebrate ferretting around in the backs of zawns and discovering an unlikely piece of quartzite architecture, beckoning in the darkness.
Tom – absolutely. The Gogarth Wiki has been an complete revelation to me. I'm gutted that I didn’t have this information 7 or 8 years ago when I might have had a half chance of getting up some of these routes. Not offering any kind of update to the best crags in Wales for getting on for 20 years is utterly, utterly incompetent. I don’t much care if it’s an old school supplement or new school website, just get the information out there.
We don’t need a centralised routes database and I don’t want the BMC (or UKC) to coordinate one. Isn’t that all a bit 2002? We all owe Dringo a pint or three for getting more visible results in a week than the CC have managed since 1991.
It would now appear that the guidebook committee has somewhat dissipated itself over the whole issue! Whilst I would strongly contest that there have been far too many indians and no chiefs to date, I would respectfully suggest to Simon that his proposed guide would never have been possible without the contribution of many, many people who have helped collate infomation and who have produced the previous publications (whether these have been perceived as good or bad is irrelevant). Just goes to show you can't hang around in business! Anyway, I've got a script so I think I'll just staple it together - it can't look any worse than the rest of my guides!
Simon Panton20 Feb 2007
In reply to dai lampard: Dai, it goes without saying that all guides build upon the good work carried out by previous generations. Surely that is a given; in fact I don't recall ever saying it wasn't. Of course I'm grateful for the toil of others, as in turn I'm sure future generations will be grateful for my toil.
Similarly, I'm sure the CC were also grateful for the valuable resource that Pete Crew's privately published guides to Gogarth (published late 60s) provided them with when they published their first Gogarth guide in 1977.
In reply to withey: I decided to make this statement in light of the furious development that has happen over the last 5 days, with the thorny issue of Gogarth, and a need/want for a guidebook. Many people have emailed me wanting to know who I am, and what I am doing, and of course why?
The answers are many and complex, and so I best start at the beginning with the wider debate start by Withey on UKC. He dared to raise the taboo of a guidebook to Gogarth. I became involved in the debate, and some may say I was deliberately stirring the issue to flame people, which is true, but my flaming the issue had one aim to make the debate not simply go away and be forgotten for another 2 months.
As a local and active climber in North Wales I have strong opinions on the issue along with a reasonable level of inside knowledge of the problems involved. Something that confused many people because I was quoting from some very public and sometimes private meetings.
There was within that thread on UKC a suggestion of creating a WIKI site for Gogarth, the idea was made by Dr Evil, a matter of minutes later I simply google the words "creating a wiki website", on the first page was wetpaint, a free place to create you wiki.
5 minutes later I had the http://gogarth.wetpaint.com website up, and did something that broke levels of trust on so many levels. Publishing a document with nearly all the new routes that have been climbed since the old guide. I actually hovered over the publish button for a minute, weighing up the possible pro's and con's. Believe me that minute pause is nowhere near long enough to make a sensible decision, and work through the possible outcomes.
In my head I all I really wanted to do was A) make the information readily available to ALL, B) Further inflame the issues until they could not be ignored and C) make a proactive step towards the guide.
Within a minute of publishing the wiki I was receiving emails from people active on the thread, and the revolution started. Many people have congratulated me on the idea, sadly it wasn't mine and would probably never have happen if Withey hadn't started the thread, and from his opening post, he wouldn't have said anything if it wasn't for the North Wales Rock guidebook be so good.
I certainly didn't foresee the turn of events my direct action was going to cause, I guess no one could, because nothing had been done on this scale before. It has already caused me sleepness nights waiting for the door to knock and the boyz from the CC legal department to be stood there.
I have been critised for damning the CC in many posts, and would like to apologise for a few, but I actually stand by many of them. The CC seems to be out of touch with its customers, as a few posters on the UKC and CC have pointed out. I truly believe that aside from a couple of guidebooks recently the CC has stood still in the water whilst the rest of the world has sailed past on the tide on change.
My hope is that they dust themselves off, regroup and come back with a guide that reassert there place as a producer of great guidebooks. I would hate to have caused permanent damage to them or put anybody off volunteering to help them publish a guide. Sadly my image of the CC is of middle england, middle class, middle grade climbers, who live for the 'committee'. Unfortunately committees aren't dynamic enough in an ever changing world.
They now have even more competiton which is good thing in my opinion.
As for my identity, for time being I will remain in the shadows, many locals now know who it was, however some do not. The reason for my wish to remain anonomous, is A) It is my private life B) My opinion and actions may be misinterpreted by those who employ me.
If you really want to know email me, if you introduce yourself I may well tell you.
Simon annoucement has in no way made the wiki site redundent, in fact it will be a great interim tool for may climbers as well as an on going resource that will hopefully last long into the future. The fact that some first ascentionist are on there editing there own first ascents says it all.
In reply to Al Evans: Al I absolutely agree with the spirit of documenting our sport's history, and am an avid collector of guidebooks. However You have to accept that there are a growing number of climbers who simply don't care about history, and simply want accurate approach descriptions with photo topos of the best routes. Just flicking through the Rockfax Northern Limestone guide, I note that first ascentionists are given. I don't need more from a selected guide for a fun weekend out, although I personally would also have the definitive guides at home. As far as the Rockfax Pembroke guide is concerned, it was a total breath of fresh air, and absolutely set the standard for guidebook production. I'd be interested to know the relative sales figures for CC and Fax guidebooks. The Fax guides may not have 4 or 5 pages of history at the front, but looking around for example the Peak on an average weekend, I'd say the Fax team deserve a pat on the back for making the crags accessible in terms of guides.
>, and did something that broke levels of trust on so many levels. Publishing a document with nearly all the new routes that have been climbed since the old guide. I actually hovered over the publish button for a minute, weighing up the possible pro's and con's.
Why? Was this information confidential? Or was it written by someone else and you were publishing it without their permission? Otherwise, I don't see how publishing information is a problem. How do you think newspapers survive?
There remains this conviction that somehow individuals own new route descriptions. They don't. They have copyright to prevent literal copying, but not to control dissemination of information.
> my image of the CC is of middle england, middle class, middle grade climbers
And that's why you want to destroy it, right? That's why they deserve your contempt? Are only working class or upper class people allowed to join your 'revolution'? Only novice climbers and elite climbers? How many of the club's 1,300 members do you know? You're a prejudiced, ill-informed, anonymous idiot.
The criticisms of the club's publishing system have been well made, both internally and on this forum, and they've been heard by the club's PSC and main committee. I'm a CC member, and I'm hoping for reform as much as anyone else, but there is no magic trick that they can do to make a new guide appear on the shelves tomorrow, so shut the f*ck up and let them get on with the work the best way they can.
> there is no magic trick that they can do to make a new guide appear on the shelves tomorrow, so shut the f*ck up and let them get on with the work the best way they can.
Magic no, but the publication of the wiki with all the new routes on it since the previous guide seems pretty close to me!
How hard would it have been for the CC to publish this as an interim pdf/word doc download on their site!? They could have done it easilly and in the interests of everyone who climbs there, but didn't.
> How hard would it have been for the CC to publish this as an interim pdf/word doc download on their site!? They could have done it easilly and in the interests of everyone who climbs there, but didn't.
I absolutely agree that this would have been the sensible thing to do, and have asked that question internally. The PSC felt that we shouldn't undermine the efforts of the 'traditional' gurdians of new route info (Pete's Eats, Javu etc). I didn't think that was a very strong reason, and they've got that message. Now, sadly, this feeding frenzy has undermined the work of *all* parties involved.
In reply to withey: Well, we haven't had a conspiracy theory on this thread, so here goes. Hope my mates in the CC will forgive me.
Clubs exist to further the aims of the members, so uni clubs lay on minibuses, arrange huts to sleep in, crag meets etc. Eventually (in the case of the CC) you've been around long enough to own some real estate in prime locations, and have a good income from guidebooks to maintain the real-estate, and subsidise members' usage.
The big shock for the CC occured when the Pembroke Rockfax was published and became not only a success, but a template for future development in that genre in response to overwhelming demand.
During the time surrounding this, debate raged over historical records, first ascents etc., but quite simply this was a smokescreen. Anyone can nowadays keep a far more detailed historical presence on the web than can ever be achieved through guidebooks.
The truth is closer to the fact that the CC saw Rockfax killing off their golden goose and guaranteed steady income.
If I were a gambling man, I'd say that guidebook production by the CC has slowed to a trickle as it's by no means guaranteed that printing a definitive (for example)Gogarth guide would make the kind of profits that the club desires.
I maybe wrong, but with the X-files re-showing on Sky as from next week, why not?
> The truth is closer to the fact that the CC saw Rockfax killing off their golden goose and guaranteed steady income.
> If I were a gambling man, I'd say that guidebook production by the CC has slowed to a trickle as it's by no means guaranteed that printing a definitive (for example) Gogarth guide would make the kind of profits that the club desires.
Not sure about the conspiracy theory, I think the reason is simpler than that, and less financially based.
The Pembroke Rockfax probably had little impact on CC Pembroke sales - next to nil I'd suggest. Rockfax probably had more impact in Dorset but even so, the CC guide has been profitable, and I suspect the impact not really significant when you consider how many more people climb there than they did 15 years ago.
The real reason is because it is no longer possible to produce guidebooks using the same text-based style used in the heyday of the CC/BMC/FRCC in the 1980s/early 1990s and the extra work required is (quite reasonably) beyond the reach of the volunteer sector.
The BMC and the FRCC have addressed this problem to good effect, but the CC have been much slower to move. Maybe this will be the catalyst.
In reply to Alan James - UKC: 'it is no longer possible to produce guidebooks using the same text-based style used in the heyday of the CC/BMC/FRCC'
I'm not sure I'd agree with that, Alan. Nick Dixon's Cloggy guide was an interesting hybrid of the two styles, containing colour photographs with the lines of the routes superimposed on them. It also contained an innovative index with two entries for each route, one entry for the route description and one for the historical information. I've never heard anyone say that this guide was in any way inadequate.
> ...have a good income from guidebooks to maintain the real-estate, and subsidise members' usage.
I'm not sure that this is true at all. After all, CC members are more than happy to pay their annual subscriptions and hut fees themselves. It is a club which is big enough to fund itself. I personally feel no need to have my climbing subsidised by anyone else - in fact, I feel that this would not be right.
Most CC people I know are fairly ordinary climbers! (Me for example).
I personally don't know enough about Gogarth climbing to be able to contribute to a climbing guide - so does this mean that it is all my fault for not getting the guide sorted out on time?
There's slightly a `the reason to what angle' but anyway, part of the reason the new breed of undoubtedly rockfax influenced BMC (+ FRCC if you say so) guides exist is the intervening increase and cheapening of printing technology.
I don't think they'd have just done a rehash of the circa 1989 guides if rockfax never existed.
And as we've just seen, the reason the Gogarth guide doens't exist is because a) the CC have not told us they've anyone willing to take it on board and make it their own, and b) Mick's led us to believe in the News that most of the most qualified people are getting involved with the Ground Up guide instead.
Tyler - come one now, you didn't go off route on DOWH did you? My old Uni mates or one of the many teams to have claimed a variation to this as a new route once. Effort!
b) Mick's led us to believe in the News that most of the most qualified people are getting involved with the Ground Up guide instead.
Stop it Paz...you are misrepresenting me and I don't appreciate it.
I report what is going on and make very few, I do slip occaisionaly, value judgements.
I quoted what Simon Panton sent me, it is he that says they are qualified, not me.
Robert Wilson21 Feb 2007
In reply to Yorkspud: Lol, Probably not, however, that 'dream' route seems to just traverse off too
Ps Nightride left hand is a brilliant big pitch that should supersede the original, but this will be definitive anyway, so we can include all the variations and eliminates like 'Dream of white chimneys' and 'Erasatron'
That's my interpretation of what you said. In your news article you quoted a list of people backing the ground up project <sic>. As far as I know, one or two of them know more than anyone else about Gogarth.
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
> That's my interpretation of what you said.
I just quoted and made that very clear.
crank12325 Feb 2007
In reply to withey: Having seen the new GU north wales rock guide which is excellent with good clear descriptions/diagrams and lots of inspirational photography, I feel the gogarth guide is in good hands more so when you consider the team on board.