/ Rockfax Kalymnos guide
Just thought I would ask the question of what the consensus is on here for or against the proposed rockfax Kalymnos guide.
the Local guide by Aris Theodoropoulos , which is excellent in my opinion, which is regularly updated and extremely comprehensive surely provides all information that climbers from around the world may need. I am aware that Aris is very active in new routing and retro bolting of older routes. Supporting the local guide can only be a good thing for the local economy, which I understand from the locals in Masouri, can be challenging during the quieter months.
it is difficult not to be cynical about the rockfax Kalymnos guide, as , putting the usual Rockfax donation to local bolt fund to one side, is all too easy to view this as a simple money making Exercise on the back of hours and hours of back breaking work by others
i would welcome opinion on this matter, and hopefully if a consensus exists that will hopefully sway the argument against the production of this guide.
thanks in advance
I think (but am happy to be corrected) that the situation is thus:
Rockfax Kalymnos is not "proposed", it is done. With the blessing (and I think assistance) of Aris.
Rockfax author Chris Craggs has been active there for several months a year for several years, including new routing.
Thanks Martin for your question although it is hardly a neutral question trying to gain a consensus and more like a full-on campaigning piece.
For the record, the book is at the printers and will be available in early May. We will be giving a donation from each copy sold to the Glaros Bar Bolt Fund. We also support point-off-sale donations (which are doing very well with the book pre-orders - thanks to those who have contributed) and publicise the PayPal donation portal via UKBoltFund.org. This portal was set up by theSend climbing app and Steve Golley who created that app has also offered a lot of support for the Rockfax book. As far as we are aware, this is the only online donation portal for bolting on the island.
We are a business, so we do sell products to make money but we have no external investors so all this money gets invested back in the business. Which means we can run more news and articles on UKC, create better web sites, publish books to new areas, create better apps and general make more good stuff for climbers.
The idea that an island's economy is dependent on the proceeds of a single book is clearly nonsense - most visitors would spend more on beer and food on one night than on a book they might use for many trips. A book promotes the area and brings visitors who spend money and more books mean more visitors. We are confident that our book will mean more money available for bolting on the island.
Worth a read on this matter, if you haven't already seen it (scroll down to the end of the article)
Thanks Alan. Could you let us know whether I was right or wrong about the publication having some (or full) support of Aris?
To the OP. An unbiased story:
I was at Buoux in 2011 with a large group of British friends. A number a Rockfax books were idly scattered around the grouping at the bottom of the crag. A Swiss lady claiming to have been active in the original bolting, came and ranted at us at length.
When she'd stopped, I politely told her that 18 people had travelled from the UK to the area thanks to the existence of the Rockfax book, and that between them they had bought 7 copies of the local guide. 7 sales that would not have happened without the Rockfax brand initally having attracted them to the area (and that's on top of the money spent on accommodation and food locally).
She went away to find someone else to screech at.
Most enlightening Carl, thanks for posting.
> Thanks Alan. Could you let us know whether I was right or wrong about the publication having some (or full) support of Aris?
No, unfortunately that isn't the case. Aris doesn't want any guidebook to the island except his own. He also objected to the Send app which donated all the money it made to bolting on the island.
I have always said that guidebook debates are never really about funding bolts, they are always about power and control.
Your story nicely illustrates the way these things can work. It is also a good indicator of how these guidebook debates pan out. We have a month or two of doom and gloom and hyperbolic claims. The book comes out and the extra interest boosts everything in the area for a while. Then things settle down and nobody discusses it any more since the actual amounts of money involved in guidebooks are relatively trivial in the grand scheme of things.
I don't want a Paypal account and will never sign the above statement so I guess I wont be purchasing the guide.
Why can I simply not purchase the guide without disclosing personal data to a company that I do not trust.
If you are paying by a web browser then you can just use the button that says "Pay with Debit or Credit Card". That enables you to check out without creating a PayPal account.
There have been occasions where this button doesn't appear on mobile devices so you may not see it in that case. If you email us on shop [at] rockfax.com then Paul will send you payment email which will allow you to do this directly.
We have recently implemented a new payment system on UKC for Premier Posts run by Stripe. We will be rolling this out onto Rockfax soon so that we can ditch PayPal who are expensive and do try and channel you towards their services as you noticed.
Ok, I see that. Not a lot we can do about it to be honest. If you click on that Account Optional link it explains it a bit. It is not a PayPal account, but they do retain a bit of your payment data. Probably the sooner we get away from PayPal the better although Stripe retain data as well.
At some point you do have to give sensitive data to people if you want to function online. They have been retaining it for years it is just that nowadays they are a bit more open about what they are retaining. Handing over cash in a shop is the only way to avoid it really, but you will struggle to get a discount there.
That's a shame. And a bit strange, given that he's the author of a selected guide to Greece that competes with at least one local guidebook, and almost certainly more.
I don't believe guidebook publishers should give money to bolt funds, that is a cheapskate way for climbers to absolve ourselves from the responsibility. HOWEVER, if there is already a guidebook in place that does this I think it's pretty shitty to then come along and undercut this, especially so in the case of Klaymnos where it's not just climbers that depended on decent bots (and therefore a healthy bolt fund) but the local economy, especially at a time when Kalymnos is going to face stiff competition from Leonidio.
I'm just back from a 2 week holiday there using the local guide it is up to date (no bolt lines at the crag undocumented), we didn't get lost on the way to the crag nor do we fail to find a route so there is no justification from a usability point of view for producing a new guide. In fact you say you have found an issue with one of the features of the (all?) guidebook (route lengths) but instead of trying to improve you've removed the feature altogether!
You're producing a guidebook fine, that's your job, but to try and give it or Rockfax an altruistic veneer is just eyewash. It is what it is, a way to make money by reproducing the information others have gathered using your economies of scale, there's nothing wrong with that but if you are going to accept the money that comes from this then you will have to accept the criticism.
> That's a shame.
You are entitled to your opinion and, although I dispute your conclusions about the impact on the local economy, I have made my point a million times on other posts which I am sure you have read and hence there isn't much point in going into it again here.
> It is what it is, a way to make money by reproducing the information others have gathered using your economies of scale, there's nothing wrong with that but if you are going to accept the money that comes from this then you will have to accept the criticism.
This is just nonsense though. The information we use is information we have gathered, no-one else unless it was freely sent to us (which plenty has been). Chris didn't spend 3 years out of the last 10 on the island twiddling his thumbs. I didn't invest in UKC logbooks so that we could ignore that invaluable data.
Because I'd rather everyone got along together
The problem I had when I saw that Rockfax is doing a Kalymnos guide was, that the publisher I associate with the El Chorro and Mallorca guidebooks is competing the best guidebook I've ever used. It seemed unlikely to me that the objective was to produce a better guidebook.
What do the authors wish to do better?
>> Chris didn't spend 3 years out of the last 10 on the island....
Poor old sod. Must have been hell! ;-)
> That's a shame. And a bit strange, given that he's the author of a selected guide to Greece that competes with at least one local guidebook, and almost certainly more.
Unbelievable hypocrisy! How can he complain about Rockfax when he's doing exactly the same thing in his own country. I'm planning a trip to Kalymnos this autumn and will be buying the Rockfax guide. Apart from anything else it's about 10 quid cheaper Total no brainer!
So I visited the Rockfax website to order my cut-price Kalymnos guidebook. Went to the Database page to find out more and read this:
"The information in this database was assembled by Nick Smith based on information from Aris Theodoropoulos, Steve McDonnell and the Municipal Tourist Organization of Kalymnos. Aris runs Kalymnos Climbing and is the area's main activist."
Now I'm confused and don't know which guidebook to buy anymore!
Curious. That was a bit of text that hadn’t been edited since 2003.
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