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Rockfax Top 50 Symbol – Outlived its Usefulness?

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Back in 2006 we introduced a new symbol to the star-rating system – the Top 50 symbol. This featured for the first time in Eastern Grit (2006) and has been included in most guidebooks since. It was never intended to be a forth star, but instead to be a set of routes that were high quality and iconic routes for the area. Some of them were only really 2-star routes but, especially in the easier grades, they were important routes that covered the full grade range of the area.

Since then the system has been applied reasonably consistently in our books although we have on many occasions gone way beyond 50 actual routes. What has become clear is that, whatever our intentions were with regard to it not being a forth star, climbers have very much been treating it as such.

Work we have done on El Chorro and most recently on Mallorca has indicated that the Top 50 symbol may well have become a bit of a curse for some routes. In the green and orange spot grade range, these routes get a lot of attention! UKC Logbooks are full of comments on these easier routes questioning their Top50 status often because of polish and over-climbing.

In 2020 we have redesigned the look of our Rockfax print guidebooks and this seemed like a good opportunity to drop the Top 50 symbol for the next few guidebooks to gauge the response. All the previous Top 50 routes will be given 3-star status which should increase the pool of target routes.

1
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

You could have a "first time visitor" list, rather than a Top 50 list?

7
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

I always interpreted them as super duper 3* routes, or 3*+ if you will. Top 50s are/were a ready source of ticklist inspiration also.
 

In areas I visit a lot they’re useful but not essential, while for foreign trips to places I may realistically only visit once or twice in my life they’re very useful to get a ‘best of the best’ list to aim for. 

 James Malloch 18 Feb 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

I quite like them to see where looks good (i.e. you can see that in Costa Blanca, for example, there are 1/2 crags with lots of recommended routes in the 7a-b range). 

So it’s handy to help pinpoint certain crags with certain grades. 

However I think you could do this another way. I’m generally interested in routes 7a-7c but with the grade splits at 7a+ (Black marked routes) and upwards you can often look at a crag only to find it’s just full of 8a routes and upwards. 

If this was broken down I think it would help much more than having a “top routes” list. 

So many people are climbing above 7a now that the category is pretty useless, in my opinion, for identifying crags with stuff in a suitable range.

3
 gravy 18 Feb 2020

I like them but cherry picking does cause problems, rolling it back takes you in the direction of the no-star Tremadog guide (and others). 

So, as a compromise, perhaps you could leave them in my guide books as a responsible connoisseur of nice routes but remove them for everyone else because the traffic is ruining them for me?

In reply to gravy:

> I like them but cherry picking does cause problems, rolling it back takes you in the direction of the no-star Tremadog guide (and others). 

Disagree here. It is just returning to the three-star system. 'No stars' is a very different case and has a worse effect by concentrating people on a small set of routes.

> So, as a compromise, perhaps you could leave them in my guide books as a responsible connoisseur of nice routes but remove them for everyone else because the traffic is ruining them for me?

Ha

Alan

 Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator UKC Supporter UKC Supporter 18 Feb 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

I had an e-mail from a climber who complained about the Top 50 in the Lofoten guidebook, saying we should remove it because whenever he went to do a route in the list there were people on it - the irony was lost on him apparently!

Chris

In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

I think it would be a good idea to drop the top 50 symbol in the guidebooks. The star rating seems more than enough information and can create enough honeypot routes on busy crags. It can all get a bit cluttered with symbols - I have a couple of European topo-style guides that have so many icons its like reading the periodic table before you get your harness on. 

Maybe in the crag overviews (or on the database) you could note in the text some stand-out routes at various grades rather than suggesting a premier division with Top 50 status? Sometimes the qualitative can be preferable to another layer of metrics.... ;)

Dave

2
 Rod_Vortex 18 Feb 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

There's enough wider information out there if you want to look for it for historical/benchmark/significant routes. 

If someone is there for one day, they're probably going to climb the Top 50 route over anything else. If there are several *** routes and no top 50s then the traffic will get spread out. 

I definitely love the star system and hate guidebooks without it but don't think a top50 is really necessary. 

2
 trouserburp 18 Feb 2020
In reply to gravy:

> So, as a compromise, perhaps you could leave them in my guide books as a responsible connoisseur of nice routes but remove them for everyone else because the traffic is ruining them for me?

They will, sort of. We can keep our old books with top 50s and the youth will spread out across all the 3* routes, sounds good

 Andy Hardy 18 Feb 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

If too many people are doing the top 50 routes why not expand it to the hot 100? 

😉😇

 Will Hunt 18 Feb 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

As much as it pains me to contribute to a discussion about how to make Rockfax books better, the Top 50 sticker has been something that has irked me for years. Rockfax books are most used by visitors to the area, and if you're new to a crag then who isn't going to gravitate towards those routes which are lauded as "Top 50"? What may have started out as an innocent offering to those who like a ticklist (and let's be honest, don't we all?) has turned into an enormous burden on those three-star routes which were unlucky enough to be selected. Whether by accident or design it created a four-star system which didn't actually account for quality - it was just a selection of the three-star routes from across the grade spectrum at a variety of different crags. This shouldn't be necessary. If a route has three stars then it should mean that it is of national quality - a visitor who has driven from a different part of the country should not go away disappointed. Do we really need to have more stars than that?

New visitors to a crag can be forgiven for going after the three-star routes, but I've lost count of the times I've been at the crag and seen people and their Rockfax casting around for the Top 50 route in their grade bracket. At many (most?) crags, this might mean that all the VS leaders home in on one single route, even when there may be a few other 3-star routes at the crag which are ignored. Sometimes you'll see people looking in a guidebook and they'll be looking for whether there are any Top 50 routes at a crag before they will even consider visiting.

A honeypotting nightmare that can't be scrapped soon enough.

9
In reply to Andy Hardy:

> If too many people are doing the top 50 routes why not expand it to the hot 100? 

> 😉😇

It has been considerably more than 50 routes for quite some time. I think only the first few actually were limited to 50 routes. We have topped a hundred in some books. That was my first attempt to avoid honey-potting.

Alan

 SDM 18 Feb 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

>However I think you could do this another way. I’m generally interested in routes 7a-7c but with the grade splits at 7a+ (Black marked routes) and upwards you can often look at a crag only to find it’s just full of 8a routes and upwards. 

>If this was broken down I think it would help much more than having a “top routes” list. 

>So many people are climbing above 7a now that the category is pretty useless, in my opinion, for identifying crags with stuff in a suitable range.

Completely agree. The black spot category covers such a huge range that it becomes a given that most steep crags will be almost entirely made up of black spot climbs despite the fact that the difference in grade ranges could be huge.

Take an 8b climber to a crag/buttress that is almost entirely in the 7a-7b range and they will barely have anything hard enough to warm up on. Similarly, take a 7a climber to a crag/buttress that is almost entirely 8a and harder and they won't be able to get beyond the first clip. Both would be made up entirely by black spots.

The same happens for bouldering. One climber looking for a handful of climbs to project around 7A/+ is going to be looking for completely different locations to someone who is capable of doing multiple problems of 7C-8A or harder in a day.

I think the addition of an extra colour starting around 8a sport or somewhere in the 7C-8A boulder range would be far more useful. Some of the Swiss and Spanish guides do this and it is so helpful if you are in a mixed ability group.

In reply to SDM:

> >However I think you could do this another way. I’m generally interested in routes 7a-7c but with the grade splits at 7a+ (Black marked routes) and upwards you can often look at a crag only to find it’s just full of 8a routes and upwards. 

Ok, we will look at this but it is such a tiny proportion of our userbase and they are all experienced climbers who know how to cope with this sort of thing. My fear is that adding an extra colour will make it more complex for the vast majority of our readers.

Alan

2
 Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator UKC Supporter UKC Supporter 18 Feb 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

Black number on white inside a black ring might be a possible choice?  From 8a and up?

Chris

Post edited at 15:10
 Andy Hardy 18 Feb 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> It has been considerably more than 50 routes for quite some time. I think only the first few actually were limited to 50 routes. We have topped a hundred in some books. That was my first attempt to avoid honey-potting.

OK, well if it's broke, bin it.

1
 James Malloch 18 Feb 2020

> Ok, we will look at this but it is such a tiny proportion of our userbase and they are all experienced climbers who know how to cope with this sort of thing. My fear is that adding an extra colour will make it more complex for the vast majority of our readers.

On reflection it might not even need a different colour (I don't actually use the colours thinking about it). But an additional split on the "destination planner" (page 38 of Costa Blanca guide) section would be extremely useful. 

This section is great for getting an overview of aspects, sun, etc. This is what I often supplement with the top 50 list to mark up some additional crags with low 7's listed. 

 TommyK 18 Feb 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

As far as the ukc site goes, I see the Top 50 routes as a curated ticklist where the aim isn’t to do all of them but instead to find routes at a grade which are worth considering when visiting a new area. With that in mind, perhaps this concept of ‘curated ticklists’ could be extended to the Rockfax app with lists given more descriptive names and symbols - separating classic over-used lines and other high-quality routes and indicting good routes for first visit separately.

Deadeye 18 Feb 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

I'd drop it in favour of a table for each crag that says not just how many routes at each grade, but how many stars.

1
In reply to Deadeye:

> I'd drop it in favour of a table for each crag that says not just how many routes at each grade, but how many stars.

Well we have had such tables for years in the crag intro for every crag but the fact you are commenting confirms my suspicion that people hadn’t really noticed them.

... and that is why we have simplified them a bit for the next books which actually takes away the star division in favour of just route numbers and climbing type.

Alan

In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

FWIW I think the top 50 has probably outlived its usefulness. 

A 0-3 star system is good, don’t need a (falsely believed to be) 4th star confusing things. So I for one welcome this change. 

3
 James Malloch 18 Feb 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> Well we have had such tables for years in the crag intro for every crag but the fact you are commenting confirms my suspicion that people hadn’t really noticed them.

> ... and that is why we have simplified them a bit for the next books which actually takes away the star division in favour of just route numbers and climbing type.

I really like these! Gives you a general idea of how good a crag could bewhen flicking through. 

In reply to Paul Sagar:

Thanks Paul, and everyone else giving feedback and some of the other suggestions are interesting too.

In off air discussions we have highlighted a flaw in this thread. To defend the Top 50 star you need to admit that you like being lazy and led by the hand - something people don’t necessarily want to admit publicly. In fact I think we probably all do to an extent and, in that respect, the Top 50 symbol had a certain value. It probably still does in somewhere like the Lakes where the presence of a Top 50 route on a mountain crag might get people to go there more than a few 3 star routes.

Alan

In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

So I've no idea if this is true, but I've heard it said that the Vertical Life Kalymnos guidebook* changes the 'music note' (their equivalent of a top 50) in every edition, juggling round the 3 star routes precisely to try and move traffic around - so a lot the 'note routes' in the version I've got (not the latest, but the previous one I think) just so happen to be at, for the most part, the less popular crags which take more time to get to, and when at the more popular crags, they are in the 8a and up range. Perhaps this is a coincidence, perhaps not.

In a place like Kalymnos, I think this makes perfect sense. And for different reasons, it makes sense as you say in the Lakes. As for the Peak, Portland, North Wales etc - not so much.

--

Let's NOT get into a discussion about that beyond what I've said here, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE

Post edited at 18:18
2
Deadeye 18 Feb 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> Well we have had such tables for years in the crag intro for every crag but the fact you are commenting confirms my suspicion that people hadn’t really noticed them.

> ... and that is why we have simplified them a bit for the next books which actually takes away the star division in favour of just route numbers and climbing type.

> Alan


I know the table is there - I'm asking for the stars to be added back

In reply to Deadeye:

> I know the table is there - I'm asking for the stars to be added back

Ah ok. Are you basing this on the Peak Limestone example then?

Alan

pasbury 18 Feb 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

We need some AI  here to determine how best to spread ratings of things in order to spread the the load of demand on those things. The data in the logbooks would be a useful dataset.

Could have other applications too.

In reply to Paul Sagar:

> So I've no idea if this is true, but I've heard it said that the Vertical Life Kalymnos guidebook* changes the 'music note' (their equivalent of a top 50) in every edition, juggling round the 3 star routes precisely to try and move traffic around - so a lot the 'note routes' in the version I've got (not the latest, but the previous one I think) just so happen to be at, for the most part, the less popular crags which take more time to get to, and when at the more popular crags, they are in the 8a and up range. Perhaps this is a coincidence, perhaps not.

I don’t think that is true. The guidebook to Kalymnos is not a Vertical Life publication, they just produce the app version and that doesn’t have musical notes in it. The local guidebook just uses 1, 2 and 3 stars now. 

An interesting idea though however experiments in forcing people onto climbs based on where you want them to go, rather than where the real quality is, tend to backfire in the end.

I remember Pete Oxley’s massive enthusiasm for his climbs in Portland persuaded me to include a four star system in the 1994 Dorset guide. That backfired badly since the climbs were good, but not better than other three star classics around the country, and people noticed!

Alan

 Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator UKC Supporter UKC Supporter 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

Interestingly the replies mostly support your idea that they were useful and are now less so, rather than mine, that they are a 'go to' feature,

Chris

 Will Hunt 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

>To defend the Top 50 star you need to admit that you like being lazy and led by the hand - something people don’t necessarily want to admit publicly....It probably still does in somewhere like the Lakes where the presence of a Top 50 route on a mountain crag might get people to go there more than a few 3 star routes.

People needn't be ashamed about wanting to be pointed towards the best quality when they're new to an area - that's what a select guide (and a definitive for that matter) should do! The flip-side of what you've said there is that people get into the habit of not considering a crag if it hasn't got a Top 50 route. As has been discussed, the assignment of Top 50 status is fairly arbitrary.

If you remove the Top 50 tags, you level the playing field and let 3-star routes regain their true value as the best routes. I don't want to explicitly spell it out (as there are some ideas that I might use in our own book) but there are plenty of simple ways that you can spread traffic around and encourage people to go to crags or routes that might otherwise be neglected.

I think the idea of swapping stars around is a nonsense. A 2-star route cannot simply become a 3-star route on a whim. What individuals think about a route's qualities may differ a bit, but ultimately the factors being assessed are objective and universal: quality of line, escapability, quality of moves, quality of rock etc etc etc are all factors. Ultimately, if you swap stars then you deceive the user - something that a guidebook author should never do.

Post edited at 09:35
3
 BStar 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

Unpopular opinion coming up...

I quite like the Top 50 list.  They give a good indication as to the 'best' experiences at a certain grade in an area.  Prior to a trip to a new area I'll spend a lot of time going through the guidebooks looking for which routes I want to do etc, however it's quite easy to miss or overlook routes especially in guidebooks that don't have graded ticklists or a top 50 etc.  There's a disappointing feeling when you get back from a trip to a new crag and log a climb only to see that there was a 'better route' nearby that you had overlooked because the guidebook didn't distinguish any difference, or the photo/topo didn't do the route any justice. 

I must admit that the Top 50 probably does get confused with a 4th star, but as a concept a graded ticklist of the best experiences at each grade it is a good resource for the reader to plan by.  I like the idea of expanding this to a Top 100 or more, just to spread out the crowds on the 'classics'.  I'd be curious as to how many 3 star routes are in a typical guidebook, maybe a list of those could be feasible? 

By nature people will gravitate towards the 'better' routes, and why shouldn't they?  No one is travelling to Lofoten on their hard earned cash / annual leave to not do the 'top climbing experiences' in the area. 

A possible solution is to make the Top 50 page perforated, and any purists that don't want it can tear it out.   

 whenry 19 Feb 2020
In reply to James Malloch:

I agree - as someone who normally climbs in the low sevens, it's useful to see which  crags or sectors have routes at my grade - and the black spot (and the tables - which I use regularly) covers such a wide range of sports grades that without looking through the pages for that crag I can't be sure whether it's mainly 8as or 7a+s. It's common to see people climbing 7a+; much rarer to see people climbing 7c+.

 biggianthead 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

Great idea.

I always thought stars was sufficient to point people in the right direction.

2
 flaneur 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

The shy ‘lazy and lead by the hand’ have the option of using the anonymity of the dislike button. Which hasn’t happened at the time of this post. 
 

Top 50 status is a de facto 4th star as you say and inadvertently diverts traffic from the many really excellent 1 and 2 star routes. My vote is to bin it. 

3
 Simon Caldwell 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

I really like the Top50 symbol, as it means that everyone else is queuing on those so I can take my pick of the other routes ;-)

 Offwidth 19 Feb 2020
In reply to BStar:

Rockfax always have much wider graded lists??

In reply to Alan James

I'd say bin it for the sake of the effect on the most popular lower grade routes. I fully agree removing all the stars actually iincreases honey-potting, after the Tremadoc experiment failed. What would also help is a revised section in the introduction, on route conservation: discouraging bad practice.

1
 Luke90 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> ... and that is why we have simplified them a bit for the next books which actually takes away the star division in favour of just route numbers and climbing type.

That's a shame. If people aren't noticing the table, I'm not sure that simplifying it will make it any more noticeable and it's a loss of useful information for those of us who did see them and use them. Even if only a small number of people appreciate it, it's only taking up a tiny amount of space.

On the original topic, personally I think I would miss the Top 50 category, but I wouldn't begrudge its removal for the very reasonable goal of spreading out traffic.

If you're a bit uncertain about fully removing it, would retaining the Top 50 list in the front but not marking the included routes on the crag pages be a good halfway house? That way, you retain some of the originally intended benefits but most people actually at the crag making route choices would be looking at the crag page rather than constantly flicking back to the Top 50.

But I'm evidently some kind of philistine because I still don't understand how marking out some routes as particularly "high quality and iconic" is anything other than a defacto fourth star.

 danieleaston 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

I definitely agree that dropping the Top 50 is a good idea - three stars is enough to cherry pick your routes beforehand, and Top 50 makes certain routes busy for no good reason - the superiority of top 50 over 3* is almost completely subjective.

2
 SDM 19 Feb 2020
In reply to whenry:

> It's common to see people climbing 7a+; much rarer to see people climbing 7c+.

Depends which crags you go to. Go to Malham/Kilnsey/The Tor/LPT/The Diamond/The Cornice etc etc and the opposite is true. Which is a great example of how useful a split in the black spots would be.

 Liamhutch89 19 Feb 2020

Replace with 'esoteric gems' to spread the traffic?

 Rowlani 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

I really like the current guide for Margalef with very minimal information, route name, height, grade and number of draws. That is enough, finding the good routes is part of the fun! That being said I think that guide did have a top 50 equivalent which I ignored due to reasons mentioned above ( polish being the main one).

1
 whenry 19 Feb 2020
In reply to SDM:

Very true!

 HeMa 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

While I have used the Top 50 in the Lofoten guidebook somewhat, I do agree to an extent that perhaps it's not working as intended.

However the new Bohuslan topo and some other topos from the Alps have all contained numerous lists in the books. Like the best 5s, 6s or 7s... or best finger cracks ... or What lines I liked the most by a local developper and/or visiting super-wad.

Naturally creating numerous such lists (usually 5 to 10 per topo) takes more effort, but they can even be more helpful as they might offer more suggestions to those operating at certain level (or have a peculiar fling for some kind of perverse kind of climbing, like OW).

 Greenbanks 19 Feb 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

Maybe a per annum quota system of ascents (perhaps 200 per year for ***, 400 for ** and 600 for *).  All starred routes would be booked in advance. Once climbed these could be recorded by electronic sensor. Once the limit was reached the route would be closed for the year and this signalled in our RockFax apps (which will soon be de rigeur anyway). This would control the polish, maintain the Top 50 (everyone likes lists). Ultimately it could result in a handy income generator, where you could secure a booking, but hang around like a Wembley Stadium tout to sell it on to another punter.

On a less serious level, I don't feel we'd miss much by the loss of the Top 50. It might result in a return to adventure... 

1
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

I've no doubt that I've demonstrated the honeypot behaviour described above, and the Top 50 acting as a 3.5 star rating is how I’ve sometimes perceived it.  Hence in areas/on crags where there are multiple 2 or 3 star routes in a grade range I agree the Top 50 designation is unnecessary.

However where I do find it useful is in highlighting special routes either on crags with limited coverage in the guide or where the grade range is uncommon at the crag, ie. I’d be making the trip for the specific climb not the crag more generally.  Maybe, as was alluded to above, it could be replaced by a ‘worth the detour’ designation (I’m imaging a triangular icon depicting a car driving down a winding road).  Of course this is often implicit in the write-up, and one of the joys or perusing guidebooks is reading about them, but as a nudge it could be beneficial.

In reply to Rowlani:

I find the Margalef guide annoying precisely because it has no stars - if I’m there for 3 or 4 days I don’t want to be pulling on a route not knowing if it’s a 0 star pile of poop or a 3 star dream, or anywhere in between!

Of course, their strategy may well slow the spread of polish. But it is annoying for brief visitors - like me!

1
 Michael Gordon 21 Feb 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

Another vote to remove the top 50 - too much honey-potting on a small number of routes.

2
 Tom Green 21 Feb 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

> In off air discussions we have highlighted a flaw in this thread. To defend the Top 50 star you need to admit that you like being lazy and led by the hand - something people don’t necessarily want to admit publicly. 

This is probably true but, to balance this, I admit that I'm lazy and DO use the Top50 and I STILL think that it should be got rid of. It's a bit like eating sweets/junk food... if it's there I'll eat it, but that doesn't mean I'm happy with myself for doing so!

Bin the Top 50 to stop making weak willed people like me use it despite disagreeing with it!

2
 JamieSparkes 23 Feb 2020
In reply to Paul Sagar:

You'll be glad to know that the 2019 edition does have stars, and even a top 10 symbol

In reply to JamieSparkes:

Splendid. I’ll buy that in April along with the Rockfax for when I go back for two weeks because one can NEVER have nuff guidebooks

 acer2012 23 Feb 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

Like lots of others I thought the top-50 was very much like a fourth star, good to know. I wouldn't be fussed to see it go though; I'd never complain about 'only' doing a three star route!

Maybe a ("H") symbol could work as a way of marking the Historic routes so they don't get lost? Or a "P" for Popular? That could even mitigate the honey potting problem to some extent I imagine

 Gwilymstarks 23 Feb 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

I climb routes without stars and without Top 50 tags.

They are quiet, no queues and not polished

 C Witter 23 Feb 2020
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

In the Lakes, perhaps ticklists based on other factors than abstract 'quality' could encourage people. For example, people gravitate to the 'Classic Rock' and 'Hard Rock' ticks, because they are on those lists, with a historical aura, as much as because they are good quality.

Rather than quality, lists could be based around important first ascensionists (in the FRCC/Wired guide there is a Pescod 'Ladies Day Out' described; a list of Jim Birkett FAs or a 'Lakeland Pioneers' list could be attractive, and provide a different rationale for 'collecting' routes.

Then, in the Lakes, people are also often attracted to 'long mountain routes' (usually of Diff - VS), as attested by the amount of threads we get on here requesting recommendations. A list based around this could work; or a set of 'enchainments' (such as the 'Pico-Harrison Integrale') or challenges (e.g. all the *** VS routes in Langdale).

There could also be lists based around things like 'A Lakeland Apprenticeship' or 'Classic Test Pieces'; or 'Top ten cracks' or 'top 10 slabs'.

Finally, Roger Wilko's "Neglected Lakeland Gems" list (on UKC) is another interesting alternative to a top 50 list!

Obviously, we already do this sort of thing on UKC and similar things have appeared in guides. But, just pointing out that "quality" is not the only variable that attracts people. Indeed, 'quality' itself is determined by things like historical importance, reputation, aesthetics, position, rock feature, etc., so this could really about pulling apart the concept of quality rather than doing something radically new.

Post edited at 16:59
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

It would make my job easier! ;-)
 

I all seriousness though I definitely think it creates honey pots, as personally I have definitely buzzed towards them when climbing in Costa and other places I have used the Rockfax guides. But the difference between 3 stars and Top 50 is minimal.

In reply to Mark Reeves:

It has gone now anyway. The latest release of the app removes them all, as well as introduces a white colour spot for routes above 8a/E7/font8A.

Alan


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