Climb magazine, edited by Neil Pearsons and published by Greenshires is now online with a strong web presence. Climber magazine, Climb's rival unveiled their website www.climber.co.uk earlier this year.
What is special about the Climb website is the archival material that they are making available.
The "register as new user" didn't work at first (don't try ticking the "copy for delivery information" as I can't get this to work), then when I tried to send them feedback to inform them of this, that form wanted full address, phone number etc.
I quite object to having that as required fields for a bloody feedback form. Its completely unnecessary and just looks like an attempt to gather consumer info to flog, even if they have no intention of doing that at all. There can't be many people who have used the internet for some time and haven't got on some annoying email list that they then can't get off. It's not away to build relations with customers/potential customers.
The rest of the site is good though, with lots of free stuff as PDFs which makes it excellent. Better than what you can get on Rock and Ice and Climbing. I hope it helps rather than hits sales.
How odd. To read the articles you need to register. To register you need to supply your name and address. I can't think of any other website that requires these details simply to read the content. I'm not keen on giving my name & address for no good reason.
You could always e-mail the editor with your concerns:
sam the man20 Aug 2007
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: In the current issue bit it describes the editorial as: "A word from the editor about whats packed into this months issue of Climb Magazine." Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that what the contents page for? Shouldn't the editorial be one of the most interesting bits of the magazine where someone expresses some opinion?
In reply to Team BMC: Definitely a plus point. Even if Climb/Greenshires would never dream of selling its info to someone else (but how secure is their data storage from thieves?) why do they need my telephone number? To a certain extent, that's private information.
You can register without giving any address or phone information. I've just registered by putting a full stop in each of the required fields, and the registration has been accepted - as long as there isn't a blank space, the form is considered to be filled in.
Of course, they may yet find they have some useless non-details and unregister me.
> ... Even if Climb/Greenshires would never dream of selling its info to someone else (but how secure is their data storage from thieves?) why do they need my telephone number? To a certain extent, that's private information.
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: i think the classic contect archive is great better than anything else available and if they do manage to put all high info online INCLUDING PICTURES PLEASE it will be a fantastic research tool for out of the way climbing
There seems to be a problem with some of the text. From the OTE classic articles (the one on Mick Fowler) the blurb before downloading the article reads..
"If you had been a Himalayan chough floating over the remote Tibetan summit of Siguniang in April 2002, you madrgn them.taiwith onllanches, days cllookthe two men soot on its snofght have been siItartled by the sight of two humans setting wy pate. You might also have observed that taggering to the top of this impressive peak ed a tad tired. This was because they’d just spent six imbing thin, overhanging ice, battling spindrift avaand enduring five consecutive hanging bivouacs, y snacks and chilli-flavoured instant noodles to susNot much fuel to overcome 1500m of sustained e 6/7 with just a light rack of wires and cams, six ice
screws and no portaledge."
Also the article headings are far from informative. Nice to have the content available for "free" (well a small cost of surrendering personal information).
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com) In the current issue bit it describes the editorial as: "A word from the editor about whats packed into this months issue of Climb Magazine." Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that what the contents page for? Shouldn't the editorial be one of the most interesting bits of the magazine where someone expresses some opinion?
exactly. "climber" does this too. it's pretty weak stuff. bernard newman's editorial is all about what's in the magazine: pathetic. unfortunately it sets the tone for the rest of the mag.
andy kirkpatriick, on the other hand, has done some 'real' editorials that forcefully and articulately put across a point of view.
messrs pearson and newman need to put a bit of effort into it!
An issue I have always had with Climb (and previously OTE) is that many people post feedback and questions on these forums related to the mag, yet the editors don't respond. Hopefully now it's gone properly 'digital' this will change.
> (In reply to MattH)
> I agree whole heartedly! Its just common courtesy and I don't for a moment think that they dont see these threads.
Surely common courtesy stop being lazy and take the time to put pen to paper and address your opinions to the correct person directly. Random gossip in the equivalent of a noisy pub doesn't deserve to get an answer IMO!
In reply to timjones: Do they answer comments on the "feedback" part of their own site ? (I'm still waiting to an answer as to why some links to articles in the archive seem broken )
martin k22 Aug 2007
In reply to timjones: but the only letters "climber" and "climb" ever seem to publish begin with the words "i think your magazine is the best. it just keeps getting better and i love it. keep up the good work (and so it goes on)". there is very little chance of a letter that is critical getting any airtime.
> (In reply to timjones) but the only letters "climber" and "climb" ever seem to publish begin with the words "i think your magazine is the best. it just keeps getting better and i love it. keep up the good work (and so it goes on)". there is very little chance of a letter that is critical getting any airtime.
Does it need airtime? Do you write letters to let the publisher know your opinions or to get your name in print?
martin k22 Aug 2007
In reply to timjones: my point is that the published letters are all of the same type. vapid platitudes in order to get 'letter of the month'. i doubt that strong criticism would find favour. cf this with letters in 'climbing' or 'rock & ice'!
I wouldn't want my critical letter to get "airtime." Critical letters usually reflect badly on the writer, even when they are fair. A letter like that is best as either private, or on a forum where you do have a chance to discuss it in a less formal and therefore less abrasive manner.
climbmagazine22 Aug 2007
In reply to slacky: The text has now been amended in the Mick Fowler article within the OTE Classics. Thanks for pointing it out. Also, taking on board your other comment about the article headings - we will look to address this too. When uploading over 230 articles, these generically styled headings were the most sensible option at the time. But now we can look to re-name them to something a little more fitting. If you do spot this happening in any other articles, then please let us know and I can get onto it straight away. With the site just going live this is the time to get these things resolved to ensure everyone can enjoy the benefits available.
climbmagazine22 Aug 2007
In reply to TobyA: The current registration process does ask for address details etc. This is only temporary at the moment and is something that will be only be required for those customers who intend to purchase items from the site. Registration will only require a name, email address and password. This is being looked into now and will be amended very soon.
Just to say that Karen at Climb magazine has emailed me and fixed the broken link. Seems it was in response to my post here rather than on their feedback section but who cares - I now have an article about Andorra to read on the train going home tonight
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
having brought one and looked in side one the other month and receiving a mail critique about a website...
The magazines are pretty much like guide books of old and new out of date as soon as they hit the shelves.
And response from one editor was OK but content dated the other is yet to reply.
remember I asked which magazine to buy currently its the old mucca Jim Perrin who swayed the purchase last week, and its still in the loo for a good read.
As for news the websites this one and climbing.com are where the news and comment is at, the mags refer to here in coded speak ... in particular the page or two about slates grade 5's by Colin Goody... it made me smile.
UKC should go into print ... it would revival the others for content... ...
sam the man22 Aug 2007
In reply to Alison Stockwell: Fair enough if you wouldn't want a critical letter ublished, however, if every letter starts or finishes with "great mag keep up the good work" or "just thought I'd write and say what a great mag this is" then why even publish the letters? They're the same every time, not worth reading. Compare that to Summit, or mags from other countrys, (or possibly gravity-I don't read it often enough to say) and there are people raising points on contentious issues within and outside of the magazine. I find it hard to believe that there are no ciritical letters being sent in-so why aren't they publishing them?
In my humble opinion, the state of Climb and Climber is pretty dire. They are just sooo boring. Some of the writers and writing are excellent-don't get me wrong, but they offer very little. I don't want to read a vapid review of destinations-all they are is a list of good routes at good crags, and then a list of how to get there-if you bought the guidebook (which you would if you were going) then you'd find all that inf in there-it's called stars. Better to have good pics and an interesting story to inspire you-the boring facts and reality can wait till plans form. Climber in particular tends to be a collections of "go here, climb this" articles-if I wanted that I'd go on Planetfear and look there-they cover that pretty well.
AS to what I'd like to see is: Interesting articles, fiction, poetry, excellent photography for its own right (OK-that's already there), good comedy/humour (not tedious repetitive and cliched jokes in a reeeaallly tame cartoon), interesting editorial and opinion from the editor and columists, in depth news (bearing in mind that most people get their news from here), different writers-not the same every time, oppurtunities for people to contribute and complain. I really do think that Mick (is it Mick? Or Alan?) should do some of his cartoons-they were really sharp and funny.
So sorry if that isn't a terribly glowing report-it is at least constructive...! I personally think that like Brian from Gravity, the editors of Climb/climber should look at this site-theres always loads of opinions about their mags, so why shouldnt they condict a little market research??
I think Summit is by far the best UK climbing mag around and I'm forever nagging the BMC to sell it on the open market for profit that can be ploughed back into the cause.
I've written to mags before about this; well, not Climb because it was before it's time, but what I like to see in mags is:
- articles about peoples adventures; like we hear told in the pub all the time. Readers epics would be fine as long as they are edited enough to be readable.
- every time a new book is produced there should be either a chapter from it published in a mag or a summary by the author
- lots of funny cartoons by Duncan Bourne and/or Mick
- biographical profiles of the great and the good of the climbing world
sam the man23 Aug 2007
In reply to Alison Stockwell: Sorry, I started off talking to you, and then just to anyone who might listen-I always do that sort of thing on here!! I like the historical idea particularly and I thought that the article in Climb(or climber?) just recently about bentlye beetham was good, and the right sort of thing, but the rest of the mag wasn't great. I wonder if they will see these suggestions? I hope so.
Much more news from the clubs. Why the grass roots is so staggeringly ignored defeats me. What a wealth of stories, culture and history lies there!
Plus news about our expatriates. You know, those climbers who we used to bump into at Mile End or wherever and have emigrated to Cham, the Costa Blanca, North Africa, Pakistan, some weird ex-Soviet place etc, and are putting up lots of great routes in faraway places
I could probably go on indefinitely. There's so much interesting stuff that could be written about that it's amazing the mags miss so much of it.
Did you know that there's a wine called "Vin de Andy Parkin" ? Or why? No of course not. No mag covered it.
sam the man24 Aug 2007
In reply to Alison Stockwell: Ooh yeah, all good ideas! I got Summit through the post this morning, and WOW!! One answer is a)copy summit or b|)make summit monthly and sell it. So much content, beautiful layout, stunnning pictures, really varied articles etc etc. I haven;t read it all, but it looks like onee of the best editions so far-well done!
Another thing I'd like to see is more interesting interviews-instead of the 'simlpe question-answers' or no questions, just answers' formats, it would be nice to see some more wordy offerings like you'd see in newspaper magazines: more description on the part of the interviewer, less just talking. Not all the time, mind you, just mix it up a bit.
I didn't know there was a wine called Vin de Andy Parkin, but I wish I did!
I like the idea behind the "you couldn't make it up" bit of the news in Climb-there's loads which could go there, unfortunately pretty much everything in there has been reported on here a couple of months before, so, while I couldn't make it up, I did already know!!
Yes I got mine this morning too. As consistently good as usual and it actually makes me feel inspired to go out and climb rather than throw my hands up in despair at how far below the "average" climber I apparently am.
I get frustrated with interviews that are just chatter and no content. Mountaineers are often incredibly interesting once you dig below the surface and focus on what they've actually done, so it's a waste of opportunity to get someone's attention and then spend the whole time discussing trivia or chatting about the interviewer.
To Sam and Alison, or anyone, do the That's Me and Art of Climbing bits work? That's Me is, as you say, a questionless questions andanswers piece, shamelessly ripped off from The Observer's This Much I Know. It's actually an hour's conversation condensed into those little paragraphs, so often there is no 'questions' as such. (I thought Alex's portrait of Mick was great - but don't worry Mick, we added those wrinkles digitally at a later date) As I say, does it work, or have you noticed it? And the Art of Climbing is an attempt to get artists who do wotk based on mountains to explain themselves. Again, any interest?
sam the man24 Aug 2007
In reply to Niall Grimes: I actually really like both bits-the interview in that form an work extremely well (as this latest one did) if the person being interviewedsays enough interesting things-sometimes it doesn't work, though I can't pinpoint any specifically. My suggestion about the more wordy ones is that often the person's real personality comes out more strongly-in last (?) weeks independant, Deborah Orr did a very good interview with Dave West in this style, which was way more insightful than question-answer. Now although I doubt that mny climbers would have taps modelled on their own penis, or make antisemetic jokes to a Jewish interviewer, the interview made really good reading because it represented him well. The interview with Mick which was excellent also did that. I think maybe mixing it up a bit, so that you ue different formats for different people as appropriate may be good (though Summit doesn't really need improving!).
The art bit is very interesting, and something very different-more of that kind of thing would be great. I particularly enjoyed the previous one about "climb if you will"-which I hadn't heard about before. So yes, they both work well IMHO and they celebrate the diversity of British climbing-I can't imagine Climber doing a feature on artists!
Both of those articles were fine, and both subjects were well selected in my view. Thank you for asking for feedback, it's brave of you. Both articles were good enough to not provoke any negative comment on casual reading, but if I put my nit-picky critic's hat on, it would have been nice to have seen a few photographs of the art that was being discussed.
Can I also say that I was pleased to see that you'd put a "for more of Jim's work" reference in. I think this sort of thing is important. When someone is interviewed in a mag it's raising their profile and can be used to create opportunities for them, so there ought to be some space to promote their book, gallery or whatever and it's nice when the writer is conscientious enough to do that.
In reply to Alison Stockwell: Perhaps. And I've just had an oops moment, and perhaps I forgot to put in the link to www.jimcurran.co.uk, but with both these, the idea is to have a personality shot of the subject, as the articles are really about the person. And by using just one big pic of the person, it is hoped that they will have a bigger impact than lots of smaller pics. Also, it keeps the design clean and unfussy.
And in the world of producing articles for something such as Summit, being "good enough to not provoke any negative comment on casual reading" is as good as you can hope for
Yes as Alex says above, it's only for members or from the BMC website. I'd have thought it would be a good advertisement for the BMC if it was sold in shops and a source of income too but never mind. If the BMC was made up of profit motivated staff it might lose some of its ethos.
Your article is good, but I'm sure you knew that anyway. I really should do more fell-running myself. I'd forgotten how exhilerating it can be.
sam the man24 Aug 2007
In reply to IainRUK: I also thought the article was good, I actually found myself wanting to go fell running which totally goes against my usual lazy attutude, and my bad knees! I have come to my senses now though...
In reply to Simon: I can't understand all the winging, I think its a great site, I just read the Stoney article which I missed first time around, and apart from taking umbrage from a few (very few) historical facts, it was great.
What do people really expect for free????
In reply to Simon: If you are a member of an affiliated club you get it too (or at least you used to).
sam the man25 Aug 2007
In reply to Al Evans: People are only complaining about having to give personal details, which they say they have stopped. Other than that it is a good site, great to be able to access the old articles from High/OTE. Most of the complaining has been about the magazine itself, which is not great, and is very expensive.
We have now changed the registration process on the Climb Magazine Website - www.climbmagazine.com. You will only be asked for your address details if you purchase anything. You are free to access the archives with just a name, email address and password. We apologise for any inconvenience. We are continually seeking to improve the website and appreciate your feedback.