"There has been much recent criticism of the Climbers' Club for the delay in producing a guidebook to Gogarth, and from that criticism of other aspects of the PSC's work (Publication Sub-Committee). This eventually resulted in an announcement by Ground Up (publishers of North Wales Rock) on 20 February that they were to publish a guide to Gogarth.
The furore over the Gogarth guide has forcibly grabbed the attention of the Main Committee and the PSC. They will be looking critically at our guidebook policy and the ways in which we present and disseminate information in the electronic age. For our part we have to apologise to the Club and the climbing community for letting this situation develop and assure you that we are making every effort to redress the situation. We are presently in discussion with Ground Up about the possibilities of collaboration, but no decisions have been made on either side.
The Club recognised the need for a new Gogarth guidebook about ten years ago. Work had started on it but was very sporadic, some authors dropped out and new ones came in, promised manuscripts never materialised, others were delivered as rough notes and there have been problems with the PSC/ commissioning author interface. Eventually almost the whole of the CC writing team decamped to Ground Up.
Whilst we accept this criticism the Club's publishing record needs to be put in context. Over the last six years we have published 12 volumes and have 5 in the pipeline to be released in the next 18 months. In North Wales we have published the Llanberis, Cloggy, Tremadog and Cwm Silyn guides and Ogwen is in the pipeline for early 2008. One of the criticisms has been that our books look dated when compared with the offerings from the BMC, FRCC and SMC and of course Rockfax. The new guides will have quite a different look from previous guides, Cloggy started the process, the Forest of Dean Sandstone is in the new style and the Wye Valley guide due out later this year will be wholly in the new style.
Nobody likes to admit to making mistakes, but we have and we're doing our best to ensure that we have learnt from the experience. Mike Rosser, chair for the last ten years, has tendered his resignation. Impending fatherhood, an ever more hectic and variable workload and recognition that there will be much to do in the PSC over the next few years means that it needs a commitment which at present he is unable to give. We wish Mike well and thank him for his services over a very productive period for guidebooks. Mark Vallance has offered to rake over the chair pro tem to support the PSC editors and writing teams as they complete their busy schedules..
The Climbers' Club have been publishing definitive guides for nearly one hundred years, and we have every intention of continuing to do so."
You can read a full listing of the guidebooks published by the Climbers' Club, beginning in 1909 with The Climbs on Lliwedd by J. M. Archer Thomson & A.W. Andrews, at the Climbers' Club website