WINNERS: YMC Yorkshire Grit Guidebook Comp

Who said 'Your climbs here are little inlaid jewels'? The answer: Royal Robbins

The winners are:

Rachel Slater
Topher Dagg
Paul Stephenson
Liz Fowler
Luke Rooker

...who will each get a copy of Yorkshire Gritstone: Volume 1: Almscliff to Slipstones

We have FIVE copies of Yorkshire Gritstone: Volume 1: Almscliff to Slipstones to give away.

See below for details.

Antony Limbert on Clematis (E2 5c - Almscliff), 70 kb
Antony Limbert on Clematis (E2 5c - Almscliff)
© Adi Gill

Arifa Chakera on Arête Direct (VS 4c - Simon's Seat), 96 kb
Arifa Chakera on Arête Direct (VS 4c - Simon's Seat)
© Mike Hutton ©

Matt Troilett on Tippling Crack (E1 5b -Caley), 104 kb
Matt Troilett on Tippling Crack (E1 5b -Caley)
© Mike Hutton ©

How Long is a Piece of String?

It must have been around 1987 and we were all upstairs in The Pack Horse across from Leeds University. Graham ' Streaky' Desroy was leading a meeting of 'interested parties' in the planning of what would become the 1989 YMC Yorkshire Gritstone guidebook.

The pub was packed and climbers had travelled from as far as Lancashire, and not just for a fine pint of Tetley's, there was serious business to be discussed

First off was a proposed change in the units to measure a climb's length from pounds, shillings and threepenny bits to the new-fangled Euro-metres. This caused much confusion as no-one in the room - most being brought up on foots, imperial yards, furlongs and chains - was familiar with metres. A solution was proposed, everyone who was working on the guidebook would be issued with a piece of string 10m in the length so that pitch lengths could be measured with confidence.


Second was a new grading system to supplement HVdiff's and E's. I can still remember the groan in the room as this was proposed and rather like a forum discussion about grades at UKC, this went on forever; the Lancashire guests would be late home.

Streaky had just been to the USA, installing a concrete block climbing wall at Cornell University in New York state, and he had savoured the delights of climbing at the Gunks (if you haven't been yet, book a ticket) and the USA's Yosemite Decimal System grading system. Part of that system is a protection rating: G for good pro and lots of it, PG for good pro but some long falls, PG13 for even bigger falls, R for runout and a bit dicey, and X for death. Streaky's plan was to bring this system to Yorkshire. Although nothing was agreed at the meeting - is anything? - at a secret meeting at Streaky's house in Guiseley, the now discarded P system was shoe-horned in.

Just for posterity: P1 meant that if you fell off you'd be in the pub after climbing, P2 meant that if you fell off you would be hobbling into the pub after climbing and P3 was for, forget the pub call a helicopter and an undertaker.

All went well and the YMC Yorkshire Gritstone 1989 guidebook was well received, and jokingly called the abridged version as it was so big. Fast forward ten years and under the leadership of Dave Musgrove another fat volume, the millenium edition was published; they seem to keep discovering new crags in Yorkshire hidden on the moors and amidst the rhododendrons.

Such has been the pace of development that the new Yorkshire Gritstone guidebook, just published and edited by Robin Nicholson and team, has been split in two, and Volume 1 has just been published.

No More P-Grades Anymore

We are spoilt in the UK, we have such fantastic guidebooks, and the YMC's Yorkshire Gritstone: Volume 1: Almscliff to Slipstones is a cracker. It is, as definitive guidebooks are, both a guide and a historical record that brings together great layout and engaging content: the golden rule of modern guidebooks is observed; the route and boulder information on the same page as beautiful colour photo-topos; plus double-page action photographs, clear maps and novel for a UK guidebook I think, extensive use of aerial photographs. There are no more P-grades, but lots of HVdiff's and E's, and Font grades for boulder problems. It will get you to the route you want to do and provide endless toilet reading.


If you haven't got a copy of Yorkshire Gritstone: Volume 1: Almscliff to Slipstones already or aren't getting one for Christmas, here's your chance, or five chances to win a copy and get yourself on God's Own Rock, as Jerry Peel coined Yorkshire gritstone all those years ago in The Pack Horse in Leeds. Just answer the question below.


This competition has now closed.

- This competition is only open to registered users at and
- Competition closes on 20th December at 09.00 GMT.
- The winners will be notified by email.
- Prizes will only be posted to a UK or Ireland address.
- The winners' names will be announced on UKC/UKH and

YMC Yorkshire Grit, Volume 1, 150 kb
Click to expand image

Yorkshire Gritstone Volume 1: Almscliff to Slipstones
Price £24.00

Edited by Robin Nicholson

An inspirational and definitive guide to the gritstone routes and bouldering of this corner of Yorkshire.

This 704 page guide covers over 50 crags with over 2000 routes from Moderate to E8. There are more than 150 colour photographs, hundreds of colour photo topos and over 65 crag access maps and aerial photographs. In addition there are more than 2000 boulder problems from Font 1 to Font 8b+ and 6 bouldering circuits. Also included are historical notes on first ascents.
Published by the Yorkshire Mountaineering Club -


  • 01: Almscliff
  • 02: Caley & The Chevin
  • 03: Brimham & Outlying Crags
  • 04: Great Wolfrey to Eavestone
  • 05: Barden Fell to Hunter's Stones (including Simon's Seat)
  • 06: Slipstones Area
  • 07: Hetchell & Outlying Crags


  • Over 50 Yorkshire Gritstone crags like you've never seen them before
  • 2000 routes from Moderate to E8
  • 2000 boulder problems from Font 1 to Font 8b+
  • Over 150 full-colour action photographs
  • 65 access maps and aerial photographs
  • 6 bouldering circuits taking you to the classic problems and the unsung gems
  • Profiles of the climbers that shaped the Yorkshire Grit scene

More at: Sample Pages

Distributed by Cordee

Adi Gill on Jericho Falls (E4 6b - Crow Crag Brimham), 155 kb
Adi Gill on Jericho Falls (E4 6b - Crow Crag Brimham)
© Dave Sutcliffe

Dave Sutcliffe on The Climb that Time Forgot (E8 6c - Guisecliff)
© Adi Gill

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