UKBouldering.com

Re: Quality Chuffing Articles (Read 12274 times)

Wellsy

Offline
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 1356
  • Karma: +101/-8
#400 Re: Re: Quality Chuffing Articles
August 06, 2023, 12:45:54 pm
Was it Rockfax who decided that English Tech Grades and V grades were to be used for bouldering

sdm

Offline
  • ****
  • forum abuser
  • Posts: 621
  • Karma: +25/-1
#401 Re: Quality Chuffing Articles
August 06, 2023, 12:53:24 pm
They've seen sense on that one. The upcoming Peak bouldering guide will use Font grades only.

remus

Offline
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 2805
  • Karma: +144/-1
#402 Re: Quality Chuffing Articles
August 06, 2023, 06:14:41 pm
You can hardly blame Rockfax for being too commercially successful, but it does make me very sad because guidebooks always offered something that I thought was special. There was passion on the page that is completely absent from the Rockfax books.

I've got a lot of sympathy for this view (Nick White's South Devon and Dartmoor :wub:), but on the other hand I think it is quite an impractical approach. At the end of the day a guide is a largely functional thing, you have to get to the crag and know which routes you're getting on, and Rockfax's utilitarian approach does this at the expense of more character (Nick's guide being a prime example, pretty hard to use as an actual guide!) This leaves me thinking that guidebooks are not the best medium of expression for an authors creativity, and longer term apps will win out because they're just much easier to use (compare https://www.boolder.com/en to trying to find a problem in font using a paper guide).

Hopefully the same passion that has gone in to guides over the years will find a new outlet.

Will Hunt

Offline
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • Superworm is super-long
  • Posts: 7948
  • Karma: +629/-114
    • Unknown Stones
#403 Re: Quality Chuffing Articles
August 06, 2023, 06:44:27 pm
At the end of the day a guide is a largely functional thing, you have to get to the crag and know which routes you're getting on, and Rockfax's utilitarian approach does this at the expense of more character (Nick's guide being a prime example, pretty hard to use as an actual guide!) This leaves me thinking that guidebooks are not the best medium of expression for an authors creativity, and longer term apps will win out because they're just much easier to use

You seem to be suggesting that a book cannot give both clear approach/route information AND also have bags of local flavour. There's no reason that this need be the case.

I personally checked all the approach descriptions on Streetview and corrected scores of distances (which when measured out on Google Maps were found to be wrong). Where an approach is difficult I got friends who hadn't visited a particular crag before to road test our description. I badgered the Dunnings and Ibbertsons of the world to check my topos and the grades of hard sport venues; similar with bouldering.

I also filled up any white space I could with amusing anecdotes/locations of swimming spots and canyoning expeditions for hot days/little ticklists - including one of Hidden Gems: fabulous routes which might not be on the radar of first-time visitors. In short, there's loads in there that you won't get from a guidebook produced by people parachuting in to smash-and-grab some topo photos.

You can have your cake and eat it, but you'll never get it from Rockfax.

(I'm not saying that Northern Rock is the best guidebook ever made but I'm still proud of it.)

kc

Offline
  • ***
  • obsessive maniac
  • Posts: 376
  • Karma: +42/-0

remus

Offline
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 2805
  • Karma: +144/-1
#405 Re: Quality Chuffing Articles
August 06, 2023, 07:33:21 pm
Remus.
As a fellow nerd of history I presume you have this ordered? https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B0CD91XVHY?ref_=dbs_m_mng_wam_calw_tpbk_1&storeType=ebooks&qid=1688975335&sr=8-1

I've got the black dog and outside books but hadn't seen stoney was out. Order placed!

remus

Offline
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 2805
  • Karma: +144/-1
#406 Re: Quality Chuffing Articles
August 06, 2023, 07:42:04 pm
At the end of the day a guide is a largely functional thing, you have to get to the crag and know which routes you're getting on, and Rockfax's utilitarian approach does this at the expense of more character (Nick's guide being a prime example, pretty hard to use as an actual guide!) This leaves me thinking that guidebooks are not the best medium of expression for an authors creativity, and longer term apps will win out because they're just much easier to use

You seem to be suggesting that a book cannot give both clear approach/route information AND also have bags of local flavour. There's no reason that this need be the case.

I personally checked all the approach descriptions on Streetview and corrected scores of distances (which when measured out on Google Maps were found to be wrong). Where an approach is difficult I got friends who hadn't visited a particular crag before to road test our description. I badgered the Dunnings and Ibbertsons of the world to check my topos and the grades of hard sport venues; similar with bouldering.

I also filled up any white space I could with amusing anecdotes/locations of swimming spots and canyoning expeditions for hot days/little ticklists - including one of Hidden Gems: fabulous routes which might not be on the radar of first-time visitors. In short, there's loads in there that you won't get from a guidebook produced by people parachuting in to smash-and-grab some topo photos.

You can have your cake and eat it, but you'll never get it from Rockfax.

(I'm not saying that Northern Rock is the best guidebook ever made but I'm still proud of it.)

For sure it can be done (not that it needs saying, but Northern Rock is a quality example) but from an outside perspective it feels like there's a tension there. Something utilitarian like UKC/rockfax app feels like a more natural medium for a guide in the long term, because incremental updates are easier.

I feel like the rockfax books are almost like an awkward intermediate step in the transition between guidebooks and a fully digitised guide.

jwi

Offline
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 4156
  • Karma: +328/-1
    • On Steep Ground
#407 Re: Quality Chuffing Articles
August 06, 2023, 09:59:13 pm
I don't understand people who say that Rockfax guide books lack charm. They have routes drawn on the picture of the wrong mountain, write up 70 m pitches as 50 m, edit out pitches on long complex routes, contain absolutely absurd gear beta, mix up the pitch grades and have many more idiosyncratic edit choices. To rely on a rockfax in the mountain, without double checking with FA topo, definitely adds to the adventure!
« Last Edit: August 06, 2023, 10:15:29 pm by jwi »

SA Chris

Offline
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 29112
  • Karma: +625/-11
    • http://groups.msn.com/ChrisClix
#408 Re: Quality Chuffing Articles
August 06, 2023, 10:36:08 pm
Nick's guide being a prime example, pretty hard to use as an actual guide!

As far as content goes, it was on a par with quality of content in most guidebooks of that era. I never had any difficulty using it to get onto the routes I wanted to do for the years I lived in the area.

jwi

Offline
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 4156
  • Karma: +328/-1
    • On Steep Ground
#409 Re: Quality Chuffing Articles
November 15, 2023, 02:28:56 pm
In May, when we visited Taghia, I was looking in the new-route book in the gite for something short, quick-drying and moderately hard after the flurry of snow we had in the morning. I found a brand new route called Soleil de pluie, that seemed to fit the bill. FA by Arnaud Petit, the local guide Mohammed Messoudi and a certain Emmanuel Faber.

I showed the topo for my better half and she immediately spotted the last name in the list. "Emmanuel Faber?, was this route opened by the CEO of Danone?" (Danone is one of the biggest listed companies in France).

And, yes, the route was put up by the former CEO of Danone. That explains how the route could be so expensively equipped, I guess.

Anyway, Faber is a fascinating figure in the French agricultural industry, and has written a fairly well received autobiography (Ouvrir une voie / To open a new route).

If you have no time for a book, Grimper magazine has an interview with the former boss man
https://www.grimper.com/news-rencontre-emmanuel-faber-grand-patron-prefere-voler-coinceurs-plutot-qu-en-jet-prive

Fultonius

Offline
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 4295
  • Karma: +137/-3
  • Was strong but crap, now weaker but better.
    • Photos
#410 Re: Quality Chuffing Articles
November 15, 2023, 03:44:20 pm
In May, when we visited Taghia, I was looking in the new-route book in the gite for something short, quick-drying and moderately hard after the flurry of snow we had in the morning. I found a brand new route called Soleil de pluie, that seemed to fit the bill. FA by Arnaud Petit, the local guide Mohammed Messoudi and a certain Emmanuel Faber.

I showed the topo for my better half and she immediately spotted the last name in the list. "Emmanuel Faber?, was this route opened by the CEO of Danone?" (Danone is one of the biggest listed companies in France).

And, yes, the route was put up by the former CEO of Danone. That explains how the route could be so expensively equipped, I guess.

Anyway, Faber is a fascinating figure in the French agricultural industry, and has written a fairly well received autobiography (Ouvrir une voie / To open a new route).

If you have no time for a book, Grimper magazine has an interview with the former boss man
https://www.grimper.com/news-rencontre-emmanuel-faber-grand-patron-prefere-voler-coinceurs-plutot-qu-en-jet-prive

That's a fun bit of trivia. Danone always scores high in ESG rankings...is that because the big man is a climber??!!

Will Hunt

Offline
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • Superworm is super-long
  • Posts: 7948
  • Karma: +629/-114
    • Unknown Stones
#411 Re: Re: Quality Chuffing Articles
December 19, 2023, 09:56:41 pm
Mirror Mirror by Ed Drummond

Great account of one of the all time climbing epics. Bizarrely it had me fascinated by the Troll Wall for two decades, an itch I'm very happy never to have scratched.

I was talking about this with someone at the wall tonight and came looking for the link. It's broken now, does anybody have this article and can share it?

joel182

Offline
  • ***
  • obsessive maniac
  • Posts: 344
  • Karma: +49/-1
#412 Re: Quality Chuffing Articles
December 20, 2023, 01:23:19 am
Text is still available on the WaybackMachine although a little awkward to get the text out caus of the formatting of the webpage.

I've put the text into a temporary place here: https://justpaste.it/7w0py

remus

Offline
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 2805
  • Karma: +144/-1
#413 Re: Quality Chuffing Articles
December 20, 2023, 07:30:35 am
Good sleuthing! I've uploaded a copy here in case those links break for some reason https://climbing-history.org/file/4b526a2b-177a-7b56-9e8a-dd9a29178901/Mirror%20Mirror.txt

Fultonius

Offline
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 4295
  • Karma: +137/-3
  • Was strong but crap, now weaker but better.
    • Photos
#414 Re: Quality Chuffing Articles
December 20, 2023, 08:28:08 am
I had a look for it on Archive.is but nae luck - the cached page is the "404".

Will Hunt

Offline
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • Superworm is super-long
  • Posts: 7948
  • Karma: +629/-114
    • Unknown Stones
#415 Re: Quality Chuffing Articles
December 20, 2023, 09:01:00 am
Thanks everyone.

Text is still available on the WaybackMachine although a little awkward to get the text out caus of the formatting of the webpage.

I've put the text into a temporary place here: https://justpaste.it/7w0py

I'd checked the Wayback but could only get the first page. Was the full article stored in that first page somehow?

Paul B

Offline
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 9592
  • Karma: +259/-4
#416 Re: Quality Chuffing Articles
December 20, 2023, 11:41:23 am
I don't understand people who say that Rockfax guide books lack charm. They have routes drawn on the picture of the wrong mountain, write up 70 m pitches as 50 m, edit out pitches on long complex routes, contain absolutely absurd gear beta, mix up the pitch grades and have many more idiosyncratic edit choices. To rely on a rockfax in the mountain, without double checking with FA topo, definitely adds to the adventure!

The best one has to be photographing the Verdon Gorge from the rim on the opposite side so that from below not a single feature is apparent.

jwi

Offline
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 4156
  • Karma: +328/-1
    • On Steep Ground
#417 Re: Quality Chuffing Articles
December 20, 2023, 12:16:47 pm
I don't understand people who say that Rockfax guide books lack charm. They have routes drawn on the picture of the wrong mountain, write up 70 m pitches as 50 m, edit out pitches on long complex routes, contain absolutely absurd gear beta, mix up the pitch grades and have many more idiosyncratic edit choices. To rely on a rockfax in the mountain, without double checking with FA topo, definitely adds to the adventure!

The best one has to be photographing the Verdon Gorge from the rim on the opposite side so that from below not a single feature is apparent.

That is maybe why some of the lines are drawn in the wrong place as well. The authors don't really find the lines on the photo from across the gorge.

seankenny

Offline
  • ****
  • junky
  • Posts: 996
  • Karma: +113/-11
#418 Re: Quality Chuffing Articles
December 20, 2023, 12:48:17 pm
Surely guides for places like the Verdon are going to get considerably more accurate now drones are widely available and cheap?

Will Hunt

Offline
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • Superworm is super-long
  • Posts: 7948
  • Karma: +629/-114
    • Unknown Stones
#419 Re: Quality Chuffing Articles
December 20, 2023, 12:59:31 pm
It's one thing to take a photo of the wall, it's quite another to spend the time accurately drawing on the lines.

Johnny Brown

Offline
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 11395
  • Karma: +684/-22
#420 Re: Re: Quality Chuffing Articles
December 20, 2023, 01:15:21 pm
It's one thing to take a photo of the wall, it's quite another to spend the time acquiring the knowledge for accurately drawing on the lines.

FTFY

jwi

Offline
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 4156
  • Karma: +328/-1
    • On Steep Ground
#421 Re: Re: Quality Chuffing Articles
December 20, 2023, 02:50:32 pm
It's one thing to take a photo of the wall, it's quite another to spend the time acquiring the knowledge for accurately drawing on the lines.

FTFY

This, but even so it is hard, as anyone who has written a guidebook can attest to. I managed to shift all routes one step to the left on half of the line on a crag where I have done all routes multiple times. The proof readers also missed this

Fultonius

Offline
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 4295
  • Karma: +137/-3
  • Was strong but crap, now weaker but better.
    • Photos
#422 Re: Quality Chuffing Articles
December 20, 2023, 09:05:43 pm
As much as I love a photo topo for single pitch or lesser multipitch routes, I just don't see the benefit in it for places where either:
1. You approach top-down (Vedon, Hebrides, most sea-cliffs.
2. Routes are 250m+

I still think the well-drawn hand topo struggles to be beaten for 2.

For top-down routes, it's often more a case of orienteering to the abb, then good written descriptions. I sometimes wish we weren't so fussy about markings in this country - some way of marking an abb point would often really help.

 

SimplePortal 2.3.7 © 2008-2024, SimplePortal