13 January 2014

In Memory of Yorkshire Grit - Oh how the mighty have fallen

A new year and the same tick list as last year for me. Pebble Wall and anything else that comes my way. Repetition wasn't enough for me in 2012 and letting go of that undercut to crimp to glory is still elusive, but this is not news. The demise of yorkshiregrit.com, that's news.

Its gone, Jon has thrown in the towel and taken it down. I will miss my tick list showing my grades slowly climbing from mediocrity to something approaching the middle ground as the years passed. I will miss the details of those minor crags, I would otherwise never have known about. Without Yorkshire grit I would never have gone to Swastika Stones or Lords Seat or Round Hill or the West Chevin. Without a community of climbers documenting what they were doing. I wouldn't have known where to start on some of the more popular problems at the honeypots. Spashdown at Widdop springs to mind where the videos made sense of what looked hard.  The comments helped sort out the soft touches from the sandbags and just feeling like you where part of something bigger, even when you where on your own, that made me feel part of a club.

I suppose in the end it was too much for one person to keep going on his own and it looked a little dated towards the end. It never really worked on a hand held phone but why would it? It was from a time when desktops and laptops where all there were. What it lacked in style it more than made up for in functionality.

What about some sort of crowd sourced phoenix to fill the gap between Facebook and the new excellent paper guide? I thought about taking it on myself. I just about have the skills, but my wife pointed out I didn't need anymore unpaid online communities in my quiver and she was right. I would however like to play a small part in building something better than Yorkshire Grit, something where many could contribute and many could be involved in the behind the scenes bit.

Somewhere to have the discussions and piss takes that also happen in pubs and cafes and add to what is a largely developed Yorkshire bouldering scene.  It would be a fool who suggests there is nothing left to be done. I remember Jonny Woodward putting up Beau Geste in the early 80's and everyone saying the Peak was finished, just as things started to really hot up. So there will be much more to come from a younger, stronger generation I'm sure. We just need a way of keeping up with it and a way of documenting the wealth of problems we have, rather than relying on paper guides. Good as they are inevitably they date quickly and some things have to be missed out.

There is some talk on UKB of trying to revive it in some form and that would be good but for my money it really needs an update to make it even more use going forward. I also know someone who is looking to fill the void so lets see what happens. These things are easier and cheaper to make than ever it seems a shame not to keep some form of the database going forward.

Whatever the future holds thanks for your efforts Jon, you helped keep Yorkshire bouldering at the forefront of Uk climbing were it belongs for over a decade. Better still you helped get me off my fat arse and  back on the crags again.

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