22 November 2014

Yorkshire Gritstone guide volume 2 verus Yorkshire Grit 2.0

"Ladies and Gentlemen meet the Champion. Representing the YMC and old School guide writers. In The White Corner the undisputed champion of guide books everywhere. It's the Yorkshire Gritstone Guide Volume 2  - Ilkley to Widdop"

I was going climbing today, the kids were at their Nans, but the weather had other plans, it was damp out, proper minging grease, then through the letterbox popped the new guide, what was a boy to do? I put the kettle on a sat down to have a look.

The usual standard of the first excellent volume  is definitely maintained, the photos are top notch. Mike Hutton can drive a camera and there are loads of pics of the the big beasts on the big beasts.
There are  plenty of us mere mortals punting up the classics. Somewhere along the way Adi Gill got me on a rope in Ilkley quarry and you can see the evidence of very cold morning in there somewhere. At least I was shot from above you can't seem my chins.

The novel mix of bouldering and trad routes is maintained and best of all for this lover of the esoteric there are to me "new" crags to go and have a look at.

Why haven't I been to Crookstones it looks mint? Why have  I never bouldered at Ilkley?  I need to go and do more trad at Rhylstone. I still haven't been to Eastby. What is the knack to Trick Arete?

Next years list of places to go and things to try, just filled up, all this I like.

A good guide gets you thinking beyond my usual "I will just go to the Cliff and try the Belly Slap once more. It makes you want to go climbing. I want to go climbing, nice work people.

You get bouldering circuits if that is your thing and interviews with a few of the super wads. John Dunne is as modest as ever, but then the routes still stand up 30 years later, perhaps modesty wouldn't have got him off the ground? Lord Fawcett of Embsay and Bamford tells a nice tale, all quiet understatement about things I still dream about when they aren't giving me nightmares. Ron probably fits the term legend as well as anyone I have ever seen climb.

All the routes are described well, the lines on the photos are clear, if there is stuff missing it is beyond me to comment. You can't get all the boulder problems in, there are simply to many, but they have the overwhelming majority and the grading seems fair.

As paper guides go this one is a winner, when I have finished greedily reading it. I will try and get a few more ticks in it, I just need some decent conditions and I reckon I can pull those crimps on Manson's Wall.

"Now meet the challenger representing crowd sourced, online route databases and rising from the ashes phoenix like, to build an online record of climbing on small Yorkshire stones it is.... 

Yorkshire grit on Peakbouldering.Info or Yorkshire Grit 2.0, if like me you still bemoan the loss of version 1.0

Good news indeed. A version of Yorkshire Grit is back online and this time it is a community project. If Jon Pearson's last version dwindled and died because it was too much for one man. This one looks likely to be built by more souls, so should have more longevity. At the moment there is not much there. Just the main crags and a few hundred problems, but it is open source, you can contribute, it will grow. Good as a paper guide is an online database can crowd source it's content and so maybe in exchange for the occasional inaccuracy and omission you get a different view of the climbing we do.

For now the project needs pictures, if you have pics of any of Gods own bouldering however obscure, you can drop them here. I have put my crap ones on, the elves will put them where they need to be, what is not to like. That should give it a good quick start. Well done everyone who has made this happen.

"And the winner is.."

Well it is a bit like comparing apples and Orang Utans, I am glad we have both. Good on the YMC for all the effort that has gone into producing an excellent set of guides. Well done the online climbing community for getting Yorkshire Grit back in the world. I will be doing my own small bit no doubt, recording some small esoteric crag that few people care about. Because if we share the fun we have climbing, maybe more people will go to more places and have nice days out.

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