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Access problems due external topo production
  2009-02-06 00:00:00    
"Marco Troussier, from the French federation FFME, has informed 8a that external guide production like Rockfax copying local production is a threat to local access work. FFME is working hard with access issues but often the external produced topos do not include the last local agreements and could create access problems etc. The equippers and the local topo producer make and update access agreements with the landowner and the local council in many cliffs. These guys are often upset when they meet foreigners with a commercial topo produced abroad. In some cases topos like Rockfax could created big local access roblems, according Troussier. - The climbing community should support locally produced topos and local access agreements everywhere in the climbing world. Rockfax is stealing local money and creating access problems. Morality against profit, choose your camp!"
OffLine Johan Svensson
  2009-02-06 03:42:32    
This is so one-sided, "morality against profit, choose your camp", what is that... There must be a way to work together. Local guides are often hard to get by and perhaps Rock Fax could have a web-adress where they present updates on local info. I think that is a resposibility that comes with producing guides!
OffLine User Deactivated
  2009-02-06 04:41:53    
It's ridiculous to make this issue so black and white.  People need to educate themselves as to local land use agreements and customs.  With concern to Rockfax "stealing local money" I think they have every right to compete fairly with local guide book authors.  They should conscience enough to include information on access issues etc. but as climbers it is also our duty to inform ourselves and be respectful. 
OffLine jghedge
  2009-02-06 08:02:03    
" With concern to Rockfax "stealing local money" I think they have every right to compete fairly with local guide book authors."

The thing you're not getting is that they're not just "local guide book authors". The people who spent the time and money to develop (bolt) the crags are looking to recoup their costs by selling guides to the area they developed. If Rockfax wants to print guides to crags, then they can go out and bolt their own crags, and print guides for them. There are certainly plenty of new areas to develop.

If a friend of yours spent thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours developing a new crag, would you tell him you have "every right to compete" if you published a guide to it against his wishes? Or would you let him put out the guide so he could get back some of the money he spent developing it?

OffLine Stefano Varnerin
  2009-02-06 09:29:36    
I totally agree with jghedge, we're not talking about 2 book authors in competition, but about the local area developer that spend time,energy and a lot of MONEY to bolt cliffs that we can all climbe due his hard work;and about someone who one day came to the cliff,buy the local guide and say "nice spot,i can copy the guide and sell it abroad"..........so who has the right?
OffLine Alan James
  2009-02-06 09:51:44    
One of the problems many travelling climbers have when visiting crags in France is getting hold of the local information. The guidebooks cover very small areas and are usually only available in selected locations. The result of this is that climbers either just visit the main popular crags, or they visit the new crags without proper information, which can cause problems if they park in the wrong place, or climb there at the wrong time of year when the crag is closed for some reason.

The new Rockfax guides to France aim to help travelling climbers by bringing together lots of small crags, together with the more popular ones, into a few books. The books are being carefully researched so that we have good access information to avoid problems with local landowners. For most of the crags we will not be including all the sectors, just a few, we will then be pointing at local guidebooks where people can get extra information.

The information in these books is not copied from other books - in many cases that is impossible because it doesn't even exist in other guidebooks. All the photos and maps and information is being researched by the author. Of course we do use local guidebook for the route names, and we also use the local grades, although we do assess those ourselves as well.

There has always been a question about local climbers funding bolting by selling local guidebooks. In our extensive experience the net effect of an English-language guidebook offering broad coverage of an area is that more travelling climbers visit an area which results in a boost in local trade and an increase in local guidebook sales.

There is more information about the Rockfax policy on Access and Bolting here - http://www.rockfax.com/general/access.html

Alan James, Rockfax and UKClimbing.com
OffLine gianluca
  2009-02-06 10:01:30    
money or not, the access (and free-campsite, in some cases) issue is very important.

If a topo is never up-to-date on this stuff, it seems a good reason not to buy it.

It is also true that a (hopefully) small part of the climbing community lacks respect and common sense when coming to access issues : 10 minutes more walk are often portrayed as a big injustice*. So they are happier in not being informed, maybe...

*see cresciano. I've seen a group of italian climbers obviously giving a fuck about the "strong suggestion" to park @the village, and saying a lot of bullshit to portray their negligence as a fight for freedom or sth like that...
Happy to notice that visiting climbers from german-speaking areas looked much more sensitive and aware of this kind of issues.
OffLine Alan James
  2009-02-06 10:18:23    
In reply to jghedge and Stefano:

There is no where near enough money in guidebook sales to actually fund the bolting and usually this policy just results in bad guidebooks that are not what the climbers want. Marco Troussier doesn't recognise this as an issue in his public email posted by Jens.

In this case correct access information is the most important issue and that is where Marco has got it completely wrong. How can a local guidebook have accurate information to a crag if it is 10 years out of date or doesn't even exist?

Publishing the correct access information in books that are widely available is the best way to communicate to travelling climbers. I would welcome any contributions from local climbers who are concerned about the access information to their crag not being accurate, although we are researching it very carefully ourselves.

Alan
OffLine David Atchison-Jones
  2009-02-06 10:47:01    
Hi there folks, you can always trust Marco T to stir things up - that is nothing new of course. He brings up the usual complete bunkum (rubbish) about topo guidebooks. There are 4 common points that can be dealt with separately - and should be.
1. Access: This is an important issue and can only be dealt with on a real time basis, so simply all climbers should visit a local tourist office when climbing in an area to see any up to date access information. This can be updated daily and posted in the window of the toursit office. This is a sensible system and can be seen by both local residents and visiting climbers.
2. Bolt Funding: In any local area there are traditions for climbing and bolting and this should remain in totally at the wishes of the local climbing community. How it is funded is up to them of course. I have always felt that if money is to be sought from climbers - then charge the actual climbers whilst on the routes, they are the only people who actually benefit from the equipping.
3. Books: These are commercial products in a commercial market. It is always wise to treat book topics as separate. If I buy a book on the holocaust - it is simply to gain information and has nothing to do with anything else at all. Linking the buying of a commercial product with an end activity is a non starter. Freedom of the press is one of the most important things in free civilization. In general the more books you have on any subject - the better.
4. Topo copying: Lets face it, if a 'footballer' went to Ceuse, they could simply count the number of falls climbers took on the routes and make a very accurate guidebook by simple deduction. The concept of making a guidebook is ridiculously easy with modern digital cameras etc. I have made over 10 guidebooks that I think are pretty useful. I visit an area and make my own judgements, and just about all other guidebook writers do also.

OnLine Joakim Thommesen
  2009-02-06 11:03:25    
I have to agree with Alan James. The local guidebooks are way to difficult to get hold of, and too often they are of low quality compared to Rockfax (Mr Troussiers old guidebook for Chateauvert is an exeption, though - that's a beautiful and inspiring guidebook). Also, a good and easily distributed guidebook like Rockfax bring way more people to the crags than the underground local guidebooks. So, in other words, Rockfax is better at generating climbers at the crag, and, hence, cash to the local businesses.

Just look at Font - before Rockfax the guidebooks were useless. And after Rockfax it took the initiative of another foreigner to get to the next level: Bart van Raj and his 7+8 guidebook. The french guidebooks for Font are still pretty useless. So, the locals should get their act together rather than complaining about good foreign initiative. It's not a coincidence that this critisism comes from France... If it was up to them, all guidebooks would be written in french language exclusively. Thank God for good English guidebooks.

Rock on Rockfax!
OffLine Alan James
  2009-02-06 11:32:02    
I agree with you generally here David, but I think your emphasis on the access point is wrong.

Access is VERY important. It needs to be addressed in a number of ways and good up to date guidebooks are crucial in this respect. So is up to date local Tourist Information and so are signs at the crag. Climbers will not bother always going to the tourist office - it would be a complete pain if you had to do this for every crag. Having good international guidebooks that indicate accurate information, as well as highlighting crags where there may be problems is essential.

Alan
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2009-02-06 11:55:49    

I partly disagree with Marco and I found it just natural and good that Rockfax and others produce local topos. Some of my climbing trips is a direct result as of a Rockfax guide and I have never been disappointed of what they have produced.


However, I understand the concerns Troussier put forward. I guess the easiest way to get a local cooperation and good publisity for the external topo producer, would be to create a webpage where Troussier could inform about the latest access issues. Further more, all topo producer should always comit to give "One bolt" to the local community for replacing bad ones etc.

The news was published mainly in order increase the understanding by the climbing community on access matters.

OffLine David Atchison-Jones
  2009-02-06 12:12:54    
I refer my honourable friend to the answer I gave previously. To solve access issues it must be 'Real Time.' Take an area like the Pfalz where there are hundreds of cliffs, and everyone of them has their own bird restriction to suit the birds nesting in the area that year. The three common ways of dealing with this are 1 - tourist info centres. 2- Information signs at the access points to cliffs. 3- Info from the national climbing federation of that country on their real time websites.

In my Jingo Wobbly Europe guidbook, of course I give as much info to help climbers be aware of access for birds etc, but I would not want anyone to ever rely on information that is older than a week for important access issues. Guidebooks are simply not the right medium for this information.
OffLine Alan James
  2009-02-06 12:14:52    
"The news was published mainly in order increase the understanding by the climbing community on access matters."

Well contact me first then so that you can give a balanced news item. It is only balanced news that will actually increase understanding, and other form of reporting will distort opinions and perception.

Alan
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2009-02-06 12:51:22    

@ Alan: Marco Troussier forwarded the mail correspondance you have had with him.


This is an debate article and normally when they are published in newspapers, anybody can respond.


It is the view of Marco that is written. You may disagree.

If you want to publish something on the first page, you are most welcome to do so.

OffLine Alan James
  2009-02-06 13:50:15    
Could you publish my first post above then please?

Alan
OffLine Michael Ryan
  2009-02-06 13:51:24    
Jens, you are unprofessional in the extreme.

If you quote someone, put what they said in quotation marks. Check your facts. Email people mentioned in the item for their side of the story.

This is how you should have done it. READ AND LEARN.

Giving Back To Those Who Equip Sport Routes

Climbers who establish new sport routes at their local climbing areas spend a great deal of time, effort and money creating routes that we can all enjoy. As individuals we all benefit from their efforts when we climb these routes, especially so at popular climbing destination areas where the sun shines and the rock and route quality is high. Without the efforts of new routers we would have nothing to climb.

How can we give back?

First treat all climbing areas with respect: don't litter, toilet before you go climbing, keep the noise down, park appropriately.

Check if there are any access issues at your crag choice by visiting the local tourist information office and asking local climbers.

Secondly, search out local bolt funds and contribute. If there is a local guidebook, buy it.

Thirdly, you help the local economy by staying at local campsites, refugios, hotels and patronising local supermarkets, bars and restaurants.

Make sure you tell people that you are a climber and where you are from. This will spread the word that climbing is important to the local economy.

Not only do individuals benefit from the efforts of local route equippers but also many commercial climbing companies and individuals: climbing gear companies, guides, guidebook publishers, photographers, the climbing media including both magazines and websites.

Should these entities make contributions to local bolt and access organisations? Some do already. But should it become more formalised?

One perennial hot topic is out of area publishers producing guidebooks to destination areas and the effect they have on local climbing areas.

8a.nu recently received an email from Marco Troussier, from the French federation FFME who is concerned about out of area guidebook publishers in France.

He said, " quotes here, quotes here quotes here quotes here quotes here quotes here quotes here"

8a.nu contacted Alan James of Rockfax, a UK based climbing guidebook publisher who have produced guidebooks to Spanish, Norwegian, and USA climbing areas, and have several guidebooks to France in preparation.

8a.nu asked Alan James his viewpoint on out of area publishers producing guidebooks.

Alan James said, "quotes here quotes here quotes here quotes here"

What is your point of view. Please contribute the the forum thread associated with this news/opinion item.

ENDS
OffLine gianluca
  2009-02-06 14:08:38    
One thing I don't understand : why people say that local topos are difficult to find.

In all places I visited, the local topo was easily available on the spot. if out of printing, there's always a copy at the climber's bar/meeting point (often a good way to get in touch with the local community and to get informed on access issues).

Then, in some cases the local topos are awful (bleau, or font as you like, is an excellent example. The dutch 7+8 is unbeatable for accuracy, synthesis and stylish layout...it's worth the money even for those who climb lower than 7a, just for the access maps).
In some cases though the local topos have something special and "mithique" to them (the swiss topos on cresciano/chironico/gotthard bouldering, the swiss ticino sport climbing guide, céuse topo-expecially the one with a drawing in the first page, old edition- and so on...)

I want to notice one thing though. the best "outsider" topos are unique works made by people who basically have chosen an area as their second home.
I would be very surprised, for instance, if the authors of 7+8 were able to make an equally comprehensive and accurate topo on Ticino bouldering....

I don't have direct experience with jinglo wobbly and rockfax, but I've seen loads of "awful" commercial topobooks...access descriptions where "few meters" become "few minutes", mixed-up drawings, and many oddities of that kind...

...if the topo is made by people who really know the area they are describing instead of putting togethers papers they got from friends of friends, or copying someone else's work, those errors are much less frequent...
OffLine Alan James
  2009-02-06 14:30:46    
Hi Gianluca

As an example of guidebook availability in France: In Buis le Baronnies last Summer, I wanted guidebooks for some of the local crags. I went to the Tourist Information Centre and they had 2 local topos, both quite old, for around 20 Euros total - I bought them. I then discovered that these covered two of the crags and there are about 20 crags around Buis - the vast majority of these crags are not in any guidebook. Other guidebooks were out of print the local guides office was not open when I needed it and the information in there is not in a format that you can carry to the crag.

However that doesn't really get to the heart of the problem. Even if there had been good local guidebooks in the tourist office, I want my books before I set off, so that I can plan my trip. I want to be inspired by local guides before I choose a destination. I think many travelling climbers miss out on some great crags in France simply because they don't know about them.

You are absolutely correct that the best guidebook are the ones written by authors with great local knowledge. We try to do this at Rockfax - example here of a book written by a great guidebook writer and a knowledgeable local (by far the best combination) - http://www.rockfax.com/publications/books/item.php?id=133

Alan

OnLine Jens Larssen
  2009-02-06 14:53:30    

@ Alan: Your first poste above is posted as I suggested.


For me it is interesting that once I approached to comment the article where you published my picture saying that I was "messing with your E-grade", I got the response that I could post it in the open forum.


When 8a posted your comment at the first page, you answer me to post mine in your forum.

OffLine Michael Ryan
  2009-02-06 15:16:06    
Jens,

You are more than welcome to submit an article at UKClimbing.com and we shall feature it. Make sure it is well written, well researched and illustrated.

TOPIC
8a.nu what is it and where is it going? by Jens Larssen.

There you go, an open invite.

You were and Bjorn were also offered a Commercial Profile at UKClimbing.com (usual cost £200 each) after we ran a news item about yourself and Sonnie Trotter 'messing with our E grade".

You dear Jens came late to the debate. So cease your childish ego games.

You have not yet said anything new about the E-grade discussion that has not been said and discussed already, at great length, in the UK climbing media.

Start by reading this:

The Headpointing Debate by Adam Wainright

http://www.climber.co.uk/categories/articleitem.asp?cate=1&topic=15&item=171

All the best,

Mick
UKClimbing.com
OffLine Chalk Norris
  2009-02-06 15:20:12    
I have to agree with Alan in that point that i prefer getting the information about the area/crags in advance. I would appreciate it very much to give the locals the proper respect for letting us visitor have a good time on good routes but thats sometimes quite hard. When i searched the internet for guide books i was never able to find anything published by a local and only avaible on demand or so. Its always the shops and publishers like rockfax that provide decent books in advance. And i don´t want to take the risk making a 2 week vacation and not getting a guide for the area. I always went to less popular places but is it really that easy to get all the info you need in climbing hot spots? But like i said if the locals or anyone who is obviously responsible for putting up routes or maintainig crags finds a way to make their work more public like books or websites or whatever i would be the first to donate, help or buy the books. Maybe i didnt searched thoroughly :)
In my opinion Rockfax is doing a good job and what Alan wrote above seems reasonable to me
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2009-02-06 15:33:28    

@ Michael: Three months ago I asked whether it was possible to publish an answer to the E-grade critiscism I had received on your first page. I also asked you to remove the picture of me to the headline, "messing with the E-grade".


You refused to delete my picture and you said I should answer in the forum! These are the plain facts!


8a invited Alan James to have his view on the first page. These are the plain facts!


Although, you now, three months later invite me to publish 8a thoughts, it still looks really bad to UKclimbing, how you handled the issue of Jens Larssen in 2008.


The new and thing I have said regarding the E-grade was published some days ago on the first page. My solution is that you should keep the E-grades for all grades that are onsighted and then on harder grades, a supplemantory redpoint grade should be given, i.e. 5.13 b R/X like the rest of the world is grading trad redpoint.

OffLine Michael Ryan
  2009-02-06 15:44:04    
I give up Jens.

I see no hope for you.

OffLine Odub
  2009-02-06 15:50:08    
This is all silly.  There is NO print guidebook that can be constantly up to date.  Most are out of date a few weeks after they're published.  That doesn't mean I'm going to buy a guidebook every few weeks.

Every other industry is going through the same situation because the internet has allowed such a wealth of information to be available.  Its time for climbers to suck it up and deal with it.  If anything, 8a is as much a part of the problem as Rockfax. 

The only solution I can see is for every area to have an online guide that is constantly updated by the developers, similiar to the one on www.redriverclimbing.com.

Otherwise, nobody in the argument has a single valid point.

OffLine jghedge
  2009-02-06 18:35:01    
RockFax writes:

"There is no where near enough money in guidebook sales to actually fund the bolting and usually this policy just results in bad guidebooks that are not what the climbers want. Marco Troussier doesn't recognise this as an issue in his public email posted by Jens."

If there's no money in it, then why is RockFax doing it?

By this logic, since there is "no where near enough money in guidebook sales", it would be OK for me to make and distribute copies of the RocKFax guide and sell it for my own profit - after all, there's no money in it, right?

The locals can simply charge more for their guides, people can (and do) pay more for a guide when they know it's part of funding the development of the crag. Publishing guides to an area without permission of the developers is PIRACY plain and simple. There is no moral/ethical argument that trumps the hard work and expense put into bolting a crag.

OffLine Davo
  2009-02-06 18:55:32    
To keep a guide book updated I like what they did with the CUENCA guide book. They have a web page updating every new route, updating grades and talking about problems or restrictions. Thats the way to go i think, print a book and publish updates in the web...
OffLine Alan James
  2009-02-06 19:07:34    
In reply to jghedge:

I didn't say there was no money in guidebooks.

I'll put it another way:

... there is not enough money in writing a single guidebook, to a single crag, to fund the bolting at that crag. This also applies to a small group of crags, as is often the case in France.

The point is irrelevant anyway, as is pretty much acknowledged by the fact that Marco ignores it.

Alan
OffLine Marco Troussier
  2009-02-06 19:10:10    
It's easy to find some topos: http://www.ffme.fr/boutique/index.htm
Problem access.
I've never seen mister Jinglo and miste James on a meeting in France to preserve access with the owner of a cliff. they will take there cash and "basta"! He you can also copy "friends" and stuff like that.......
FFME did work with lawyer to preserve access on certain cliffs, what about BMC, AÖV etc....It cost a lot to make process ....
The cost of a topo will never be teh cost of all the work that have been done to bolt and preserve climbing in some cliffs.

OffLine POD
  2009-02-06 19:30:47    
Alam James wrote: "However
that doesn't really get to the heart of the problem. Even if there had
been good local guidebooks in the tourist office, I want my books
before I set off, so that I can plan my trip. I want to be inspired by
local guides before I choose a destination. I think many travelling
climbers miss out on some great crags in France simply because they
don't know about them."

I agree, getting hold of a guidebook before the trip is essential to make the most of ones holiday. If you care strongly enough about the difficulty of getting hold of French guides in the UK then
perhaps you could  follow my example with the 'Supercrack Editions' guides to various areas of Catalunya (Spain). I simply put the authors of the guides in touch with a UK book distributor (Cordee), and acted as (unpaid) go-between. Not only have both parties been happy with the result, but UK climbers can peruse or buy books ahead of a trip from many of the leading British outlets.
Pete O'Donovan.
OffLine Stefano Varnerin
  2009-02-06 20:15:39    
Alan,maybe the sectors that the guide don't copy are secret becouse of access problem or only becouse the local climbers don't wont crowd of climbers in it. And i don't think that the money brought by the guide is s#it! Think about a place like Rodellar.......how many bolts they had put thanks to the guide? Money or not without permission of the area developers u can't do a guide.And if u do,4 me is like stealing on other's job
OffLine Marco Troussier
  2009-02-06 20:47:43    

Stop thinking, "climbing" is just a merchandise, be honnest, or just assume your position "making money",make profit and give a s..  for the rest....
I never had trouble to find a topo inside and outside France. (Arapiles, Greece, Austria, Germany, Italy, thaïlande, Spain etc....since 35 years i'm climbing)
I think honnestly i have to buy the topo in the country and from local editor.
20 € is nothing compare to the cost of a trip, and i'm happy to give money back for those who bolted the routes, because,i bolted my self, more than 500 routes in France, italy, Australia, USA, Taïwan, Crimea.
And here is THE difference between us. Doing something for free.

OffLine jghedge
  2009-02-06 20:48:38    
"... there is not enough money in writing a single guidebook, to a single crag, to fund the bolting at that crag. This also applies to a small group of crags, as is often the case in France. "

Please...a $30 guidebook to someplace like St Leger could easily sell a few thousand copies...others do all the work and you profit, just call it what it is, piracy and plagiarism...
OffLine 9b
  2009-02-06 21:02:58    
Paper is good, but it costs and You can always print a digital topo You downloaded after having payed it with your prepaid card.
In that case, You pay directly local authors/equippers, giving them 100 instead of usual 10 % of incomes and not so many problems to update it.
With mobile web, private online topos You can enter, read and print, after payment, can have videos and interactions too.
OffLine Michael Ryan
  2009-02-06 21:35:47    
There's a helluva a lot of slander and libel on here.

Larssen initiated the hate with, "Access problems due external topo production and "Rockfax is stealing local money and creating access problems." on his homepage blog.

Joe you should know better with your "just call it what it is, piracy and plagiarism..."

In my heart of hearts I too believe that there should be "local guides for all visitors" but until people like the FFME and French guidebook publishers get their shit together and produce the best guidebooks not just for locals but for visitors you will always get out of towners publishing guidebooks.......

Here that Marco Troussier. Quit you're whining!

....... the Germans have been pros at it for decades, and good on them. Remember Sun Rock by Nico Mailander? ..... and Pete Livesey's French guidebook!

Versante Sud also doing a sterling job, as do Rockfax. Even Falcon in the USA have a guidebook to Europe.

Select guidebooks to hot areas are hard to find, but when they are available and done well, and the areas is good, the climbers they attract spend £1,000's that support the local economy.

OK - anyone want to answer the slander and actually give an example of access problem caused by an out of town guidebook!

Anyone? Jens - you stated that Rockfax have stolen money and caused access problems. Either put up or shut up! Some chance eh!

Gawd I hate blind localism.

This argument has been going on and on for 20/30 years with no resolution. You can't legislate.

There's one answer. Locals have to step up to the plate and produced multi-lingual area guidebooks that are top quality. Until that is done, and they are distributed well (POD is doing sterling work there) outsiders will continue to produce guidebooks.

Everything else is just internet hot air.

Must dash.rant over

Toodles,

Mick
OffLine Alan James
  2009-02-06 21:54:14    
Marco said, "I've never seen mister Jinglo and miste James on a meeting in France to preserve access with the owner of a cliff. they will take there cash and "basta"! He you can also copy "friends" and stuff like that.......
FFME did work with lawyer to preserve access on certain cliffs, what about BMC, AÖV etc....It cost a lot to make process "

But Marco, there are a lot of people who benefit from bolts being in cliffs and not many of them are at the access meetings - local businesses and outdoor gear manufacturers for example. I attend meetings in the Peak District and try to do my bit here, maybe people who make harnesses and ropes in some other part of Europe attend their local access meetings as well. We are all very grateful for the work you do in your area, and maybe you are grateful for the work done by our access teams here England. That's good work and everyone who has a job in the outdoors should do their bit, I agree, but you can't expect a rope manufacturer to attend access meetings for every crag their rope is used at, and you can't expect a guidebook publishing company with 30 publications to attend access meetings for every crag their guidebooks cover. However, we are keen to support your efforts in any way we can by doing what we can do - namely publishing the best and most accurate information to as many climbers as we can reach.

Alan
OffLine jghedge
  2009-02-06 22:01:07    
"Locals have to step up to the plate and produced multi-lingual area guidebooks that are top quality. Until that is done, and they are distributed well (POD is doing sterling work there) outsiders will continue to produce guidebooks."

Says who? The guys who are pirating the guides?

Either do some of the work in developing the crag, or contribute a percentage of the sales of the guide to the people who do. Better yet, only buy local guides, or do without.

Montsant had no guide for years, still doesn't as far as I know, the routes don't even have names, just numbers...that's obviously how the locals want it and it's fine with me.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2009-02-06 22:06:41    
@ Michael:
As can be read, this is an debate article were the opinions of Marco is expressed and he read the article before it was published. 

"Marco Troussier, from the French federation FFME, has informed 8a..."

As you can see from the discussions, it is interesting for the community to discuss. Further more, my opinion is in between Alan and Marco as I have expressed earlier.

OffLine Michael Ryan
  2009-02-06 22:12:00    
I don't publish guides so when I say

"Locals have to step up to the plate and produced multi-lingual area guidebooks that are top quality. Until that is done, and they are distributed well (POD is doing sterling work there) outsiders will continue to produce guidebooks."

That is my answer to the perceived problem.

Out compete the competition, produce a good quality, multi-lingual guidebook and make sure it is distributed well. You are a Yank, you understand that.

Until that happens forget it - see Kalymnos as a good example. You'd be nuts to publish a guidebook to that area as the guide is so well done.

It's dead simple. But hard work.





OffLine Michael Ryan
  2009-02-06 22:15:57    
See my example post above Jens.

You need someone who can edit well and in English because as it stands who said what in that 'news' item is not clear at all, and much of it appears as statement of fact.

First you need an author credit, a by line. Second you need to clearly mark quotes.

It's verging on slander as it is now.
OffLine jghedge
  2009-02-07 04:18:12    
"Out compete the competition, produce a good quality, multi-lingual guidebook and make sure it is distributed well. You are a Yank, you understand that."

The issue is piracy and plagiarism, not competition. The local developers decide what the guide should be, or if there should even be one, not you. It's their work, not yours.



OffLine Michael Ryan
  2009-02-07 08:39:13    
Afraid not Joe - the issue is the availability of good area guidebooks to popular destination areas and who publishes them.




OffLine jghedge
  2009-02-07 10:05:28    
"Select guidebooks to hot areas are hard to find, but when they are available and done well, and the areas is good, the climbers they attract spend £1,000's that support the local economy."

Uh...no. The crags and the work done by the developers attract climbers, not the guide. And it is the height of arrogance to presume to decide that an area you had nothing to do with developing suddenly "needs" a RockFax guide.

"...we are keen to support your efforts in any way we can by doing what we can do - namely publishing the best and most accurate information to as many climbers as we can reach."

Which is like me saying to RockFax, "I am keen to support your efforts in any way I can" by making my own copies of the RockFax guide and selling it for my own profit. After all Alan and Mick, think of the benefit to visiting climbers and the local economy!
OffLine Alan James
  2009-02-07 10:52:38    
"Which is like me saying to RockFax, "I am keen to support your efforts in any way I can" by making my own copies of the RockFax guide and selling it for my own profit. After all Alan and Mick, think of the benefit to visiting climbers and the local economy!"

That would be illegal.

You are perfectly at liberty to make your own guide though, and since you seem to think that there is no effort required to produce a guide from the guidebook writers/publishers then I wonder why you don't?

Alan
OffLine POD
  2009-02-07 10:58:47    
Mick Ryan wrote:
"Locals
have to step up to the plate and produced multi-lingual area guidebooks
that are top quality. Until that is done, and they are distributed well
(POD is doing sterling work there) outsiders will continue to produce
guidebooks."

Here
we have the crux of the problem: Rockfax and their ilk have created an
environment where many climbers see it as their 'right' to have
up-to-date information in their own language.
By this reckoning,
when 'local' climbers in France and Spain clean and equip areas, often
at great personal effort and expense, they must then sit down and
produce a professional quality guidebook in (at least) four languages.
Leaving topo-books in bars or providing low-tech, low-cost local
guides, it seems, is no longer sufficient. And God help them should
they decide to keep their new crag semi-secret for a while. Indeed,
such actions are often deemed as justification for the 'professionals'
to step in.

Just as there are Brits living on the continent
who have no intention of ever learning the language or immersing
themselves in local culture, so there are visiting British climbers for
whom anything less than a full English language guidebook telling them
exactly when and where to go and which routes to climb, simply won't
do. Such climbers may have only one or two weeks a year to go away and
want to make the most of it. Fair enough; this is Rockfax'
bread-and-butter market. In the best traditions of business, they have
identified a niche and taken full advantage of it.

So the issue is not why such guidebooks are produced but how.
It's a matter of ethics, and here things can and must change. In
Catalunya, for instance, the 'Supercrack Editions' guys enter into
agreements with local activists whereby, in return for information, a
set percentage (usually between 10 and 20%) of the guidebook run is
passed on immediately following publication, and sold in local shops
and bars. This keeps both sides happy — the guidebooks benefit from
intimate local knowledge and the climbers get funding for further
development. 10% on a print run of 3,000 can add up to a lot of bolts!

Rockfax
needs to strongly consider such methods. Sure, there will be logistical
problems, but if they apply the same ingenuity and professionalism to
these as to the guides themselves, then I'm sure it can be done.
And if this means that profits go down, either charge your customers more (explaining why) or take a pay cut!

What
foreign guidebook writers and their customers need to fully understand
is that, to anyone involved in local cliff development — cleaning,
bolting etc. — or guide production (and it's often the same folks), for
an 'outside' interest to simply come in, and take and use information
for personal profit, without the least consultation or respect for
local feelings, is an action which causes the utmost offense and long-lasting bad feeling.

Pete O'Donovan.
 
OffLine Stefano Varnerin
  2009-02-07 11:05:07    
Ok i understand,good has give an important mission to james and ryan........make their own guid of evry place they think hasn't a good one for the god of humanity. The stupid and evil local developers has no right to complain if someone else like rockfax use their hard work for profit......ehhm for the right of the whole climbing community.

Thanks to rockfax,the germans and the crowd of rude climbers that evry hollyday came like locust in ours cliff (the rock is of evrybody,but the work in cleaning and bolting not) take more and more local developers to keep secret the new areas. 
Also i never had the problem to find the guide of a crag......also without it i climbed well becouse u always find nice people in crag that explain u the whole sectors and give nice tips!  
OffLine Michael Ryan
  2009-02-07 11:30:21    
Joe said: Uh...no. The crags and the work done by the developers attract climbers, not the guide.

Stefano said: Thanks to rockfax,the germans and the crowd of rude climbers that evry hollyday came like locust in ours cliff.

An areas popularity is due to many factors.

The long term popularity of an area is determined by the quality of the rock and the routes.

It is further marketed by websites like 8a.nu and the climbing media as a whole, including top climbers blogs, climbing photographers, climbing companies, videos on Vimeo -

Hey Joe take that Lynn Hill video down its an advert for the Red River Gorge.

8a.nu is basically a big tick list of routes and crags from around the world, a big advert for climbings destination areas.

Jens - I hope you check the access situation at each crag in your database, also check the quality of the bolt protection of each route that you are promoting.

Also how much does 8a.nu contribute to local access funds.

Point is - popularity of an area and its routes are due to many factors, not just guidebooks. 8a.nu, photographers, videos, blogs quickly promote areas and make them popular.


I agree Pete, 'consultation and respect for local feelings' is very important when an outside publisher publishes a guidebook to an area. I hope they all do that.
OffLine POD
  2009-02-07 11:54:31    
Mick Ryan wrote:
'I
agree Pete, 'consultation and respect for local feelings' is very
important when an outside publisher publishes a guidebook to an area. I
hope they all do that.'

Fantastic! All we need now is for Rockfax to fully embrace that sentiment.
The Lofoten guide was apparently produced in such a way and the result is a brilliant publication. With the proposed French guidebooks they have an excellent opportunity to continue the good work.

Pete O'Donovan.
OffLine DWF
  2009-02-07 12:10:46    
First Chapeau to Marco for all his work that we all benefit from when visiting cliffs in France. And if any of you who think Marco is "whining" I suggest you join FFME and Marcos unselfish work for the community. Also after having seen first hand all the hard work FFME is doing I think they deserve all the credit they can get. I will try to join them this year as my french now is ok.

I'm a true libertarian and a capitalist who in any normal case would argue that free and unrestricted competition is the best for the market and the end consumer but when it comes to topos I strongly agree with Marco. BY local. Support the local work for access.

Its bull shit that its hard to find topos just put a bit of effort in and you will all find them. Also I have to say that Marco is providing a service way beyond all expectations. When I was new to Chateau Vert I got some very helpful advise from Marco and I was bugging him quite allot about grades and names of new routes etc and he was always fast to respond and help. Now Its my favorite spot and I have just bought my second topo as the first one fell apart after some hard consuming.

When it comes to the slander accusations against Jens I think we all just have to accept that he has his way with words and some times it all goes horribly wrong. Having SUBSTANTIAL experience from litigation and legal processes I have learned one thing and its either you sue or you shut up. At an internet forum or in emails I think we have to accept that things slip out in the heat of the moment and thats just a cultural thing with emails and internet. So please stop the slander BS and stay on topic.







OffLine Michael Ryan
  2009-02-07 12:12:56    
I agree Pete. Wholeheartedly.

These guidebooks by foreign publishers should be done with consultation with local climbers and access organisations.

Collaboration is the only way.

What I object too is inflammatory and slanderous so-called news items on websites like this (who also profit from the work of new routers) which set the tone for a diversive discussion and pit one climber against another.

A mud slinging discussion is the result and does nothing to encourage collaboration.

The fells call here in the Lakes. I'm off to a high and snowy ridge.

Mick
OffLine jghedge
  2009-02-07 18:54:20    
"These guidebooks by foreign publishers should be done with consultation with local climbers and access organisations.

Collaboration is the only way."

Again, arrogance. If someone is pirating and plagiarizing your work you are under no obligation to "collaborate" with them. If the developers don't want foreign guides then ethically (and probably legally as well) there shouldn't be any.

OffLine Michael Ryan
  2009-02-07 20:00:04    
You weren't listening Joe.

It's OK, it's common on the internet.

No one is plagiarizing or copying, although route lists are used, Just as they are on 8a.nu, on the Mountain Project, UKC and other sites.

Take a look at Coronn.com and DR.Topo too..... you too Jens.

This word 'developers' is a bit sinister. Are people like myself who establish new routes and problems called 'developers'.

Are crags construction sites these days?

I offer a solution, you offer slander and insults.

It's OK, it's common on the internet.

By the way I don't believe a word that Russ Walling said about you ; o )

All the best,

Mick
OffLine jghedge
  2009-02-07 20:19:17    
"You weren't listening Joe.

It's OK, it's common on the internet."

Indeed -particularly when vested interests are involved.
OffLine Alan James
  2009-02-08 09:57:39    
"Fantastic! All we need now is for Rockfax to fully embrace that sentiment. The Lofoten guide was apparently produced in such a way and the result is a brilliant publication. With the proposed French guidebooks they have an excellent opportunity to continue the good work."

It is a two-way thing POD. The reason Lofoten worked so well was because Thorbjorn recognised that he has a great area and has some great climbs, and that we make great guidebooks. With these guidebooks to France we are covering a huge area very lightly rather than a small area indepth. We have made some good contacts but also encountered some stone walls like the ones shown on this thread. So don't expect that same level of production as Lofoten, but then again, the book doesn't need it.

As regards your points about guidebook publishers entering into financial agreements with local bolters: Do you think this should be restricted exclusively to guidebook producers, or do other people who benefit from the presence of bolted routes also need to contribute? For example, did you donate to bolt funds when you were making your living out of selling gear to climbers?
OffLine Alan James
  2009-02-08 09:59:46    
Stefano said, "Thanks to rockfax,the germans and the crowd of rude climbers that evry hollyday came like locust in ours cliff (the rock is of evrybody,but the work in cleaning and bolting not) take more and more local developers to keep secret the new areas.
Also i never had the problem to find the guide of a crag......also without it i climbed well becouse u always find nice people in crag that explain u the whole sectors and give nice tips! "

That's some nasty xenophobia there Stefano. I am glad the climbers in the areas I visit don't have that attitude.

Alan
OffLine Alan James
  2009-02-08 10:20:41    
Joe said: "The issue is piracy and plagiarism, not competition."

You are very free with the word plagiarism Joe.

This is plagiarism - http://www.rockfax.com/images/i.php?id=27

Alan
OffLine Stefano Varnerin
  2009-02-08 11:09:44    
If xenophobia mean be hangry when u see amazing places been ruin by crowd of idiot(with beautifull guide!) that have no respect 4 nature,yes i'm xenofobic! I remember the way misja pec looks like after hollyday periods........it seems a dump! And olso i remember what happen to the beautifull crag of Podpec,close 4 the rudness of some idiots that park cars in private proprietate and don't respect the inhabitants of the small village. We all see how better is for the preservation of the crag if we don't do  a guide of the place, but only say to friends where it is. Spot like Baratro, wich is hard to call secret after 10 years, has survived thanks to this strategy,and also without a guide hundreds peoples have climb in this cave.
A lot of amazing cliff can't have a guide,becouse of overcrowning problem that can cause the end of it. People from abroad don't now all the problems of an area,but the local do! So the only way 4 a foreign to make a guide is to work very very close with the local developers. And if they are against a guide, u have no right to pubblish one.
OffLine Bruce Marsh
  2009-02-08 11:21:07    
I haven't had time to read all of the above so maybe I'm repeating something here.

During my time living in France I've encountered some incredibly bad guidebooks and Rockfax coming over to raise the bar a bit is great news.

Each time I go sport climbing I am very aware of and greatly appreciate the excellent work that the local activists and route equippers have put in. I would hate to think that they would lose out on a financial contribution to their expenses if people started purchasing rockfax guides rather than their own. Having said that, in many areas where the guidebooks are unbelievably badly made, I would much rather buy a guide or Rockfax quality and pay some extra money directly to a bolt fund or to the crag developers.

If Rockfax could establish such a system (maybe they already have to some extent?) then they would no doubt get much more help from the locals and remain unquestionably on the moral high ground - since they would be paying for a proportion of the bolts on the routes they are describing.

One mechanism for this could be to add 20% to the price of the guides and ensure that at least this proportion of their turnover goes to a central bolting expenses fund (hosted by the FFME, or rockfax themselves?).

People who have bolted routes in a certain area could apply to this fund for compensation for the bolting costs and effort if their route appears in a rockfax guide. The amount of compensation received would depend on the number of copies of the guidebook that have been sold.

I would be a lot happier with my rockfax guidebook purchase (even if it was 20% more expensive) if I knew that my money was directly contributing to the bolting of the crags that is describes.

In many areas, an added benefit for the crag developers would be that they can spend more time doing what they are good at - climbing and new-routing, and less time on struggling to write a useable guidebook.

Bruce
OffLine David Atchison-Jones
  2009-02-08 11:50:30    
Hi Bruce, nice to see your posting - it brings up a few points that as a publisher I can show how things don't work. When you publish books,  or even sell any goods in a shop, it all works on mark up commission - that is life full stop. So if you add 1 euro to a book at cost, then you add around 6 extra euros to shipping, finance, shop commission, distributor commission and of course that lovely TVA tax. Hence it is just about the most ludricous way of trying to raise any sort of revenue since it all gets creamed off. If you can simply add 1 euro at the sales point - perfect of course. That is therefore up to the retailers - I am sure the French government would still require TVA though.

David Falk made a nice point in thanking Marco T for access work, and I would just like to add to that.

As a pure climber. My typical instance is climbing in the Verdon. I refuse to buy another guidebook - I have 3 on the shelf already and certainly won't need another one in my lifetime. However, I always have a collection for each day that I climb there with friends and we generally give 5 euros each to the bolt fund at the P-Vert. It is amazing how quickly you get up to 100 euros, and it helps against the decimation of the rain forest etc. If I am honest too, I simply bin most topos that I buy, money paid to whoever and done. I would rather more places have a equipment funding point. Printing pretty awful topos that you send straight into the recycling bin is not that a good idea really.

I think that a lot of climbers are more than happy to give money to a bolt fund - so why bother linking it to anything anyway?
OffLine 9b
  2009-02-08 12:23:20    
@ David: to let climbers make a free donation to local bolters, publishers can put a simple DONATE button in their website.
OffLine POD
  2009-02-08 18:57:39    
Alan James wrote:
"For example, did you donate to bolt funds when you were making your living out of selling gear to climbers?"

If purchasing my own Hilti (800 Euros), bolts, hangers and lower-offs on a regular basis, and personally equipping (after cleaning, path clearing, etc.) new climbs counts, then the answer is YES!

If providing photographs and translations free of charge
to local guidebooks in my area, of which a good proportion of sales goes directly to bolt funding for new projects counts, then again, the answer is YES!

As for businesses involved in non-guidebook activities being equally responsible for bolt-fund contributions, I beg to differ. Rockfax profit directly from this activity. Not only that, but your current methods of information gathering effectively use local activists and recorders as unconsulted, unpaid researchers.

Money aside, the real issue is one of ethics. If a group of local climbers French/Spanish/Italian, whatever, decide to clean and equip a superb new area, and hand out info in whichever manner they choose then visiting climbers should be grateful for that, and stop complaining that the guidebook is "hard to find" or "not up to the standard of the RF guides".

It makes me utterly sick to read comments like "the locals need to get their shit together and produce proper guidebooks". Why the f... should they? Isn't it enough that they've done the PROPER hard work in the first place?

Pete O'Donovan
OffLine jghedge
  2009-02-08 19:17:49    
OK Mick, now condescendingly tell Pete he's not listening...better yet just ignore what he's saying and personally attack him
OffLine Michael Ryan
  2009-02-08 19:22:24    
Pete isn't slandering or making false claims about plagiarism. Consequently he is listened to with respect.

I may not agree with entirely but he does have some good points.
OffLine DWF
  2009-02-08 19:46:35    
@Ryan and Rockfax

I don't know what Rockfax is and would not buy it as I prefer local topos but I'm sure there is a market out there for you to develop and you should do that. But as all business it needs adaptation to the local market conditions. Responsibility is one key word and Respect an other.

You are so keen on this slander talk I almost think you are a ambulance chasing lawyer but I know better so I will defer from going down that road. But I get truly pissed at you lack of respect for the work of FFME. If you don't see the value of what they are doing and what other locals are doing for us THE COMMUNITY I suggest you stay home in the UK and or go to Lofoten.

It is you as a business owner who has to figure out a responsible way ti integrate your business in to the local community.
OffLine Michael Ryan
  2009-02-08 20:29:10    
I have full respect for the FFME David, as I do for the BMC and the US, Access Fund.

To give you some background of my experience so you can see where I am coming from.....

I work and have worked closely with the the BMC and the US, Access Fund. I've worked closely on access with the Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service in both Bishop, California and Las Vegas, Nevada.

I've established sport routes in the UK, Spain (Siurana), and the USA: and established 100's of new boulder problems, and 'developed' several new areas that are now very popular.

I have published and authored guidebooks in the UK and in the USA (Rumney, Cathedral and Whitehorse, Rifle, Las Vegas and Bishop).

I have written several articles on Access, and produced posters and organised access events.

I have also have had my work ripped off: Topos which I worked on for hundreds of hours have been copied and distributed. Route lists that I originally researched and documented for the first time, have been used by other guidebook authors and publishers.

What I do object to is the blunderbuss approach of Marco Troussier, yet recognise his hard work for access. Distributing emails like the one published by 8a.nu that initiated this discussion is counter-productive to a satisfactory resolution.

So what is the solution to foreign guidebook publishers producing guidebooks to destination areas?

That is what the focus should be on.

Cheers,

Mick
OffLine Alan James
  2009-02-08 21:13:29    
POD said - "If purchasing my own Hilti (800 Euros), bolts, hangers and lower-offs on a regular basis, and personally equipping (after cleaning, path clearing, etc.) new climbs counts, then the answer is YES!
If providing photographs and translations free of charge to local guidebooks in my area, of which a good proportion of sales goes directly to bolt funding for new projects counts, then again, the answer is YES!"

Ah, but that is Pete O'Donovan doing good work. I've done all that - bolting in the Peak, Access meetings, contributions to bolt funds and access funds - that is how it should be. But it is completely different from a company donation. Imagine the consequences of a 50p levy being applied to every chalk bag you made?

POD said - "As for businesses involved in non-guidebook activities being equally responsible for bolt-fund contributions, I beg to differ. Rockfax profit directly from this activity. Not only that, but your current methods of information gathering effectively use local activists and recorders as unconsulted, unpaid researchers."

All outdoor businesses benefit hugely from the presence of access agreements and bolts. So you'd sell as many chalk bags then if all the crags were closed and there was no bolting? You make (made) your living out of climbers to the same extent as me.

POD also said - "It makes me utterly sick to read comments like "the locals need to get their shit together and produce proper guidebooks". Why the f... should they? Isn't it enough that they've done the PROPER hard work in the first place?"

Well if it isn't "PROPER hard work" then any idiot can do it.

hmmm... talking of respect, and 'offense"....!

Alan
OffLine Stefano Varnerin
  2009-02-08 22:18:53    
Michael Ryan said"So what is the solution to foreign guidebook publishers producing guidebooks to destination areas?" RESPECT THE WILL OF LOCAL DEVELOPERS!!! AND IF THEY GIVE U THE PERMISSION OF PUBBLISH A GUIDE U MUST GIVE THEM A PART OF THE PROFIT! I find Alan words offensive. I don't think u even now what mean respect,so i can't immagin u asking to local climbers if u can use their work.........and also bolts in the peak..............bha i never bee to but this is the first time that i hear of bolts in the trad paradise
OffLine POD
  2009-02-08 22:35:35    
Alan James said: "POD
also said - "It makes me utterly sick to read comments like "the locals
need to get their shit together and produce proper guidebooks". Why the
f... should they? Isn't it enough that they've done the PROPER hard
work in the first place?"

Well if it isn't "PROPER hard work" then any idiot can do it.

hmmm... talking of respect, and 'offense"....!

Alan"

In this, and earlier posts, we have a summary of the Rockfax attitude. When presented with ideas aimed at achieving closer collaboration with local activists, they deflect all relevant questions and instead resort to personal attacks on individuals.

The plain fact is that Rockfax has the same modus operandi as any other pirate guide i.e. minimal involvement of locals = maximum profits for Rockfax.

Pete O'Donovan.
OffLine Alan James
  2009-02-08 22:41:47    
Rubbish POD. The only insults in here have all been directed at Rockfax. I would love to work with locals - always have, and always will.

You completely lost this argument with your 'proper work' comment. How shit was that!!!!

Alan
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2009-02-08 23:14:05    
@ POD: I totally agree with you. It makes me sick to read all these attacks by the Rockfax guys and I now can undderstand how frustrated Marco Troussier were in the first place when he tried to communicate over the issue.

I think we should draw a very clear line between local topo producers who present their work mainly in order to invite climbers,

and the ones who mainly are producing topos, in order to make money. Clearly, it is the capitalists who are creating local access problems.

I do think we should opt for having topo producers who are in the middle of these both sides!
OffLine Michael Ryan
  2009-02-08 23:42:59    
The tone of this discussion was set by you Jens...and you continue.

In the initial report on your news page there were the following slanderous and inflammatory comments.

" Rockfax is stealing local money and creating access problems. Morality against profit, choose your camp"

This has been followed by insults by individual posters.

You inflame people with your rhetoric, wild assumptions and falsehoods.

If you state the issue clearly and objectively, a positive dialogue will result.

In this case it hasn't and in fact this is the wrong place for a constructive dialogue.

First off all out of country guidebook publishers, who publish foreign destination guides should be contacted.

Then perhaps the FFME and other national climbing bodies can draw up a code of practice, and that could include donations to local access and re-equipping organisations, and consultations with individuals and organisations on access concerns and which cliffs should stay unpublished.

At the same time, as I have repeated time and time again, the best way to make it commercially unviable for foreign publishers to publish is for locals in an area to publish a multi-lingual select area guidebook.

Not only that they would benefit financially from the sale of a locally produced area guidebook.

How simple is that?

Mick



OffLine grigri
  2009-02-09 05:20:34    

Its hard to believe that the people in this thread represent the cognoscenti of the european (UK included) climbing press. You sound like a bunch of squabbling preschool kids!


Monsieur Troussier has a very valid point, thanks for posting up the link to access topos - one positive post at least. The idea of having area websites where bird nesting, parking and other access issues, as well as new route info, can be updated is also a very good one.


Rockfax guys: buck up! If you dont contribute to the local federations/developers you bloody well ought to!! Stop trying to divert the blame onto other topo producers (eg: Mikael Corron makes a point of only doing topos of tourist destinations).

Working together instead of squabbling like a bunch of immature brats is the only way these problems can be addressed. Climbing in other countries is not a right it is a priviledge, respect for the locals is of paramount importance in our ever shrinking world.

OffLine Marco Troussier
  2009-02-09 08:36:52    
You looking at cliff including those with enveronemental  problems click here:
http://www.ffme.fr/site/FALAISE_index.php
But you won't find "secret spots" where problems are really tough.
You want to buy a topo click here:
http://www.ffme.fr/boutique/index.htm end of the page.
You won't find "secret spots", and some other topos in process like Tarn, Dourbie etc...crags around verdon, crags around Sisteron are currently in process , don't publish, don't copy.....
CLIMB GLOBAL, BUY LOCAL TOPOS!
OffLine Alan James
  2009-02-09 10:39:26    
I will reiterate that Rockfax recognises the contribution that bolting makes to climbing areas and the hard work done by local developers. In the UK we donate significant amounts of money (probably more than any other company, certainly relative to turnover) towards bolting and access. We are more than happy to consider do this in France if such a central fund can be found, however we would like it to be part of a wider initiative that brings in all companies who benefit from the presence of bolts and good access to crags. Failing such an initiative we would still be happy to discuss the possibilities with local developers.

We recognise the vitally important issue of access and will do our utmost to support and communicate good access information to climbers from all over Europe. By publishing a guidebook that introduces many crags to non-local climbers for the first time we hope to help spread the load of climbers away from the over-popular crags. We would welcome approaches from any climbers concerned about access information to their crags.

Rockfax is dedicated to producing the best quality climbing information to area all over Europe and we are continually striving to improve our coverage and methods of coverage. All our books are researched from a multitude of sources. We also are very keen to work with local activists where appropriate and will happily enter into arrangements with local climbers which are mutually beneficial for both parties.

This is my last word on the subject on this thread since I feel I can no longer contribute on a forum run by someone who has a personal vendetta against myself and my company. Anyone who wishes to continue the debate is welcome to move it over to UKClimbing.com where I promise I will not remove posts based on their content being anti-Rockfax or UKC .

Thanks for all the positive contributions.

Alan James, Rockfax and UKClimbing.com
OffLine grigri
  2009-02-09 11:35:37    

@ AJ Im glad to hear Rockfax does indeed contribute to the cause. I hope that further iniatives can be forged to bridge the age old divide between France and Britain.


This is a difficult topic, I, myself am a guide author and developer, and as such would obviously prefer people to learn about our crag from us. But online guides can inform and attract visitors to an area they would not have heard of before - which is great if the locals actually want visitors. Distribution through the net is still fraught with issues as people can easily copy guides and get away without ever paying for it - bad for the authors. Locked pdf solutions are available but one can still print multiple copies. So how to get the info out there (if you want it out there!)? Printed books remain the safest way to protect copyright. It sounds like there is a great market for translators to help local authors produce printed guides in more languages.
@ M. Troussier: Perhaps this is a business opportunity?

OnLine Jens Larssen
  2009-02-09 11:44:56    

I assume, Marco Troussier and the rest of the climbing community including myself are very happy with tha answer of how Rockfax will work in the future.

This means in fact that it was a good idea to publish the news in the first place.

However, how Alan James can finish his very positive with yet another personal attack is just very sad. The last sentence speak for it self, "I promise I will not remove posts based on their content being anti-Rockfax or UKC". As you are even haven such thought in your mind is sad!

I have very positive towards Rockfax, "Some of my climbing trips is a direct result as of a Rockfax guide and I have never been disappointed of what they have produced."

I have also invited Alan and published a response directely on the first page.

OnLine HaeMeS
  2009-02-09 11:56:58    

Being a big consumer of both local and 'foreign' guidebooks, let me shed a light on how I (as a consumer) feel about guidebooks. I've got about 200 different guidebooks at home, so I'm not entierly clueless on the subject of buying/using them.

Some words on usefullness: Say I want to spend a prolonged holiday in (a certain part of) France/Spain/Italy. I'm not sure yet where to go, but would like to sample a number of different area's. A guidebook like the ones produced by Rockfax, JingoWobbly, LoboEdition, [the Andalusia Topo], or Versante Sud is what I need in order to orientate and get to the area in the first place. I'll always buy the local guidebook when available and findable. Which is often a problem! Locals might know how to find them, but foreigners often don't.

Some words about availability (in France): Local guidebook publishers often do not understand how to distribute their guidebooks. Take for instance the new Tarn guidebook, published bij the CAF Millau. Try and google [tarn topo caf millau]. Does it lead you to the guidebook? No. Try and Google [climbing Avignon]. Leads me straight to Jingo Wobbly. Get the point? Another example: when I Google for [escalade ventoux], the first hit (Google search in in Holland) leads to a Dutch shop selling the Jingo Wobbly guidebook. No mention of the new guidebook to St Leger on the first page of the Google_search.

I now of the existence of http://www.soescalade.com/ in Avignon. I now I can buy local French guidebooks from them on line or in their shop. But not everybody does, right? It's not that strange that someone new to the area and wanting to have information about where to climb before he/she gets there is going to buy a Rockfax/JingoWobbly guidebook with far better availability/online presentation. And take the trouble most people have with foreign languages. If presented with the choice between 2 guidebooks, better take the English one.

Why blaim a good production like the Rockfax guidebooks, with a very informative internet site to backup the guidebook for being succesfull? As those guidebooks are often far ahead of local guidebooks in terms of content, quality, availability and information about them on the internet, I have the feeling that those critizising are simply jealous of their success. This is how our society works. We like to buy the best products and buy them from companies that make the process of buing easy for us.  

On the other side, some local guidebooks made by (for instance those made by the late Pierre Rouzo) are lovely works of art, with great attention to detail. I always buy them and hope everybody appreciating the work of local equipers will do the same. But I also hope that in stead of being narrowminded and unable to understand the needs of (northern Europeans?) visiting climbers, people like (for instance) Marco T (typical reaction of someone from southern Europe?) will accept the way things work in the real world and welcome guidebooks like Rockfax and acknowledge their merits.

HaeMeS


p.s. Jens: try and run this site a bit more like a professional editor/journalist. Audiatur et altera pars. When MT informs 8a about an issue like this one, be the one to go round asking questions to those involved. Then analyse and write a thoughtful article about the issue. Thats what differentiates a good journalist from a random internet blogger with an ill-informed rant. 

OffLine abc-climbing.com
  2009-02-09 12:01:59    
well well well
Thanks to Pete O'Donovan who had some very good points in this discussion and brought it to a way more constructive level.
If he feels serious about it, than the last post of Alan James does please me a lot.
I would love that the persons involved now could work on a constructive solution of the problems encountred. Namely the foundraising to give back the developers some of the work they are putting in. And even if it would be quite symbolical (you won't be able to give developers the money back for the time and not even the money invested in 100 routes).
Secondly, delicate and/ or  "secret" areas should stay secret if the developers whish so. But who takes the decision, if several bolted?
By the way, I use rockfax
and/or other "general" guidebooks a lot to decide where to go and before I go. The local guidebooks are normaly more complete and I always purchase them too.
OffLine abc-climbing.com
  2009-02-09 12:15:34    
An idea if we are talking about access problems...
I really like 8a for the database it is and a large amount of rockclimbers (and therefore knowledge) it represents.
Wouldn't it be great, if on 8a or ONE other homepage, there would be central information about access problems/ restrictions/ .. .
AND, there could and should aswell be a link to an homepage, that provides the newest information on this matter.
ASWELL, one could extend this function with links to homepages and/or places where you can purchase the topos (as it is often difficult with local ones to encounter them).
This would be some work for the webmaster, but the community could fill in the data. On the long run, everybody would win by easily encountering the information or a link to it.
OffLine Michael Ryan
  2009-02-09 14:50:23    
Jens Larssen said: > "However, how Alan James can finish his very positive with yet another personal attack is just very sad."

Jens, on your news page you accused Alan of causing access problems and being a thief.

That's not just sad, its downright disgraceful and slanderous. You ought be ashamed of yourself.

Take note of what HaeMeS said:

"p.s. Jens: try and run this site a bit more like a professional editor/journalist. Audiatur et altera pars. When MT informs 8a about an issue like this one, be the one to go round asking questions to those involved. Then analyse and write a thoughtful article about the issue. Thats what differentiates a good journalist from a random internet blogger with an ill-informed rant. "

And Jens, good effort on your decision to include access information in your crag database.

Mick
OffLine Albert Cortes
  2009-02-09 15:02:05    

Last year, the former owner of Montanejos Refugio, published a guide.
Almost at the same time other people produced another one.
Ernesto, the former owner claimed that topo to be banned and it went to trial.
Last november, a spanish court passed sentence against the Montanejos topo produced by those people that simply made the topos himselves but never bolted or helped Montenejos in anyway to develop it, as we know it nowadays.
The court ordered the topo to be taken away from all book shops and a 30000 euro fine to the producers.

These are facts.

Now, when I get hold of the final part of that sentence, I will translate and post it here.

OnLine Jens Larssen
  2009-02-09 16:02:14    

@ Michael: I have not accused Alan of anything. However, I have quoted Marco Troussier who had some negative things to say about Rockfax. To sum up, we ca see that Alan has a new wiew on the issue, compared to the mail conversation he had with Marco, and that is good.


@ Albert: I guess, this means that Rockfax or any other external topo producer, in fact, are at risk in a spanish court.

OffLine David Atchison-Jones
  2009-02-09 16:44:25    
Hi Albert, I was wondering how long it would take on this topic for our good friend Ernesto to enter the arena. Just to keep everyone else informed, he singlehandedly developed an entire area on his own - and without and assistance from anyone. Apart from being a very good climber - he was a complete eccentric. He published his topos on dark red paper - "so no bastard could copy them." Honest - its true!

One big conundrum with France is that the FFME does secure funding for professional paid climbers to equip cliffs - and almost entirely at the lower end of the grades since schools and clubs use the cliffs. This is all government money paid by the tax payers. Now consider: Most of the new cliffs being developed only really contain routes of 7b upwards. Therefore having a general collection fund is hardly going to appeal to those climbing in the grade 5 or 6's - why should they sponsor routes and cliffs they never go to. It's going to be a big question for 8a climbers to answer. I doubt there are too many grade 5 climbers surfing this site to let this feeling be known - but I would not be surprised if the feeling were quite strong.

If on the other hand you make collections for the bolts at the actual development cliffs themselves where the 7a-8c routes are, the climbers get a chance to talk to the equippers and let their feelings known on the style of bolting etc, plus you exactly target the people climbing those routes in those grades. Simplicity is usually a very good answer.
OffLine Michael Ryan
  2009-02-09 17:26:15    
Alan James of Rockfax has not changed his position at any stage during the debate - he came in saying exactly what he said when he left.

So no new view from Rockfax.

Aa similar legal situation to the one Alberto Cortes mentions was dropped in the UK in 2001 because both parties came to the conclusion that seeking a legal solution was not in the best interests of climbers.

This has subsequently been proven beyond doubt with both parties going on to produce better publications than ever in the same competing areas.

Mick

OffLine 9b
  2009-02-09 17:34:02    






@ grigri: it’s true that one can print multiple copies of locked pdf, but, really, printed books are not safer: You can make photocopies and with a scanner
“digitalize” them and print as many copies as You want. And there is emule too ...

Internet is going to be more and more "all free" and there is something " better than free " too ...







OffLine Albert Cortes
  2009-02-09 17:50:21    

In the Spanish "case" there has been NO AGREEMENT between both parties, so the "ilegal guide" has been withdrew from selling and distributing, it seems a big difference to the situation in the UK that Mick Ryan mentions.

OffLine Brian Runnells
  2009-02-09 17:51:48    
The main news article still reads as though 8a is the one saying that Rockfax is stealing from local developers. Would it take that long to exercise some punctuation and editing to make things more clear?
OffLine Pillard
  2009-02-09 18:04:49    
Hey all,

I don't want to jump into the debate, but just say that unlike several of you guys, I really appreciated the way Jens handled this case. He simply reported someone else's concerns, which, once re-interpreted would have completely lost their substance.

Some people here like the politically correct, probably to protect their businesses. I, as a climber, like true opinions. which incidentally are often not very compatible with business... Please don't let personnal interests destroy the spirit of climbing !

On another note, I dont believe that it is very usefull to make false claims and to give morality lessons: everything depends on one's opinion: Regarding this news, and to my opinion Jens has nothing to be ashamed of (unlike several others...)

Good job Jens... and good climbing to everyone ! :-)



OnLine Jens Larssen
  2009-02-09 18:25:06    

@ Brian: I do not understand your problem of understanding. When I read a newspaper and they qoute somebody, you can do it the same way I did it.

"..., according Troussier. - The climbing community..." 
In Sweden the - is always used for qoutes. 

@ Pillard: Thanks a lot. I have probably made 1 000 post in the forum and I am glad that you noticed that I have never said anything negative about another person. I always try to discuss the subject. The sad thing is that probably, 40  % of the posts in the forum have some kind of personal insults or morality lessons. I hope that as you brought it up, this percentage would be reduced in the future!

OffLine jghedge
  2009-02-09 18:35:07    
From Desnivel today:

http://www.desnivel.com/object.php?o=18116

"pirateo sin escrúpulos", "puro plagio de guías publicadas"

Not buried in the article mind you, but in the title.

Still unaddressed in this thread by RockFax is whether it will "cease and desist" guide production if the local developers tell them to. I'm still getting the impression that RF thinks it has the right to go ahead and publish if it cannot come to any agreement with the locals, which surely in many cases it will not get, due to RF's past business practices. I personally don't think charging extra for a RF guide to compensate the developers will work as the RF guides are already too expensive as it is, and anyone concerned about the issues that charging more supposedly addresses will simply do the ethical thing and "climb globally but buy local topos" as Marco says.

"Hay otros casos en los que el plagio o el puro parasitismo va al tiempo que el trabajo de campo. Un ejemplo conocido es el de las famosas Rock Fax."

Ouch.
OffLine grigri
  2009-02-09 18:51:44    
@ 9b, a very interesting article thanks. I still feel that the difficulty of copying hardcopy (ie standing at the scanner all afternoon) at least acts as a detterent to would plagarisers. Writing recognition software (for digitalizing) is not perfect and still requires a lot of editing, this will change soon but for now there is still some security in hardcopy. There is also lots of software around for 'unlocking' pdf's and retrieving the data.
As far as 'generatives' are concerned we have tried to address this by offering an e-mail update servise to those who purchase our book. The updates wont make sense without the book, and the book without the service soon goes out of date. We can discuss this further on 9b if u like.

With regard to this debate: In the future electronic guides could offer added value generatives such as; route updates and information services (access, new accomodation places etc), translation into your home language (big market), streamlining of topo to reflect your grade range (no unnecesary info), direct payment to developers with a specification of which grades you would like to see more of, discounts on guides from the same (or affiliated) production house, etc, etc. If you start to think about there are endless opportunities for co-operation and, yes, profit. Hopefully a new perspective on what we are actually doing and selling will eventually make arguments such as this totally redundant, and open up a vast range of avenues for co-operation. I look forward to the day when I can take portable electronic notebook to the crag and all this info can be stored remotely to be dl'ed at will (this site is an indication of this trend), then we can stop chopping down trees to make books with.
OffLine 9b
  2009-02-09 22:05:06    
Grigri, there are not just pdf or paper guidebooks.
There are ebooks together with videos and online interactive "topo groups", as I'm describing here on 9b, where for sure You as others are welcome to discuss.
Yes, there are endless opportunities for cooperation, free internet is the world for it.
The point is that if you want to gain something in a free internet world, the best business model is ... to cooperate, be generous.
W
hy standing at the scanner if not to save money ?

Why not start giving Your help to save money instead of "deterrents" ?
The climber who prefers spending an afternoon at the scanner, instead of paying 25 euros for the printed topo, maybe would pay 5 euros for a basic pdf, saving an afternoon.
Other different climbers would not be satisfied from a basic pdf, so they prefer to spend 25 euros for an already printed version, happy to pay additional price covering costs for paper, stock, distribution, shipping.
So, 2/3 versions of the same product: different price/quality levels, better personalization. Sometimes cooperation is just giving them the version they prefer.
OnLine Jens Larssen
  2009-02-09 22:06:24    

The article at Desnivel are indeed very negative to Rockfax and others.


In the case of 8a, we only published the personal opinions of Marco Troussier, and nevertheless we invited Rockfax to publish an answer on the first page.


In the case of Desnivel, it is Desnivel that forwards the accusations but there is no way to answer with a comment. It will be interesting to see what happends. Maybe Rockfax want to publish the same open letter as they did on 8a, and will Desnivel agree on that.

As we all could see that the Rockfax guys were really upset with the story on 8a, we can expect much worse collission between Rockfax and Desnivel!

OnLine HaeMeS
  2009-02-09 22:30:47    
Dear Jens,

Doe you understand what language you wrote the 'artikel' (...) in? Let me help you: it was English. You say: "In Sweden the - is always used for qoutes." I did not look like a quote to me. Besides, how can you honestly write something like this (as a form of defence?) this far down a discussion? Look at the answers from Michael and Alan, or Pete and David. They are far better at reasoning than you. You're just not up to this job. For gods sake, hire an editor. Be more professional - the concept of 8a.nu is good, you are not.

Quote: "The sad
thing is that probably, 40  % of the posts in the forum have some kind
of personal insults or morality lessons. I hope that as you brought it
up, this percentage would be reduced in the future!
"

Just because one person says something in your favor, you don't need to emphasise it. Or is it that rare for you to get a complement? Do you think websites like planetmountain, UKclimbing, Desnivel, Supertopo, Kairn - to name a few - get this level of critisism thrown back at them? No, I don't think so. Grow up, get a life. Hire an editor. Stop posting yourself, in this funny Engish of yours and stick to the backoffice aps of 8a.nu. Plenty of work to do for on that front. Sorry to have insulted you, but I think there's no other way to say this. It's allready been said often to you - but you show no sign of improvement.
OffLine Michael Ryan
  2009-02-10 00:06:09    
It must be the language barrier or god forbid Jens is completely nuts!

I can believe anyone would so slanderous and provocative. Must be the language difficulties!

"As we all could see that the Rockfax guys were really upset with the story on 8a, we can expect much worse collission between Rockfax and Desnivel!" says Jens.

No Jens, as HaeMeS and others have said, it is the way you have cut and paste the News report from an email with no editorial filter, objectiveness or fairness.....not to mention bad punctuation and shoddy quotation marks.

Upset? Not at all. Pissed off with your unprofessionalism?

Yes, of course.

Regards Mr 40 %,

Mick

OffLine jghedge
  2009-02-10 01:19:49    
"...it is the way you have cut and paste the News report from an email with no editorial filter, objectiveness or fairness.....not to mention bad punctuation and shoddy quotation marks."

That was as nonsensical as anything you accuse Jens of saying...editorial objectivity is a function of not having an editorial filter. Unless you work for Rupert Murdoch I suppose...

And of course the real issue here is not the issues raised by Troussier and Desnivel, but rather punctuation and quotation marks...yeah right.

It is gratifying to see these pirates (yes, pirates and plagiarists Mick, sorry you can't handle the truth) finally getting their just desserts.
OffLine Ellis Whitson
  2009-02-10 01:38:37    
Many of the users who have posted in this thread would do well to take a course in English reading comprehension if they wish to coherently debate some of these issues. Jens on the other hand is essentially a lost cause at this point. It has actually become quite hilarious to see him categorically ignore and deny any criticism towards himself/8a and revel in the farce of his own whimsical reality. It is nice to see that Jens now acknowledges at least 40% of the forum has caught on to his insanity, as opposed to the 1% he suggested a few months back.
OnLine thebon
  2009-02-10 02:00:36    
Perhaps what is needed is for a member of the 8a community to interpret to their best ability what is said in the article.  This could be done on a rotating basis as people see fit.  Perhaps a good way to approach it is to say "what I think Jens is saying is..."  "   and then put it in the best light possible. If this was done at the top of each post it may be an effective way to keep the topics less nasty and more pleasant and productive. 

Or it might just be really entertaining.

Here is my thought on how the wording in the initial article could have been written to take the focus off of 8a as a culprit and to get to the issues. Note that this is all fictional, as I don't have any facts.  What I think Jens was saying was:



"Marco Troussier, from the French Federation FFME, contacted
8a with regards to guidebooks being produced by external or foreign sources.  According to M. Troussier, publishers such as
Rockfax are creating problems on a couple of fronts: 



 



First, there are problems to local access due to the fact
that often the externally produced topos do not include access issues. The
local equippers, along with local guide book producers work hard to make and
update access agreements with landowners and local authorities, and communicate
any specific details in the locally produced guidebooks.  As much of this information not in the externally
produced guides, there is a grave potential for conflicts to arise that cause
major access problems.



 



Second, M. Troussier alleges that foreign guidebook
producers are copying local productions, and are taking advantage of the hard
work that local equippers and topo producers put into developing new crags.
Proceeds from local guidebook sales are used to recoup expenses and time put
into crag development.  Those doing this
work are often upset when they see commercial topos produced abroad in their
areas. To them it means that the profit is going to someone who has put in no
effort to develop the area, taking away this opportunity from local
producers.   



 



Says, M Trousseau: “They are stealing local money and
creating access problems!”



 



As Rockfax seemed to be the focus for Marco, 8a contacted Alan
James from Rockfax.  His response was….”   



 

Perhaps there could be an 8a
editorial at this point.







OffLine grigri
  2009-02-10 07:59:02    

I agree Bonar, I once did exactly that in a discussion and it definitely dampened things down and kept the discussion real. Jens please read Bonar post carefully it is a good example of how to structure a report containing quotations. I really think it would help you to have an English speaking (first language) editor on your team to avoid these misunderstandings. I find it extremely upsetting to read an endless slander match instead of healthy and constructive debate. This could so easily be avoided with the use of proper english.


Qoutations can be written like:-


Joe Blogs:- "Bla bla bla".

or:-

"Bla bla bla" -Joe Blogs.

A dash on its own means 'as follows' or 'leads to', it does not indicate a quotation ever. Quotation marks are called that for a reason. 8a has long since past the stage where it can be run as pet website operated from your lounge or the local wireless cafe. There needs to be a level of professionalism which at present is sadly lacking. I really think your time would be better spent improving on the functionality of the website (like a decent forum for example -posting here is painfully slow) rather than endlessly defending yourself for simple editorial mistakes that could easily have been avoided by employing a competent english speaking writer.


That said 8a is still a great source of information, I think you hit the nail on the head with this article. The sheer volume of response from the RF crowd indicates to me that you hit a sore spot!! Well done! I hope to see more real innovations (website functions) from you guys in future, but please get some help with the english language in your reports.


respectfully - Greg Hart.

OffLine Michael Ryan
  2009-02-10 08:36:02    
Grigri said

" The sheer volume of response from the RF crowd indicates to me that you hit a sore spot!! Well done!"

Wrong and don't encourage him.

The responses are due to the fact that this discussion, as has been pointed out is full of misinformation and propaganda.

It's a smear campaign, against one guidebook publisher.

Nothing constructive has come out of it.

In fact nothing but negativity as can be seen by comments like this,

"It is gratifying to see these pirates (yes, pirates and plagiarists Mick, sorry you can't handle the truth) finally getting their just desserts."

An internet slanging match caused by Jens Larssen.

You think anyone will stop publishing guidebooks in print or on the internet because of this farce.

I very much doubt it.
OffLine Marco Troussier
  2009-02-10 09:01:42    

First of all, thank you for 8a and Jens for hosting those exchange and point of vue. We are not talking about "+" or "-" about a new routes somewhere in an obscur cliff.  There are serious problems every where in the world. It coulbe an international meeting every year to talk about that.
The question "economics" and "climbing" could also be an interesting topic.


Those are sérious problems, interdiction in France, way to solve them and who is doing the job for who's benefit is a good question. Thinking like this can elevate the debate.
Mr Jingo is wrong for many things. Let's talk about Saint leger example (http://www.ffme.fr/site/FALAISE_fiche.php?id=2069). There was strong problem of access in Saint léger. Bycycling, walking and climbing. The national forest office was upset we were very close to a total interdiction in Saint Léger due to environnemental european policy of preservation. We decide to not publish a topo before the problems would be solve and......Mr jingo did a topo covering that part of Luberon....Lets imagine the problems with the National office of forest, and you can imagine who is doing the job also...not Mr Jingo. The local rousetter with the help of local FFME (we are working like that in FFME national is not involve except my advices with the local crags problems) did the job for the benefit of all climbers..... This is concrete case and those are the fact!
Then they fund a solution after several meeting with ONF and climbing is Ok in Saint léger and Grozeau and .....ther is now a French topo, the only one who is valid to exist The only one you have to buy.
Thanks for the discussion, in france we will continue to work for the freedom of climbing (more than 200 persons involve locally) and we will continue to solve problems and we hope you will buy our topos because now tuou would not say "i don't give a .... of that problems, and i don't care about those climbers".
I hope to participate to other great debate avbout important things for the climbing community.

OffLine jghedge
  2009-02-10 09:55:01    
"You think anyone will stop publishing guidebooks in print or on the internet because of this farce."

No, but I can't imagine RF going on as before. When the editor of Desnivel calls RF pirates, plagiarists and parasites in the lead editorial of the print edition of the mag...I've been reading climbing mags for 35 years and I don't remember ever reading editorializing like that, Ken Wilson off his meds couldn't have topped it...

Mind you, my Spanish isn't Ph.D level... maybe there's some bad punctuation and shoddy quotation marks in it, so RF might come out smelling like a rose after all...
OnLine HaeMeS
  2009-02-10 10:59:04    
In reply to Marco: Lets use St Leger as an example. You are surely aware that topo's of St Leger existed long before the one produced by JingoWobbly. Take for instance this topo, made by a local (Paul de Wilde): http://5sup.com/st_leger/topo_st_leger.pdf. This topo does in fact mention the access-issue: "Il n’existe pas de convention entre la Fédération (Comité Départemental du Vaucluse) et le propriétaire du terrain." Nevertheless, the topo was made and distributed. Apart from the internet topo's, St Leger was also heavily publicized in the climbing media (in print) since it's early development. 

What went wrong in this instance? Were those who wanted to climb there wrong in actuallly going, after having seen pictures and heard stories about this beautifull area? And were they wrong in their need for a topo? Or were those who equipped the routes WITHOUT first solving the access issue wrong? I'll leave it to you to decide.

As for the link you've provided to the FFME site: the FFME does a good job of providing information, regulating the access to climbing sites and (supporting the) equiping (of) the site(s). I think one should consult the FFME before publishing about an area. Better still, one should contact the FFME before bolting in the first place. But there is no need to monopolise the right to publish a guidebook to an area. As locals are often not able to understand the needs of visiting climbers, its hardly surprising they start making guidebooks that suit their own needs. Those guidebooks are a welcome addition to the local guidebooks. Why not use the opportunity and start an initiative to produce FFME area-guidebooks? It's not just Northern European publishers (Rockfax, Rotpunkt, Cicerone, Loboedition), but also Spanish and Italian publishers who know what people want (see for instance Andalucia by David Munilla or the Versante Sud area guidebooks).

Dont whine, but act!




OffLine David Atchison-Jones
  2009-02-10 11:08:18    

Hi Marco, I have read your comments. I understand and appreciate your work and that of the FFME, ONF etc. I first discovered St. Leger in the mid 1980’s, and have been well informed as to everything that has gone on. To say the whole development was a disaster was an understatement, I could go on about the impact of Magazine articles, climbers climbing in the bio area when they were not meant to, not using proper campsites etc, etc. No it was a disaster and that is that. None of these were anything to do with the Jingo Avignon Book.


I have two good points to add to this disussion. I bought my first Monanejos topo years ago – in pesetas! I bought is direct from Ernesto the author. He took all the money. The shop was his rucksac, and the delivery company was his legs to the cliff. So after reasonable production costs of say 50%, 50% of the money paid went to the Author Ernesto, who was also the equipper. I thought this was great and came up with the idea of a climbing guidebook to Europe. It would have all the cliffs in Europe but ‘no topos.’ Instead you had free adverts for anyone that made and sold a topo at the cliff. Then everyone could travel all around Europe and use this book. This idea was to support local authors/equippers. This book is now coming up to its 20th year and is in its 5th edition and is called Jingo Wobbly – Europe Sport Vertical. So a few thanks for the past 20 years would be grateful. It is also worth saying that this work has taken me over 25 years, and I have taken over ¼ million photos. The cost in producing this has been immense, and money from being the author actually only covers about 10% of the expenditure. I have not been supported by any national climbing federation – it is all money from my own pocket.


So how did it all go wrong? It was a great idea. Back to Ernesto again, he kept his head and refused to sell any of his topos to a second agent, and you could only buy them from him. This way he got all the 50% and made sense of equipping & selling topos. Others however lost the plot! They sold their topos to shops, who then naturally took their percentage, leaving the author with only 10%. That was where it all started to go wrong since the shop took 30%, and the shipping took another 10%, so the whole concept of actually raising money was not working. Even a shop like Soescalade needs to employ staff and use delivery services. I’ve even seen French guidebooks for sale in California – at a cost! In those instances only 4% of money actually paid would have gone to the author! If you are going to use the argument of topo money going to authors – who then give it to equippers, then they must sell direct to climbers at the cliffs themselves only.

OffLine Michael Ryan
  2009-02-10 14:47:36    
If any local topo makers/publishers in France or Spain want there guides distributed in the UK contact Richard at Cordee.

http://www.cordee.co.uk/

As you can see there are several guides already there:

France: http://www.cordee.co.uk/rock-climbguides-france.php

Spain and Portugal: http://www.cordee.co.uk/rock-climbguides-spainportugal.php

You can even buy a guide to Ben Nevis, Scotland by a French author!!!!!! The late and great Godefroy Perroux.

http://www.cordee.co.uk/CCN027.php

Also we run Destination articles at UKClimbing.com, if any local authors would like to preview there local crags and guidebooks, get in touch with our destinations editor

Only areas that don't have access concerns, and of course no 'secret' areas.

Example, and please update if you see anything amiss

Gorges Du Tarn, France

http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=1556

Cheers,

Mick
UKClimbing.com
OffLine Michael Ryan
  2009-02-10 14:49:43    
You may note that we have included details of the local Gorge du Tarn guidebook in that particular article at UKClimbing.com

Where do I get the guidebook?

'Le Tarn' by the Club Alpin Francais, is available from the "tabac" in Le Rozier and Les Vignes and also from a number of the book shops in Millau. It is now a little out of date (first published in 2000) but new route information is available from the climbing wall in Millau.

Mick
OnLine Joakim Thommesen
  2009-02-10 16:27:54    

Am I the only one to see that a significant part of this "getting-paid-problem" is completely fictional?

Developers of new routes does not need to be financially rewarded. Everybody knows this. Good crags and good lines will be bolted by enthusiastic climbers because they LOVE DOING IT. Not because they get paid. Anyone claiming something else is either lying or a fool.

What you need money for is the re-bolting of crags. Period.

OffLine Michael Ryan
  2009-02-10 19:58:33    
I agree Joakim.

Any monies should go to organised and official re-equippers and to access organisations.

Rockfax donate in the UK by the way.

No money to individuals for establishing new routes however like you say. If I put up a new sport route, and I have placed over 500 bolts, I pay for them myself.

Combine that with consultation with local access groups by foreign publishers to find out with crags are suitable for inclusion in select guidebooks and you may have a solution.

Also Select guidebooks must promote local guidebooks.

It has to come from not just guidebook publishers but any that promote climbing destinations, like 8a.nu and UKClimbing.com....and climbing print magazines.

Mick
OffLine Michael Ryan
  2009-02-10 20:01:11    
A good example is the ARI by Climbing magazine, their Anchor Replacement Initiative.

I'm sure others can think of other examples.
OffLine jghedge
  2009-02-10 20:46:53    
"Am I the only one to see that a significant part of this "getting-paid-problem" is completely fictional?"

Apparently.

"What you need money for is the re-bolting of crags. Period."

uh...no. You spend the money to bolt a crag, you publish your guide to your area you developed, and you get back the money you spent developing it. No "re-bolting" involved.




OffLine Marco Troussier
  2009-02-10 21:00:13    
We need money for rebolting some places like Calanques because we sign "convention" between council of Bouches du Rhones and local FFME.
 If no convention...no climbing.....They give us a part of the money, topos is an other part.
In France, we pay nobody to bolt at first time. But as soon as we sign convention we want the cliffs to be sure because we insure them.
It's easy to understand that in the all process, from the first "sight" on a cliff to the signature of a convention, there is people working for free, usually the route setter, and others like the topograph  who can be prosecute if he did not give back some money to the local FFME. This happend very few times. In old cliffs, "rebolter" are sometine but not ALL the time, payed to rebolt.
You can find people who likes to bolt new routes, to rebolt old routes and to make topo with low profit.


OffLine Michael Ryan
  2009-02-10 21:48:44    
Joe

Read what Marco Troussier has to say.

It is re-equipping, that is replacing the original bolts, the long term maintenance of a crag as regards equipment and access work that needs funding.

Not the original establishment of the routes.

As Joakim says,

"Developers of new routes does not need to be financially rewarded. Everybody knows this. Good crags and good lines will be bolted by enthusiastic climbers because they LOVE DOING IT. Not because they get paid. Anyone claiming something else is either lying or a fool.

What you need money for is the re-bolting of crags. Period."

You can argue differently until you are blue in the face.

The crux with the new routers is to converse with cliff developers, not compensate them for their efforts WE DO THAT FOR THE LOVE OF IT AND FOR OURSELVES.

Perhaps the nuances of the discussion escape you.

Mick
OffLine jghedge
  2009-02-10 22:08:42    

It is you with whom there is no point in arguing, not surprising since it is difficult to make someone understand something when his livelihood depends on him not understanding it.

And what do you mean, "The crux with the new routers is to converse with cliff developers". The new routers ARE the cliff developers, aren't they?





OffLine Michael Ryan
  2009-02-10 22:35:13    
I'll clarify that last statement Joe.

If someone has developed a cliff and a bunch of foreigners appeared and started to photograph the cliff, write their own route descriptions, write directions, create maps, but of course using the already published route list, and then published a guide AND they don't talk to the locals. The locals have good reason to be be pissed off.

The first port of call of a foreign guidebook author is to contact the locals: tell the locals what they plan to do and make sure there are no access issues. Make sure that the cliff can take the extra traffic that a new guidebook would create.

This usually isn't a problem as most foreign guides are select guides to already popular areas.

The foreign publisher should also contact local access organisations and re-equipping funds and offer to make a contribution.

If access is delicate, if extra traffic will cause problems the foreign publisher should not publish.

Foreign select guidebooks will not go away, but their is a solution.

Donations should not be made to individuals to create new routes.

Foreign publishers or anyone should not copy topos or written descriptions from any guidebook, they should create their own.

That clearer?

Mick
OffLine jghedge
  2009-02-10 23:24:29    
"The first port of call of a foreign guidebook author is to contact the locals: tell the locals what they plan to do"

And if the locals say no? And that you have no right to profit from their work? Do you ignore them and do it anyway?

You seem to be saying that RockFax should only cease and desist if "access is delicate, if extra traffic will cause problems", and that RF has every right to "compete" with the local guide authors.

My Spanish is poor at best but the meaning of the Desnivel editorial is loud and clear.

Pirateo, plagio, parasitismo.

What part of that don't you get?
OffLine Michael Ryan
  2009-02-10 23:55:06    
If locals say no, they have to have good reasons. Good reasons being access concerns or over crowding causing negative impacts.

Locals are guardians of the cliffs, not owners to say who can and who can't climb there.

Yes your Spanish is poor Joe. But your name calling is excellent. Bravo!

From UKClimbing.com:

Pete O'Donovan on - 21:09 Tue
In reply to Alan James - UKC:

Whilst not an exact translation of the Desnivel editorial, the following is a letter from Catalan guidebook writer, Luis Alfonso, containing its main points. The letter was sent to all the major European climbing websites and magazines. Some published, some didn't.

Incidentally, it was earlier pointed out that Luis Alfonso is himself a guidebook producer (suggesting competitive motivation?), but failing to mention that 'Luichy' contributes massively to local bolt funds (a sizeable proportion of every guide), as well as being one of the most fanatical developers (equippers) himself.

Anyway, here's the letter:


"These days it seems that anyone can produce a climbing guidebook, freely and without any kind of permission or consent. If sufficient 'research' material, in the form of previous guidebooks, internet information etc. exists, then the only limiting factors on the quality of the guidebook will be the skill and resources of the editorial team.

However, let's consider two ethical points: -the amount of work that went into producing the previous (local) guidebook may have been enormous — months of field work, hours of telephone conversations and marathon stints in front of the computer monitor. - guidebooks produced in collaboration with, or directly by, local climbers provide vital sources of funding for equipping new climbs, as well as re-equipping older routes.
Lamentably, outside interests have realized the potential for profit in the production of selective guidebooks to Spain, aimed mainly at the foreign visitor. Until recently, these 'pirate' guides where mostly the work of the British company 'Rockfax' (Mallorca, El Chorro, Costa Blanca, Barcelona, Montgrony, Costa Daurada………..) but recently two German climbers have published a guidebook 'Pyrenees Rock' covering many areas on both on the French and Spanish sides of the border.

This guide reproduces comprehensive (not selective) topos for some of the best-known climbing centres in the area. Evidently, no contact was sought, or made, with local climbers or equippers in any of the zones included.

The legal situation is unclear, though common sense should make it obvious that the reproduction of drawings (topos) and use of information, without the authors consent, is plagiarism, pure and simple. Indeed, in a recent case in Valencia concerning two different guidebooks to the area of Montanejos, a precedent may have been set when a judge ruled that the later guide was in breach of copyright for using names of routes and other information, which had previously appeared in the older publication.

It would be nice if the bolts protecting the many thousands of superb sport climbs in Spain appeared overnight — sprouting from the rock like plants after periods of heavy rain — but unfortunately they don't. Notwithstanding the great physical effort involved in placing each and every bolt, the financial costs to individual activists can be considerable, and locally produced guidebooks are often the only way to help fund the process.

Buying local guides is a sure way to invest in the future development and expansion of these zones. On the contrary, buying foreign pirate guides benefits no one but the authors.
The climbers, equippers and local guidebook writers of the areas included in Pyrenees Rock would like to protest in the strongest terms. The manner in which this book was prepared is unscrupulous and deeply offensive to us. Let's hope it is the last of its kind."

Sleep well.

Mick

OffLine jghedge
  2009-02-11 00:30:11    
"If locals say no, they have to have good reasons. Good reasons being access concerns or over crowding causing negative impacts.

Locals are guardians of the cliffs, not owners to say who can and who can't climb there."

That's your argument? You think the locals not wanting what they consider pirate guidebooks is tantamount to saying who can and who can't climb there?

THE GUIDEBOOK is the issue, not who climbs there. You come up with ridiculous, patently false arguments like that one and you accuse me of not listening? Like I or anyone needs to listen to drivel like that, Mick.

You're just trying to defend what you know damn good and well is a corrupt, ethically bankrupt business model..

Still trying to believe you actually wrote that...wow.
OffLine Marco Troussier
  2009-02-11 08:37:23    
Topo is a part of problem in some crags (don't do topo on  cliffs  with environemental problems, access problems and so on) only the local know the problems and can solve it.
See an other example: Chateauvert/correns. It was all private, the police came to stop climbing then "Local FFME"  du Var work hard to solve the problems with Var council . They accept to buy the all valley, in exchange no more bolting, retrobolting in some cliffs. Then 15 years after, to day we have a meeting with Var council, environemental service. They want to stopp climbing, and walking and bycicling, close the road (40minutes walk).
Then who came to solve the new problems.....local FFME.
Long term maintenance is a long term work.
Foreign topo is short work for fast money, the problems still exist. Local topo is a part of the ressource we need to have money to work (with no more financial support) on new cliffs. Because all topograph of Var give back some money to developp ather cliffs.
OnLine HaeMeS
  2009-02-11 10:03:33    
In reply to Marco Troussier:
Example: foreign topo (Jingo Wobbly style i.e. showing all of the crags in large region but not necessarily all the routes in an area) is published -> leads to more climbers at the crags in the guidebook [people who would NOT have come had they not bought the guidebook] -> leads to more climbers buying the local guidebooks in addition to the guidebook that brought there here in the first place -> leads to increase in rent of appartments, the buying of food/gas, rental of cars i.e. money into local economy -> leads to the understanding that visiting climbers are important to local economy -> gives FFME a better stance in negotiations with local council and land owners/managers to ensure the access/provide funding for rebolting/community funding of carparks/whatever.
 
Note: example above is only valid if no access issues exist in the first place.

Back to your example of the climbing in Correns/Chateauvert. The first problem you speak of, i.e. access issues arising from the fact the climbing is on private property, has the same background as the situation you spoke of in St Leger. This is: the development of the cliff took place before an agreement about its use was made with the owner/land manager. I think such behaviour of local equipers demands your attention, rather then the attack of foreign guidebook publishers!

I think think part of this discussion is due (southerners) to misunderstanding the needs of northern European climbers visiting southern climbing area's. Most of them do not want to be troubled into endless reseaching for information/guidebooks about there holiday destination. They want it fast end easy. As German and English publishers understood this need they pubished their own guidebooks to holiday destinations and made them easily available. FFME, other French or Spanish publishers could have done the same. It's their lack of vision and action you actually criticize... Take some time to think about this. We live in a market economy, fueled by demand and the resulting supply. Act accordingly!
OnLine Joakim Thommesen
  2009-02-11 11:38:42    
I don't know what your problem is, Joe, maybe lack of Omega-3 or something, but as Mr Troussier also points out: "In France, we pay nobody to bolt at first time". And there's a very good reason for this: It's because it's simply not necessary - for reasons I explained in my previous input. 

You say:
"uh...no. You spend the money to bolt a crag, you publish your guide to your area you developed, and you get back the money you spent developing it. No "re-bolting" involved."

I'm not sure which part of time-space you're trapped in, but  it seems strenous to think clear there. If you are under the misconseption that route equippers focus on and expect to get their money back through the sale of postcards, souvenirs and guidebooks of the cliffs, you need to snap out of it.

And what your saying about "No re-bolting involved" is completely unintelligible. What are you talking about? Off course there is rebolting involved in the lifetime perspective of a crag. And that's where you need the money, because the re-bolting is a shitty job, assosiated with no glory or FA name in the guidebook. You will need financial encoragement for people to perform the re-bolting, as opposed to first time equipping.

Eat more fish.
OffLine Pillard
  2009-02-11 12:40:05    
Very nice Joakim ! Obviously you've made good use of your omega3 daily intake, and I think that you've just proposed a very good solution to the current economic crisis we're facing: let's just go through every employee of every company, and ask them if they like the job they're doing. If the guy answers "yes" then we can simply stop paying him/her.... just brilliant....

OffLine David Atchison-Jones
  2009-02-11 13:03:37    

I have come up with a good comparison – and it works with either the Swiss Motorways or the London/Paris – tube/metro. If you sit at home and draw your own map of the tube whilst looking at the official one – that is copying. If you get a on a bicycle with your techy mobile, you can cycle around all of the stations, clicking a gps waypoint at each, taking a photo of each station, and making a few quick interviews with people coming out of the stations. You get home and your computer links it all up and hey presto – you have a perfect map- all with nice photos. This is not copying – you are simply using the factual original names (like routes), and have created your own perfect map. Now if you publish an interactive version with the interviews – and people like it – then it may sell millions and you become a millionaire. The tube company can jump up and down in rage – because you have made stacks of money – and haven’t done any expensive tunnelling like them. The tube companies don’t live in cloud cuckoo land – they simply charge the actual people using the network – just like the Swiss motorways.

OffLine grigri
  2009-02-11 13:46:07    

So now you think we should pay to visit the crags? What a briliant idea...NOT!


In our country you will pay a permit fee to visit the nature reserve or park the crag is on, but not one cent of that comes to the climbers. The reserves are struggling to keep their head above water so we dont mind the fact that we are in essence giving them a gift of the 'facility' equipping a crag creates. In return they often help us with materials and logistical support when it comes time to upgrade the paths.


Topos are just one way of raising revenue for crag maintenance, there also bolting funds that people can contribute to as well as applying to government departments for sponsorship. In the case of France and Spain where there is a lot of traffic from overseas visitors it becomes imperative to maintain the paths and keep the equipment safe. I feel all visitors should make an effort to support such funds by way of donation. For instance Rocklands is a complete disaster as far as erosion goes yet visitors continue to pour in dodging the (admittedly ridiculously high) permit fees (we are working on changing this) and shooting their fancy videos which net them profit and invite yet more visitors, all at the expense of an extremely fragile ecosystem.

This mindset of 'consumer climbing' where people think they have the right to go wherever they like without taking any responsibility for their impact is actually at the route of all of these problems, not guidebook plagarism. By all means travel but do so with due respect!!! In turn local organisations must make the rules of access abundantly clear and make contributing to such funds, permits or other fund raising methods both affordable and easily accessible.

OnLine Joakim Thommesen
  2009-02-11 16:31:54    

Pillard...

What an absolutely useless comparison. You obviously haven't understood anything about how things work. Routes are equipped by enthusiastic climbers who are psyched to bolt and make first ascents. They do it for their own personal interest. What you're proposing is that you should pay people for what they spend their free time on. That's NOT the solution to the "current economic crisis". Where does the "current economic crisis" even fit into this discussion? Jises.

A crag is not the property of the local climbers, and I fail to see how anyone can stop anyone else from making a guidebook that is better looking, has more useful info, is written in a language that people understand and is more easily accessible. Just because you've put some bolts in the mountain it doesn't mean that you can monopolize that piece of rock. I'm sorry, but it just doesn't. I also fail to see how guidebooks will finance equipping of routes and maintenance of crags worldwide. Re-bolting should be handled by the local communities - the local climbing clubs or the national climbing assosiation. If they can't handle this, they should look around for something else to do. I mean, what's more important for sport climbing than this? What's the point of climbing clubs if they can't preserve their most important assets? In Norway it works just fine like this - the local clubs finance re-bolting. I can't see why it wouldn't also work everywhere else in the sivilized world.

Actually I don't even believe it's an issue of money. I think that first and foremost some egos have gotten their feet stepped on. That's the real reason for this bickering.

Grigri is on to the real issue when he says: "This mindset of 'consumer climbing' where people think they have the right to go wherever they like without taking any responsibility for their impact is actually at the route of all of these problems, not guidebook plagarism".

OffLine POD
  2009-02-11 18:31:50    
Joakim: you have some good points, but I would like to take issue with a few of the things you say — particularly in relation to how equipping new cliffs often works in my back yard — Catalunya.

"Routes
are equipped by enthusiastic climbers who are psyched to bolt and make
first ascents. They do it for their own personal interest."

Sometimes. People like Dani Andrada are constantly bolting new projects, which they hope to make the first ascent of. However, there are many 'ordinary' climbers who take on new cliffs as 'projects', cleaning and equipping routes which they may or may not be capable of doing, but knowing that somebody (maybe a friend) will. And even people like Dani sometimes equip routes at a grade far below their capabilities, simply because it's a great line they know others will enjoy.
In my experience, this is in stark contrast to the reasons routes are usually equipped in the UK: climbers there feel that, if they've gone to the trouble and expense of bolting a route, then they damn well deserve to do the first ascent. I well remember one episode in Yorkshire where a climber padlocked a frying pan to the first bolt to deter others from trying!

"
I also fail to see how guidebooks will finance equipping of routes and maintenance of crags worldwide"

I don't know about worldwide, but the sort of development I've described above is often funded (either before or after the event) by local guidebook sales. The major guidebook producer in Catalunya, 'Supercrack Editions', donates substantial funds to local bolting efforts. On the other hand, some climbers just foot the whole bill themselves.

"
Just
because you've put some bolts in the mountain it doesn't mean that you
can monopolize that piece of rock. I'm sorry, but it just doesn't."


Very true. However, if you've spent several months clearing paths, and cleaning and equipping (and documenting) routes in a certain area, which others will climb and enjoy, then common courtesy should dictate that foreign guidebook writers will at least have the decency to consult you over its inclusion in their books. Turning up at the crag one day to find a group of visiting climbers holding a shiny new Rockfax (or similar publication) should NOT be your first awareness!!

"
Actually
I don't even believe it's an issue of money. I think that first and
foremost some egos have gotten their feet stepped on. That's the real
reason for this bickering."


If you really think that 'ego' is the main driving force to carry out the sort of back-breaking crag development I've described above, then I feel you will never understand.
Regards,
Pete.
OffLine jghedge
  2009-02-11 18:38:17    
Joakim - notice how the only one complaining about not understanding is you? Hmm...

"If you are under the misconseption that route equippers focus on and expect to get their money back through the sale of postcards, souvenirs and guidebooks of the cliffs, you need to snap out of it."

Should they expect to get their money back? No. Are they the only ones who deserve to profit from their work? Yes.

"You will need financial encoragement for people to perform the re-bolting, as opposed to first time equipping."

So you know for a fact that the only reason anybody develops cliffs is to get their name in the guide, and nobody ever wants to rebolt unless they get paid. Those are some awesome mind-reading powers you've got there! Is it the mercury in the fish or were you just born that way?

"I also fail to see how guidebooks will finance equipping of routes and maintenance of crags worldwide. Re-bolting should be handled by the local communities - the local climbing clubs or the national climbing assosiation. If they can't handle this, they should look around for something else to do."

Fine - you don't understand what we are talking about. We get it. Do you have anything else to offer besides confusion and false assumptions?

OnLine Joakim Thommesen
  2009-02-11 20:35:31    
POD: Thanks. And you have some good points yourself. It's not all black and white - as usual. I'd like to clear up one thing, though: I'm not talking about the egos of the route equippers, I'm talking about the guidebook writers. In 99 out of a 100 cases I don't think the route equippers even gives a shit about who writes the guidebook. The equippers are doers - typically happy with drawing a quick topo when the crag is fairly finalized and publishing it in a magazine or on the internet. The "guidebook people" are a different breed - the organized kind, one step behind. Together they work wonders ;-)

jghedge (Joe) : Are you for real?
OffLine jghedge
  2009-02-11 21:16:14    
Joak:

The thing that's getting you in trouble here is called "sweeping generalizations".

Before posting, ask yourself "Am I making a sweeping generalization with no real basis in fact?" So far the answer is "yes".

"In 99 out of a 100 cases I don't think the route equippers even gives a shit about who writes the guidebook."

Whichever side of the argument you agree with, how you could possibly read this thread and come to that conclusion escapes me.


OffLine grigri
  2009-02-11 23:10:53    

Hi Joakim, while I identify with your sentiments I should also point out that I am (in a small-time humble way) both an equipper and guidebook co-author. Our guidebook will certainly never recover the costs of making the thing (hours spent) let alone pay for any bolts (although I'll probably spend whatever comes in on them anyway! ;-)). But Im sure at the popular crags in Europe the situation is quite different and there is quite a bit of money involved.


To clarify whilst I believe that consumerist climbing is at the root of all of these problems, (climbers who think they have a right to climb wherever they want right now are driving the demand for both the routes and publications) however plagarism is still an issue. If someone ripped off the info in my book, Id be pissed!! I would definitely seek legal advice with a view to taking action. Outsiders need to show more respect for local efforts period! Far better if outside guide producers co-operate with locals - even Alan James and Mick Ryan conceed that point.

I agree theres been a lot of petulant bickering in this thread, but I think all the poingant issues have been covered, besides if I have to wait for this thread to load one more time... -Jens a real forum pleeeeeeeease!!! phpBB make a good one.