With new BMC guidebooks filling up with features, routes and fun, our beloved little volumes are starting to bulge at the seams. Is there such a thing as too much quality?
Every feature competes for space - bouldering, histories, first ascents, anecdotes, circuits, first ascents - and everything has to earn its right to be included. In an effort to look at every way of saving space and making our guidebooks as good as can be, we are constantly looking at new possibilities. In the preparation of the forthcoming Froggatt to Black Rocks guide, the possibility of using a web-based backup was looked into and adopted.
Being such a bumper guide covering a huge spectrum of crags, from Froggatt and Curbar, to the Birchen/Gardoms area, the Amber Valley, Cratcliffe area all the way down to Black Rocks and Whatstandwell, it encompasses a lot of crags that can be seen as somewhat 'esoteric'.
Where it has been appropriate, the web-based idea has been employed. See the examples of Harthill Quarry below. ("Where the hart is Hellhill Quarry?") This is not a bad crag. It's roadside, but loose in parts. It's obscure, but it's quick-drying and it's adventurous. You never know. You might even end up there some day.
If you did end up there, then your F2BR guide will have a good topo and a list of names, grades and stars, allowing you to climb there. Or, if you intend checking it out, you can download the text descriptions from the BMC website. In this way there will be a lot of space saved without compromising the definitive nature of the guide, its usability, while at the same time allowing the popular crags the space they deserve.
And who knows. If you're the sort of person who would climb at Harthill, you might dig the minimalist approach.
The crag will look like this in the guide.
And you can download this.
These have now been used in the 2009 Roaches guide. See here for support in action.
And again for the Froggatt guidebook here.
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