Recording new routes. 8 Jan


Richard Hines of St Andrews Uni MC saw reports of our new years day route on and contacted Simon Richardson to say his team had climbed the same gully back in 2012. This isn’t a surprise given how accessible and obvious the line is and doesn’t remove any of the enjoyment Jim and I had climbing it.

Picture from the actual first ascent in January 2012.

The incident highlights 2 sides of the guide-book writer’s job.

Non-recording of routes is something I was, and many others are, guilty of. Some people choose deliberately not to record but the majority, like St AUMC, just assume that such obvious lines have been climbed before. This may well be the case but recording your ascent (unless you know it has been climbed before) gives a description and hopefully inspiration to others in the future. Particularly useful for winter routes where conditions can vary enormously. If it has been recorded before it should come out in the process of writing and editing the next guidebook.

Digital photography and websites have the potential to make the guidebook writer’s job far easier. This is a perfect example where Richard recognised the gully from my photo and I can confirm this from his shot (above). All cleared up in a week. Trying to decipher descriptions of routes climbed in the past involved analysing descriptions, interpreting scribbled diagrams and a fair amount of intuition/guesswork.  The lesson and request is PLEASE do take a picture of where your climb is located. Any more detailed photos may also be useful.

Congratulations to StAUMC; any thoughts on a name?