Peak Rockfax Guidebooks Donated to Edale Mountain Rescue

We are pleased to announce our support for Edale Mountain Rescue Team with a donation of seven full sets of Peak Rockfax guidebooks.

Neil Hayter, Vice Chair and Duty Leader of Edale MRT, got in touch to see if the team could get hold of some guidebooks for their vehicles since they can be very useful when locating where an accident has occurred. Not all the MR team are climbers, and even the ones that are don’t always know where every route is, so having a copy of the books in all the rescue vehicles enables both parties to focus on their precise location more reliably.

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Neil and Dave Torr from the Edale team popped by to the UKC/Rockfax office in their land rover to pick up the books and we had a great chat. They had some good stories including one that emphasised the need to make sure you ask for ‘Mountain Rescue’ when you phone the emergency services. When Johnny Dawes fell off at Stanage recently he mistakenly didn’t ask for mountain rescue and the whole process was delayed since he spent ages on the phone to police in Humberside trying to explain where (and what) Stanage was! Asking for Mountain Rescue channels the call to the relevant people much more efficiently.

The full Rockfax set for the Peak includes Eastern Grit, Peak Limestone, Peak Bouldering and Western Grit. A new edition of Eastern Grit is due for publication early next year.



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Northern Limestone Nearing Publication

We are reaching the final stages of Northern Limestone : Yorkshire, Cumbria, Lancashire. This will be the third book we have worked on in 2014 but, unfortunately, it looks like we are going to miss publication for Christmas and it will just stray into the new year.

The book covers the superb sport and trad climbing of mainly Yorkshire but it also delves into South Cumbria and Lancashire – more information about the book here.

The book will be available for pre-ordering from early December and is likely to be published in the first week or so of January.

Bolt Fund - We are pleased to announce that we will be repeating the arrangement we made with the North Wales Bolt Fund over North Wales Climbs, and making a £1 contribution from all the initial 1500 sales of this guidebook to the relevant bolt fund. In this case it will be split between the Cumbria and Yorkshire Bolt Funds. After the initial 1500 sales, we will revert to our standard £1 donation for each sale made direct from the Rockfax web site.

In the meantime, here are some example pages.

The introduction to Blue Scar and Kilnsey area

The introduction to Blue Scar and Kilnsey area

Giggleswick South

Giggleswick South

Gordale Cave Route area

Gordale Cave Route area



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Rockfax Donations to Bolt Funds and the ACT – Jul to Sep 2014

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As we progress into Autumn we have just made the third set of donations for this year to the various Bolt Funds and the ACT that we support with online sales of Rockfax guidebooks. Once again the largest donation has gone to the North Wales Bolt Fund which received £316 making a total £1549 donated since the North Wales Climbs book was published in November 2013.

Other donations were made to the Dorset Bolt Fund, the BMC ACT and the South Wales Bolt Fund. The latter donations were surplus ones for Adrian Berry’s Rhossili Bay Project which has now closed after raising over £2300 to develop low grade sport routes in the beautiful Rhossili Bay on the Gower.

The El Chorro Bolt Fund is one of the funds we support via UKBoltFund.org and we welcome approaches from all bolt funds, from anywhere in Europe covered by a Rockfax guidebook, to get involved. Contact us using this form.

Thanks to everyone who supported this by buying direct from the Rockfax web site, or making a generous PoS donation.



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A Rockfax App for Smartphones

For the last 2 years we have been working on creating an App version of our Rockfax guidebook data. I say 2 years, but in reality it is more like 14 years – ever since we created the first Rockfax Route Database for Dorset back in 2000, the aim has been to develop the information into a more portable digital format. In fact it started even earlier than that. I remember back in 1996 working with Adam Greenwood (the person who first registered the domain UKClimbing.com) and putting together a web page where you clicked on route lines on a topo of Malham to display a description. The problem then was that we realised pretty quickly that you couldn’t carry your computer to a crag.

Well now you can and I am pleased to say that we are in the finishing stages and the Rockfax App. It has been in testing for many months and we are completing the preparation of the data and should be ready to launch soon.

Our intention when creating this App was to build something that was as useable as a printed guidebook but also made use of the full capability of a modern smartphone to become something that was even better than a printed guidebook. We were also determined to get as much of our Rockfax data as possible into the system as soon as we launch.

The App

Using the App you will be able to view big crag photo-topos that make the most to the touch screens and zooming capabilities. Touch a route line and the description appears, touch a description and a route line appears. The photos are taken straight from our guidebooks so they have excellent resolution. You will be able to get a full crag photo then pinch-zoom right up to see small detail down to pitch or even move level.

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The south face of the Marmolada. The yellow box is the zoom location on the screenshot below.

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Zoomed in on the iPad to reveal full detail.

But a smartphone offers more than that. Using the GPS location capability, the phone will be able to link with a navigation app to guide you to a crag, it will show you crags, shops, walls and accommodation near by. It will also enable you to link with your UKC logbook. On set up you will be able to download your logbook ticks and synchronise with routes on the phone. As soon as you have done a route you can tick it on the App and add it direct to your UKC logbook. You can also access your Wishlist, upload a photo of the route, and even see photos of the route uploaded by others.

Approach maps to crags

Approach maps to crags

The Rockfax App will be available on Android and iOS (iPhone/iPad) platforms. The App itself will be a free download and many Rockfax crags will be available straight away, also for free.

The Crag Data – How Does it Work?

Once in the App you can buy full guides, or individual crag guides, via the in-App purchase system via the Apple Store or Google Play. The guide data – photo-topos, crag and route descriptions, maps and overview photos – will then be downloaded onto your device and stored there. This means that you will be able to access it at all times, even when there is no signal.
There will be a lot of data available and this could well take up storage space on your smartphone. To allow for those with limited storage space on their device, you will be able to delete crags/areas from the phone and then download them again when you need them.
Crags will be sold at four different price bands 69p, £1.49, £1.99 and £2.49 corresponding to their popularity and size. Full guides will correspond to an equivalent publication and be priced at around 60% to 70% of the price of the book – so around £20 for a £30 book.
One of the main advantages of an App is that it is easy to update everyone’s copy. So if there are access changes, rock falls and new routes, these can all be added and will update automatically on the phone.

Book to App links

Books and App guides will be sold separately although we will maintain a link between successive versions of the App guides, and new editions of a printed book. When a new edition of a book is published, there will be a corresponding new version of the App guide.
There will be scope for special offers and we hope to offer discounts on successive purchases on versions of App guides, and coupons for those who buy the book from the Rockfax web site for buying an App version.

We can’t be sure of precisely when the App will be available but we are working full steam ahead on getting it out during 2014. Keep an eye on this web site for more information.

 



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The Dolomites has been published

NWC-Cover

The Dolomites : Rock Climbs and Via Ferrata has been published and is now available for next day delivery!

Anyone who pre-ordered their copy should have it by now, and Specialist Outdoor Retailers should have stock too. Please contact us with your order number if you experience any delivery problems.

The book has been authored by James Rushforth who, together with his partner Lynne Hempton, has spent several years documenting the climbs and VFs, and taking some amazing photographs for the book.

More info on the Book here
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