We have just published a small update for the France : Ariège guidebook which covers an extra crag for the Ax Les Thermes area.
Download it here
Ax les Thermes – Piscine – More Routes
To the right of the routes in the guidebook (p263) is a small selection of routes. The ones on the far right are a useful addition to easy routes in the area. As intimated at in the guidebook, there has been some confusion about the names of the routes here, though some are painted on the rock.
In a radical departure for Rockfax, we have decided to tackle a major new book to the wonderful climbing found in the remote Republic of Altai. The Altai mountains straddle the four borders of Russia, Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan. Despite some modest interest in recent years by Alpinists on the larger peaks, it is remarkable that trad climbing in the area has seen little development … until now!
Map: By PANONIAN (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
From the lowland roadside crags in the Kuraysky range to the soaring multi-pitch mountain routes of the North Chuyskie Belki, there is a lifetime of adventure to be found in the Altai. All of the major ranges and regions will be covered, including the recent bolted faces in the Saylyughem near the Mongolian border. The crags around Irbistu in the South Chuyskie Belki probably contain the highest concentration of climbing in Russia, challenging yet memorable days out are guaranteed.
Free Download Sample
As a taster we have produced a MiniGuide to one of the great crags in the area which is free to download. The Central Earth crag – so called because it is about as far from the coast as possible on Earth – has been developed with three great lines up its striking corners.
Get the sample topo now
Clay Conlon nears the top of the majestic Karohshi Corner – a classic Severe on Central Earth crag in the South Chuyski Range.
The 1998 Peak Bouldering Rockfax
Fifteen years ago Rockfax unveiled its original Peak Bouldering guidebook. This was one of the first guidebooks to comprehensively cover bouldering in the Peak District, and such was its popularity that you still see well-loved copies being used today. They have even been sold on eBay for inflated prices in recent years.
Later this year we will be finally producing the new edition of this book. Since 2000 bouldering has undergone a massive growth in popularity, and the Peak District is now generally considered to be the most popular bouldering destination in the UK. The new book will bring everything up to date with many new venues, loads of new problems plus all the old well-loved spots being covered.
The new book due out this summer
One of the big changes in this book will be the grading system we use. The debate about V-grades or Font grades for bouldering has been ongoing for years without a definitive worldwide resolution at this stage. We have decided to use a dual system which will hopefully keep everyone happy by presenting all harder problems with both a V-grade and a Font grade. For the lower-grade problems we are going to use V-grades with UK tech grades since these tend to be more familiar to less experienced boulderers coming from a trad climbing background. The split will be between V2/font 5+ and V3/6A which also represents the divide line between orange spot problems and red spot problems.
More information on the book here
News update May 13 - The book will not be published this summer. Now that we are working on it we have uncovered discrepancies with many of the low-grade problems and it is taking a lot of time to sort these out. The new predicted date is before Christmas 2013.
The Spain : Costa Blanca book was (once again) “the biggest Rockfax ever” with 456 pages, a title it is likely to keep until the next book is published in the summer! Despite its size we still didn’t have room for a number of the crags that we had covered in the previous 2005 edition – crags like Ibi, Sierra Magdelena and Alcoi amongst others. Most of these were dropped due to them being either very outlying, or not very popular.
Download the Costa Blanca Xtra MiniGuide Now
This MiniGuide contains 4 of these crags and two extra buttresses from covered crags. It also has Morro Falqui which only ever previously featured in a MiniGuide, and El Picayo, which is a nice-enough little crag but a bit distant from the main areas (see photo). Also of note is the fact that we think we have finally got a decent and accurate approach description to Alcoi – possibly the hardest crag to find anywhere.
El Picayo which is near Montessa
The MiniGuide is available in a two-side-printer paginated booklet version (A4-Booklet), and a single-side-printer version (A4-Paper).
Crags Included (links go to Rockfax Database) - Sierra Magdelena, Ibi, Sector Cumbre (Sax), Foradà (Extra Sectors), Alcoi, Morro Falqui, El Picayo, Baranc de l’Avern
The Spain : Costa Blanca guidebook has been published a week ahead of schedule and only 18 days after our last key-stroke making it a bit of a record breaking publication for us!
The book looks great and we hope the record number of people who pre-ordered the book will have received their copies very shortly. The stock is being sent out around the country to local specialist climbing shops right now and most of these should have copies in by the weekend of 16/17 Feb. Non-specialist shops are not likely to have any copies for several weeks despite what their web sites might say.
New Special Offer
Although the pre-order special offer has finished, we have replaced it with a new one. Each purchase from this web site of the new book now comes with a free version of the Costa Blanca Ridges Mobile MiniGuide. This should provide a handy companion for those wishing to attempt the ridges and not carry their heavy new shiny Rockfax print book with them.