Pokketz cartoons from the 1990s


In these difficult times get some light-hearted relief from these old cartoons published in On The Edge between 1990 and 1995.

The 1990s was a slightly different time when it came to satire! Thanks to Niall Grimes for big-upping them on Facebook.

Below are a couple of the one-offs but there are 21 full strip cartoons here.


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Rockfax Grade Tables Updated


In response to feedback we have added an extra grade category to the familiar green, orange, red, and black spot system first introduced in Peak Gritstone East in  2001. We now have a ‘White Spot’ which corresponds to routes at the highest level of difficulty. Sport 8a and above, trad E7, font 8A, etc.

We have updated our grade tables to take account of this change and added a few more difficulty levels since the last versions.

Free Use for Poster Printing

Please download the hi-res PDF versions of these tables if you wish to get these printed into posters.

Download Safe Trad Routes PDF - Compare UK trad grades with well-protected sport routes, UIAA, USA, Norway and Australian systems.

Download Bold Trad Routes PDF  - A more difficult comparison for bold trad routes to sport grades, UIAA, USA, Norway and Australian systems.

Download Bouldering Grade PDF - Comparison between Font, V and UK tech grades.

We recommend Instantprint where an A1 poster costs around £16 (+VAT and delivery). Other similarly priced services are available.

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Rockfax Top 50 Symbol – Outlived its Usefulness?


Fisuras armoniosas (6a+) at Valle de Abdalajis. A Top 50 route that is showing signs of over-climbing.

Back in 2006 we introduced a new symbol to the star-rating system – the Top 50 symbol. This featured for the first time in Eastern Grit and has been included in most guidebooks since. It was never intended to be a forth star, but instead to be a set of routes that were high quality and iconic routes for the area. Some of them were only really 2-star routes but, especially in the easier grades, they were important routes that covered the full grade range of the area.

Since then the system has been applied reasonably consistently in our books although we have on many occasions gone way beyond 50 actual routes. What has become clear is that, whatever our intentions were with regard to it not being a forth star, climbers have very much been treating it as such.

Work we have done on El Chorro and most recently on Mallorca has indicated that the Top 50 symbol may well have become a bit of a curse for some routes. In the green and orange spot grade range, these routes get a lot of attention! UKC Logbooks are full of comments on these easier routes questioning their Top50 status often because of polish and over-climbing.

In 2020 we have redesigned the look of our Rockfax print guidebooks and this seemed like a good opportunity to drop the Top 50 symbol for the next few guidebooks to gauge the response. All the previous Top 50 routes will be given 3-star status which should increase the pool of target routes.

Discussion thread here


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More Rebolting in El Chorro


Good news from El Chorro where Nico Rando has told about some rebolting work they just completed on one of the major routes on Frontales using bolts funded by Rockfax.

Judging from the photo below of the old bolts they removed, this was much needed.


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SMC Winter Crags now on the Rockfax App


The best guidebook to winter climbing in Scotland is Scottish Winter Climbs from the SMC. As part of our ongoing project working with the SMC we are very pleased to announce that the first part of digitising this content is now complete and available on the Rockfax app. This represents about 60% of the routes in the book and the rest should hopefully follow early in the New Year.

SMC-Winter-Screen-shotsIt has been a real pleasure to work with the SMC on this project and we look forward to producing more great Scottish content on the app in the near future.


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