The Rockfax App


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The Rockfax App brings together all the Rockfax climbing information with UKC logbooks and presents it in a user-friendly package for use on Apple iOS devices (Android version to follow).
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The heart of the app is the Rockfax crag and route information which is downloaded by way of paid in-app purchases for individual crags, or bundles or crags, in ‘areas’ which correspond roughly to printed guidebooks. There is a free sample crag for each area and some of these are quite extensive which enables you to get a really good impression of what the app is like, without shelling out any money.

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The Rockfax App itself is a free download and incredibly useful in its own right. You can link it to your UKClimbing Logbook to display and edit this direct from your phone and keep a detailed record of every route you climb, even adding them as you climb them at the crag. UKC Logbook has listings for nearly 400,000 routes worldwide. The app also contains a detailed crag map with basic information for around 20,000 crags worldwide. The map also displays all the 4,000+ listings from the UKClimbing Directory of climbing walls, outdoor shops, climbing clubs, outdoor-specific accommodation and instructors and guides amongst others. All this is available in the FREE app without any purchase necessary.

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The guidebook data for Rockfax crags is downloaded to your phone so there is no need for you to have a 3G/4G data signal to read it when at the crag. Version 2.0 has added Geo-located maps so that you show up as a blue dot on the detailed crag maps making finding your buttress, crag or boulder even easier.

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Current Areas Covered

Download now from the App Store and gain access to 40,500 routes on 730+ crags from your mobile device.

Areas in bold are app-only, area in italics are from book versions but with extra routes.

Ariege, CatalunyaChamonixCosta Blanca, Clwyd Limestone, Côte d’Azur,  DolomitesDorset (Sport and Trad)Dorset BoulderingEastern GritGower Sport Climbing, Haute Provence, Kalymnos, Languedoc RoussillonLofoten, Mallorca, Nissedal, North Face of the Eiger, Northern LimestoneNorth Wales Climbs, North Wales Winter, Peak LimestonePembroke, Rjukan, West Country ClimbsSouth Wales Sport Climbs

In preparation – Peak Bouldering

Technical Specifications

  • Apple iOS device - iPhone 4s or newer, running iOS 8 or newer. iPad 2 or newer, running iOS 8 or newer.
  • Data storage – Between 250MB and 750MB per area. As a rough guide, around 1GB is required for 20-25 crags.

We have many plans for the future including an Android version, more linking with UKC logbooks including grade and star voting, more new ‘app-only’ information, more navigation information – basically, the possibilities are vast!

Download now from the App Storeitunes-app-store-logo


Frequent Questions

Q1: I have reinstalled the app, or put it on a new device, and all my purchased crags have disappeared. How do I get them back without paying?
Go to Home -> My Account and tap ‘Restore Purchases’. Everything you have bought will now be available to download again (indicated by a cloud icon under the Crags -> Downloads tab). You will still need to explicitly start each download.

Q2: I have the Rockfax book, can I get the app for free or a discount?
No, the app and books are separate purchases. There are two main reasons for this.
1) We have no idea who has bought a book so would be unable to offer this for historic purchases.
2) We regard these as separate products which are used in different ways. Rather like the Rockfax print books North Wales Climbs and North Wales Classics are separate products with similar content but different appeals.

Q3: Does the app work when I haven’t got a phone signal?
Yes. The main crag information is downloaded onto your device when you buy it so that you can access it at any time no matter what the network is like. There are some functions of the app – like the Directory map and the connection to UKC logbooks and UKC photos – that require a network connection, but this doesn’t prevent the main climbing information from functioning at all.

Q4: What do I get for my money?
When you buy a ‘crag bundle’ you get all the information for the crag, or crags, downloaded onto your device. The information is in the familiar Rockfax format – a topo, route description and symbols – and also has GPS information for locating the individual buttresses using your device’s GPS functions.

Q5: Can I run the app on 2 devices?
You can run your app content on any Apple device where you’ve logged in using your AppleID. eg. if you have an iPhone and an iPad, then your crags will appear on both devices. You will need to ‘Restore Purchases’ on any new device to be able to install the bundles you’ve previously bought. After this, they will be available to download again without paying. When we develop an Android version we will look at a method of allowing a user to run it on different cross-platform devices, however this may take us some time to figure out.

Q6: The crags are expensive if I buy them separately to complete a whole book, is there a cheaper way?
Yes. Each of the main areas comes with a single book version which is priced at between £8 and £23. In general it is 3/4 the price of the equivalent printed book version of the same area (if that exists).

Q7: I have the book but the app has some extra crags. How can I get these cheaply?
If you just want some extra crags not covered in the book then you can buy them separately via the app often for as little as 99p/99c per crag.

Q8: My phone only has limited memory and the Rockfax crags are big downloads. How do I fit them all on?
If you have a device with limited storage, then you may struggle to fit a lot of separate crags on it. You can get round this by temporarily removing crags from your device to free up space. You can download them again later without being charged for a second time.

Q9: When will the Android version be available?
As soon as we have a date for this we will publicise it via UKC and the Rockfax web sites. At present all we can say is “soon”.

Q10: I have bought an app crag bundle by mistake, how do I get a refund?
To get a refund you will need to contact Apple. I’m afraid we have no access to any of the transactions made within the app – these are guarded by Apple for privacy reasons. You can do this at this page. State the reason as ‘bought by accident’, then just uninstall the bundle you’ve got and get the correct one. It takes a few days to get a refund.


App History

“Ten years from now, the climbers of Britain will be using hand-held mobiles to dial into web sites with their subscription, and viewing the crag in front of them. There may well be books still but for day to day, updated usage, the predominant method will be via a web site.” – Alan James, Guidebook Conference, Rheged, September 2002

The app is the end product of almost 13 years of work on the Rockfax and UKClimbing web sites starting way back in 2002 when the first Rockfax Route Database was created, which led in turn to the UKC Logbook system in 2005. The intention even way back then was to deliver information to devices, although at the time we didn’t know what shape those devices would take. Thanks to Apple we now have the mobile devices that we are all familiar with and the app infrastructure to create and deliver sophisticated Apps and data to users.

The technical development in the Rockfax App has been done by Stephen Horne who set about creating a product 3 years ago that would do justice to all the magnificent work of the Rockfax authors. After a long incubation period, and a few false dawns, the finished product is now available. The technical work on the web sites has been done by Rockfax and UKC technical developers Nick Smith and Paul Phillips over the years, with Martin McKenna now involved in developing the Android version.