News

  • Mallorca Access Update

    In September 2019 we reported on some access requirements for climbers visiting Mallorca. This was a new version of a scheme that first appeared in 2013 where climbers were required to get permits before climbing in the Sierra de Tramuntana. This is the main mountain area and covers everything in the Rockfax guide from the Valldemossa section to the Formentor section (p.82 to p.211). The permit scheme is still in place although we have yet to hear of anyone being refused access to a crag, or even being asked to produce a permission form.

    It is still advisable to obtain permission but the previous method no longer works. Instead, it has been replaced by an online form that grants the same access permission. All you need to do is fill out the form and this gives you a PDF to download which you can print out or store on your phone.

    Go direct to the access form (In Spanish – open in Chrome for translation)
    Read some background information (in Spanish)

    Thanks to Tim Knight for this information

  • Peak Limestone Updated for the 3rd Time

    The recent good weather has left the limestone crags of the Peak District in good condition and we are delighted to annouce an update to the Peak Limestone package on Rockfax Digital.

    There are new routes at  Harpur Hill Quarry Chee Dale Upper and  Dale Quarry (Wirksworth), plus a couple of new crags added near Millers Dale. In addition to this are numerous tweaks and changes to other crags inclduing the odd grade change and line adjustment based on feedback – detailed list below.

    This will be the third update added to Rockfax Digital so far in 2021 and is just one of the many that will be added throughout the year. Entire guides, areas and individual crags will be added to the app every month. All these are included in the subscription and come at no extra cost.

    More information on Rockfax Digital

    Full Detailed List of Updated Information

     Harpur Hill Quarry – New routes on the Lower Tier (LHS) and Sanctuary Wall

     Raven’s Foot Buttress and  Tideswell Dale added although the former may well need a second update sometime soon. Also added Playstation Buttress to Raven Tor.

     Goddard’s Quarry – new routes on upper tier. We will also hopefully do a mini update in the next week or so covering the other new routes on the other areas, I just need some feedback and route names from Nick T.

     Chee Dale Lower – a few new routes.

     Water-cum-Jolly – a few new routes.

     Dale Quarry (Wirksworth) – a few new routes.

    General minor updates to  Horseshoe Quarry Stoney West Stoney Middleton Darlton Quarry (pre-Mission Impossible!),  Hidden Quarry (formerly Darlton 2) Deep Rake, Moss Rake Bend Tor High Tor Wildcat Intake Quarry

  • Big Ariège update for Rockfax Digital

    A big update to the Ariège is now available on Rockfax Digital. The area is packed with high quality climbing on a superb variety of rock types from soaring granite slabs to steep limestone bulges. The perfect place for a sport climbing summer holiday which you can drive, or take the train, to.

    Lordat – one of the new crags in the Ariège update

    The Ariège update is just one of many that we’re going to be adding to Rockfax Digital in 2021. Entire guides, areas and individual crags will be added to the app every month. All these are included in the subscription and come at no extra cost.

    The Ariège region of Southern France is the compact area where the Ariège River cuts through the Pyrenées on its way from Andorra to the coast. The 2012 Rockfax guidebook brought the area to the attention of travelling climbers. Main author Chris Craggs has spent a lot of time there in recent years and, together with John Arran, has put together an extensive update for Rockfax Digital.

    The update includes the new crags of Lordat, Soulcem – Madelon, Junac, and the Grand Paroi above Surba. In addition are extensive updates to Génet, Ornolac and Ax-les-Thermes plus a reboot of Roquefixade which had been lost to access problems but is now open again.  There is also an amazing new geo-located relief map for all the crags plus loads of minor updates and new buttresses throughout.

    Find out more about Rockfax Digital

  • Sicily Published

    We are very pleased to announce that our first book of 2021 has just been published. Sicily covers the superb climbing found around the resort town of San Vito Lo Capo and further south above Macari and Custonaccio, plus a bonus section on the routes above Palermo.

    The book covers nearly 1500 routes on 29 crags including the long 5km stretch of Scogliera di Salinera with its 800 routes! It is available now for online ordering direct from the website at a special discount for UKC Supporters/Rockfax Digital Subscribers. It will also be available from outdoor specialist retailers once they open up after 12 April.

    The digital version is now available direct from within the Rockfax app on iOS and Android for all subscribers.

  • Rockfax Virtual Runner System™

    Have you ever grabbed a cluster of wires and tried four different sizes before you get the right one? Stared at a slot thinking what can I get in there and then over-stuffed a cam because you choose the wrong size?

    Well those days are over. The Rockfax Virtual Runner System™, or Rockfax VRS™ for short, brings together your mobile device, 3-D mapping and our huge database to provide the perfect solution. Just start the app when you begin the climb and point it at the route when you need some gear. It will 3-D scan the rock in front of you, consult our huge database of possibilities and offer the best option for a solid runner placement in a fraction of a second. It even tells you the orientation so that all you need to do is reach down to your harness, grab the runner and pop it in. So simple, it is a wonder that no-one has thought of it before!

    Our vast database includes all types of protection from the smallest wires to the biggest cams. You can pre-select your preferred brand of gear so that it chooses from your own available rack. A process that could have involved minutes of fiddling with wires while getting pumped is now streamlined using the latest technology to get the correct runner straight away and save time on every route. The sophisticated 3-D scanner can assess everything within its view. We have uploaded 3-D models of millions of different cracks, pockets and slots on various rock types to our enormous database to make precise runner selection as accurate as possible.

    In tests climbers using Rockfax VRS™ were proven to place gear 28% faster and get 31% less pumped!

    Rockfax VRS™ Plus

    The basic app is free-to-use but for a small monthly subscription fee you can take a photo of your own rack and our sophisticated algorithm will create virtual models of every piece of gear. This then tailors the set of runners specifically to what you are carrying.

    Just take a photo of your rack

    Not only does this make the selection process even easier and more accurate, it allows for mixed racks from different brands and uses an image of the actual runners in the virtual simulation.

    With Rockfax VRS PlusPlus a real photo of your gear is used in the simulation
    The system works with all types of gear including cams

    Rockfax VRS™ Plus Plus

    Our medium level of subscription works with the patented Rockfax VRS™ Helmet Mount* and voice activation. Hands-free runner selection with the process made so much easier using our highly advanced system. Start climbing with your device securely held in place on your helmet scanning as you climb. Simply say the word ‘runner’ and the device will announce its recommendation instantly enabling you to quickly go to your harness and grab the perfect piece of gear.

    The Rockfax VRS Helmet Mount for hands-free voice-activated runner placements

    Rockfax VRS™ Plus Plus Plus

    Our top-level subscription brings all the superb technology available with Rockfax VRS™ Plus Plus and the patented Rockfax VRS™ Helmet Mount*, but you can also customise your companion voice with our celebrity link-ups. Now you can be accompanied on each climb by one of the world’s best climbers and benefit from their expert advice. New climbing celebrities being added all the time.

    Four Different Plans Available

    Just choose the level of subscription you want and put your runner placing woes behind you now with Rockfax VRS™.

    Rockfax VRS™ is available now for iOS and Android from the App Store and Google Play.

    Find out more and subscribe here

    *Rockfax VRS™ Helmet Mount is an additional purchase

  • Sicily – Pre-order Now

    Pre-order now to receive your copy as soon as it is published in early April.
    The books is now available at 30% discount for UKC Supporters and Rockfax Digital Subscribers.

    After the crazy events of 2020 things are looking up and hopefully, we will be getting back to normal by the summer at least. It is never too early to start thinking about places to go so we are very excited to launch this new Sicily book as a source of inspiration for the coming year.

    Sicily offers amazing sport climbing on some beautiful crags in a seaside holiday atmosphere. It has enough climbing for many weeks of trips and is comparable in many ways to the compact nature of Kalymnos. There is plenty on offer across the grades all within a short walk or drive of some excellent accommodation spots. The excellent climate means that it is a Spring, Autumn or Winter venue that you can rely on.

    The book presents everything in the familiar Rockfax format with detailed photo-topos created using the latest technology, amazing maps, full text descriptions, symbols, navigation QR codes and loads of inspiring action photos from some great photographers.

    Nigel Boothroyd and Alan James high up on the brilliant multi-pitch route Via delle Punte (5c) on Sperone Est Pillar.

    UKC Supporter and SupporterPlus and Rockfax Digital Subscribers can pre-order at 30% off – RRP £34.95, offer price £24.47.

  • Sicily – New Book for Spring 2021

    Despite the current news across the world, like many people, we are enthusiastically looking forward to getting out climbing again in the Spring or Summer. We have been busy in lockdown working hard on a new area and are pleased to announce that we are putting the finishing touches to a guide to Sicily which will be available in print and digital from the end of March.

    This new guide will focus on the amazing climbing found around the holiday town of San Vito Lo Capo to the west of Palermo as well as including a few sport areas around Palermo itself. Although relatively new to the sport climbing circuit, the San Vito area combines the key requirements of a great climate, plentiful holiday amenities and a stunning array of quality rock. The climbing is mostly single-pitch sport routes although there are also a few multi-pitch areas including some older trad and mixed walls.

    As an area, it is relatively compact – similar to Kalymnos rather than spread out crags as in the Costa Blanca and Mallorca. It is even possible to get a week’s climbing without hiring a car if you wished although one is advised to make the most out of the place. There is plentiful great accommodation, especially in the off-season outside the summer months.

    The guide will cover over 1200 routes on 28 crags. The information is presented in the familiar Rockfax format with big crag photos, detailed topo lines, informative descriptions, precise maps and inspiring action photos.

    • The book will be available for pre-ordering from this web site from early March
    • The digital version will be available at the same time as the print version in early April
    • Check out a sample chapter

  • North Wales Climbs Updated

    Happy Christmas from all of us at Rockfax and UKClimbing. Like everyone, we are hoping for a better 2021 with more opportunities for us all to get outdoors and pursue our passion activities whatever they may be.

    Earlier this month we published a new book to Snowdonia : Mountain Walks and Scrambles. The scrambles in this book have now been added to the North Wales Climbs package on Rockfax Digital. We have also taken the opportunity to vastly improve the maps across the main Snowdonia and mid-Wales crags.

    • iOS – If you have North Wales Climbs installed then update by checking under the Installed tab and clicking update all. 
    • Android – If you have North Wales Climbs installed then update by checking under the Installed tab and clicking on the green update button on currently installed crags.

    Our aim is to release new crags and updates on a monthly basis starting in spring 2021. Of course we will only do this if and when the national situation allows travelling for climbing.

  • Snowdonia : Mountain Walks and Scrambles published

    A winter mountaineer on the summit of Castell y Gwynt on the edge of the summit plateau of Glyder Fach. Photo: Eilir Davies-Hughes

    We are very pleased to announce the publication of Snowdonia : Mountains Walks and Scrambles. The book is here in plenty of time for Christmas and just as we are all starting to think that next year could be an exciting one for getting back to the mountain activities that we love.

    This book, the 59th Rockfax guide, is a slight departure for us delving and should appeal to climbers who look for long days in the mountains on challenging terrain without getting into full-on rock climbing. It has been assembled by North Wales local and aficionado Mark Reeves following on from his popular and successful North Wales Climbs and North Wales Slate guidebooks.

    The book is available for order direct from the Rockfax web site at a 30% discount for UKC Supporter Plus. It should also be available from your local specialist outdoor retailer if you can get there, or their web site.

    Beautiful overview photos
    Highly detailed mapping

    UKC SupporterPlus can order at 30% off the RRP (RRP £24.95, UKC Supporter price £17.47) including delivery.

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