TheShortSpan is 10 years old soon. I can’t remember its birthday but it was some time before the end of February 2000 Check it out on archive.org here and here. This website started off with some very scant information about bouldering in a few obscure spots in Dublin and Wicklow. It grew as bouldering become more popular. As areas became discovered and documented new web pages were created with some fairly crude topos. A few years ago it became apparent that having the topos spread over many – difficult to print – html pages was not the way to go, the answer was to assemble all the information from the web pages into one document. The first edition of the guide was 50 pages and it has grown to 123 pages in the latest and fifth edition. The updating of the guide has been my main focus and so the rest of the site hasn’t been updated with articles, news and photos as much as it might of otherwise. As the guide got bigger it took more and more time to update and the gap between updates started to get larger.
I have decided to publish a printed guide to bouldering in Ireland. The information contained in the web guide will be the basis for it but the print guide will have loads of photos, everywhere will be re-research and the topos and maps will all be redrawn.
Over the years a good few people have encouraged me to do a print guide and I always felt the time wasn’t right so what has changed? From a personal point of view I now have time on my hands and I felt if I don’t do it now I never will. Also the rate of discovery of new bouldering areas has slowed down so there is less risk of the guide being out of date before its printed.
At this time I hope to have the guide ready for Christmas. This may be too ambitious as I have never heard of a guidebook meeting its deadline. Guidebooks are expensive (€25 seems to be about average), I will do everything I can to keep the price of mine as low as possible for two reasons firstly I want to sell as many as possible and secondly this isn’t a money making exercise for me.
Once the print guide is finished I will be taking down the web based guide but it will be freely available until then so no panic.
I will be looking for as much feedback as possible. I really want to hear from people about what they would like to see in the guide. Also feedback on the information in the existing guide would be very helpful. I would especially be interested in hearing from anyone who has any good photos so please get in touch.
To make all this easier I have started a blog to keep people up to date on my progress, I will use it as a sounding board, I will post up previews as I go along and hopefully there will be some useful insight into creating a guidebook.