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Dear climbers. I'm tired of the `Star Wars' and I would appreciate some feedback please. I am working on a third edition to Climb Tasmania, a selected best climbs guide... totally revamped with fresh topos, some new crags, action's going to be a kick-ass guide for visitors and locals alike. How would people react to a `starless' guide? I'm a bit weary of the endless debate about stars and the totally subjective nature of assessing the quality of routes. Having put up a few new routes, its hard not to be biased and to inflate stars on my own routes because new routers invest so much time and effort. But people are also attracted to certain styles of route and diss routes that don't suit them. Some routes may be a bit dirty or have certain imperfections, or hard to access, but still have some great climbing. One problem with stars is that people gravitate to the 3 star routes and perfectly good climbs get neglected. I would like to foster an old skill that many climbers from the past used to have, that is to walk under a cliff and say..that looks like a great route..let's try that... with no indication in the guide of its quality, but just enough information to decide FOR YOURSELF if its safe and worthwhile doing...restoring a bit of self reliance and a climbers ability to judge and assess risk and decide whether to climb a route or not, based on their assessment, and not being hand-held by a guidebook all the way up a route. After all, a bit of mystery and adventure is partly why we all like climbing. If it is a selected best climbs guide, then it should be assumed that most of the routes in there are worth doing..and I will recruit the opinions of seasoned and respected locals to make the route selection. What do people think of a starless guidebook..or is this a silly idea from a long-lost galaxy far far away...

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  1. I'm all for this, Gerry. Great idea. The guide can help you find the climbs, and then some basic information to allow you to look and see what you want to climb. 

    Honestly, it's the pictures and action shots that would then prompt visits rather than stars. And the pictures contain much more information that a star.

    Can't wait to see the revamp.

  2. I think it's a great idea too. You could always use language too to describe the climb - 'The perfect rock climb' or 'The classic of the crag'.  By the way - all the climbs on the Alum Cliffs are 3 star routes... 

  3. Not a bad idea. Granted it may not be popular with the masses but in a select guide most of the climbs have 2-3 stars anyway. There should be no mediocre routes in there.