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Post details Post   (Contract pics)
tamjk
2015-09-02 17:17:42
OSI Perspectives . . . .
Wicklore,

I realise that the phrasing I used was ambiguous but I did not mean to suggest that MountainViews was a representative organization for climbers. By "other representative organization" I had in mind Mountaineering Ireland and its larger local climbing clubs.
Last year when I made a congratulatory email to OSI on publication of their 1:25,000 maps, I expressed a wish that they cover more of the other mountain ranges of Kerry & Cork like Brandon Mts, Slieve Mish range, Caha/Sugarloaf, etc. I also expressed a hope that safe summit routes would be added to these maps to prevent the annual loss of young adults on these mountains since it seemed to me - moreover on reading inquest reports on climbing falls - that many climbers simply set out on their last climb without a clear idea of their chosen route and its risks.
My respondent replied that he largely agreed with these sentiments but had not been able to identify any single authority responsible for selecting such routes. My own experience when discussing the matter with personnel in MI, KMR, etc has been similar. MI : "support services to members only"; KMR : "rescue & recovery only."
On the matter of 1:25,000 map production itself - regardless of mountain route inclusion - he offered production cost and uncertainty of market as reasons for not rolling out more than 3 of these maps "pending the introduction of new technology".

It's hard not to get the feeling that a sort of machismo montañero exists among the management of climbing organizations. A simple analysis of the routes most frequently associated with rescue operations should tell which routes are definitely NOT for day-trippers. While most of us have different climbing difficulty issues - and for sure different fear issues - I think we can all see that certain routes are clearly dangerous for people just looking for a day out.

As regards the 1:25,000 maps themselves, I no longer believe that OSI has a serious data, processing or production cost problem with making these.
What they do have - or so imagine - is a "pension fund deficit" problem.
Look at the accounts for OSI (you'll get them in the Annual Report on their website) and you'll see a rare bird.
You'll see Pension Fund entries figure prominently not just as a footnote to the Balance Sheet but bang in the middle of their Income Statement, BS and other financial statements.
I'm no accountant but I would have thought that whatever the pension liabilities of OSI may be, it ought hardly be allowed to restrict the investment needed to maintain their raison-d'etre activities. If nothing else, selling maps to walkers, bikers, climbers and tourists might be the only way by which they can ever clear their pension fund shortfall.
But OSI seems heading for the ultimate stop on the Bureaucratic Absurdity Line : its primary purpose being to provide a comfortable income to its present and past functionaries.
The much-vaunted digital map offering cost €48 for an A4 size and around €70 for an A3 size is hardly a plausible alternative for ordinary climbers, walkers and bikers. After all that you have the cost of printing them.
I'm told that a Cambridge company has been given rights to use OSI map data in their app (Viewranger) for people doing routes. But the maximum resolution is poor and the actual map images look oldish. The peak-names cover much of the peak contours and increase in size as the resolution increases, which makes the estimation of cross-sections and gradients awkward. No way is it a viable alternative to a hard-copy high-res map.
So there we are climbing in Ireland - on our own and without a proper map to guide us !

@ Mcrtchly,

If the 'Sirrah' term offended you, I apologize.
I used it in its dramatic sense. I make no claim on superiority of any kind on you.
As to the 1:25,000 map, all i can say is that i looked at the Killarney National Park Adventure map yesterday and it seemed to run no further west than the mountain range just east of the Mullaghanattin Horseshoe.
But you are the expert in this and I accept your statement that the Mullaghanattin Horseshoe is covered here.
But I do not accept that OSI correctly judges the market for these maps as inadequate to produce more than 3 of them.
I don't say that ALL the country need be covered. Just those areas with sufficient detail and demand. I think that Slieve Mish and Caha fall into this category, as do other areas in this country.
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