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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

Topic Date User
Bolting at Piddo Thursday, 12 May 2011 At 10:42:31 AM Wendy
Message
On 12/05/2011 nmonteith wrote:
>Here is a (non) hypothetical. I climb up to about 26 on sport routes, my
>girlfriend climbs at most about grade 17 and doesn't really feel comfortable
>leading much more than 14. For her your mythical grade '18' is very hard.
>She has no interest in going to the gym and getting stronger. She has no
>interest in getting scared trad leading. She just likes hanging out at
>the crag and doing a few fun routes, reading some mags and napping in the
>sun. For her a safe grade 14 sport route would be really nice and make
>her day. It doesn't have to be a mega classic exposed awesome three star
>line. It just needs to be a bit of fun to pass the time.

Maybe the sad reality is that Kathy will have to do a lot more hanging out napping and reading. Some people's tastes and preferences aren't particularly compatible with the realities of the sport. How many crags have potential 14s next to your 26s?

And there's no need to get scared trad leading! I'm far more scared having to run it out to the next bolt than I am lacing a trad route! Isn't there a point here about broadening one's skill base to participate rather than desperately seeking things that will enable participation for those of a smaller skill base? This doesn't necessarily mean climbing harder, but it does mean learning about gear in order to access those routes that are easier. I don't think there's anything about gear that makes it impossible for someone to learn even if they might never climb 18.

I think what really gets to me in the whole discussion is how we are really accommodating climbing more and more to a certain mindset. Climbing isn't about providing comfortable experiences for everybody. We have to learn and adapt to the challenges provided by it. And if you aren't willing to learn and adapt, there are already purpose made environments enabling you to participate at the level to which you choose. These people can still enjoy the outdoors by going bushwalking or having a picnic.

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