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Topic - Getting into Trad

Rog Wilko on 05 Oct 2012
A post about where people might find some sport climbing around Dewerstone got me thinking again about how sad it is that so many younger/newer climbers are fixated on sport climbing. Clearly, this is a product of the ubiquity of indoor walls and the fact that these are nowadays most people's introduction to climbing.

This may be something of a generalisation, but I think many will agree that the essence (and indeed the tradition) of climbing in the UK is Trad. Although never is a long time, I feel sure that UK will never be a significant sport climbing area, although there may possibly be a continued and increasing pressure from some quarters to make it one, especially if we fail to induct newcomers into that tradition. It may also be a generalisation, but in my view we have very few good sport crags. Many sport venues seem to be places explored but largely rejected by trad climbers, such as Harpur Hill, and there is only a handful of real quality sport crags, which are mainly catering for experienced and hard climbers rather than newbies fresh off an indoor induction course. My point here is that people are missing the special quality of British climbing if they don't get into trad, and anyone living in the UK who thinks sport climbing is going to give them a passion with a duration measured in decades rather than months is sadly deluded.

Perhaps there is an onus on the older generation (whatever that is) to do their bit towards helping people get into trad? Correct me if I'm wrong, but no-one in the responses to the Dewerstone post said "I could meet you at such-and-such a place and maybe give you a bit of a hand in getting into trad", which might (or might not) have been appreciated by the OP. Is it time we set up a panel of Trad Mentors who would be willing to give up a bit of time to bring on the next generation of trad climbers who will value and maintain the trad ethic?

So, whether you're a hoary handed son of trad or a newbie fresh off Awesome Walls, what do you think?
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