/ Olympics & Climbing, Should we be careful what we wish for?

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herrettscott - on 27 Feb 2013
Can anybody explain what benefit indoor climbing as an Olympic sport will bring to climbers individually or collectively. It seems there is an increasing discourse within the climbing community that 'we' should support the bid to have climbing in the Olympics. Those that are pushing for the inclusion sight the increased exposure that having climbing in the Olympics will bring. This potentially will lead to increased investment, leading to improved and a greater number of facilities which will lead to increased participation, especially among the young or those disadvantaged not to live near a climbing wall. (although as a kid growing up in a working class town, I always wanted to try skiing, however I didn't expect someone to build an artificial ski slope to keep me off the streets)

As a climbing punter, the negatives seem to outweigh any perceived positive. An over riding issue for me, are the negative impacts that would come from climbing being increasingly commercialised. I used to enjoy watching, playing and being involved in football but over the last 10 years i've increasingly distanced myself from it for this reason.

So those of you who have 'liked' the FB page or supported the bid I would be genuinely interested to know why you think its a good thing...because at the moment I have yet to be convinced.
andrewmcleod - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to herrettscott:

I always find it odd that while virtually every other sport I have seen is always trying to increase participation and increase accessibility, there seem to be (based on a very limited sample of UKC :P ) elements of the climbing community that seem to want to limit participation and accessibility. I accept that sometimes there are arguments for this (e.g. if a high-grade trad route gets bolted or even gets pegs replaced with bolts/lower-offs added, then as many more people are willing to try and climb it there is the potential for polish/damage etc.)

In terms of commercialization, most of the really good climbers already seem to be sponsored by various organizations, although I realise it doesn't compare to that available in larger sports! I would like to know though what negative aspects you are concerned about, as (probably due to a lack of imagination) I can't think of any (especially as most of any potential growth will be indoors)?

To summarise, in most sports people would be very happy to double the number of people taking part in that sport. Is that true of climbing?
turtlespit - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to herrettscott: I'm not fussed about competitive climbing. I enjoying climbing indoors, but primarily as a way to climb better when I'm outside. Consequently I don't really care about climbing as an olympic sport, but the optimist in me hopes for the following:

- there's an argument out there that more climbing competitions could improve the general standard of route setting (http://www.verticallifemag.com.au/2012/09/why-you-should-support-local-climbing-competitions/ )
- hopefully more people buying climbing gear keeps gear prices lower than if there were a sudden drop in participation
- new long indoor walls! 30-40m walls would be great training.

I think a lot of people worry that it could lead to an explosion of people climbing outdoors, which would increase crag erosion. Not sure if that'll happen - maybe there'll be more of a divide with a lot of people seeing 'rock climbing' as something done indoors on coloured plastic.
JayPee630 - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to herrettscott:

Agree and more so. The idea of climbing as a competitive (and extreme) sport actually disgusts me, and am totally against its inclusion in the Olympics, as well as the creeping commercialism in the mountains and climbers that has been mentioned already.

AJM - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to turtlespit:

Yes, I'd find better training research, route setting and training facilities pretty handy, as I suspect would many climbers who have an interest in exploring their limits.

In terms of commercialisation, I can understand why that might put you off watching or competing but I'm very curious as to why it might stop folk doing their sort of climbing - maybe they got into it for the counter-culture vibe or something, but anyway it's not a motivation I can recognise in me - I don't think my views on my climbing would be affected by an increased amount of commercialism in comps and sponsored climbers or whatever.

People argue that it would polish crags, but I've always figured that most people who got into comp climbing through Olympic exposure would either stay indoors (there are plenty who pretty much do already, seeing indoor climbing as an alternative to gym, squash etc rather than as a route to outdoor climbing) or, having a competitive mindset and seeing climbing through its competitions, would quickly be climbing way harder than the average punter anyway!
climbingpixie - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to andrewmcleod:

The thing is, Sports Centres aren't a limited natural resource whereas crags are. If the number of people climbing increases then so does the wear and polish on the rock and the surrounding areas, not to mention the fact that the crags will be busier. I'd prefer to see the BMC actively discouraging people from taking up climbing through negative advertising campaigns (it's dangerous, it always rains, you don't look as cool doing it as you think you will) - that might inspire me to rejoin.
lowersharpnose - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to herrettscott:

What sort of climbing could be included in the Olympics?

Speed climbing & bouldering?

Certainly nothing to do with real rock or mountains.

Olli-C - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to herrettscott:

Personally, I enjoy going to climbing competitions once in a while but for several reasons I still don't think it should be an olympic sport. It irritates me that so many of my friends have 'liked' the facebook climbing olympic page most likely without pausing to think about why they want they it to be an olympic sport. They're like lemmings.
JayPee630 - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to Olli-C:

I'm still getting to grips with this whole 'like' thing, but I have deduced it doesn't really mean Like, it just means something between 'I've seen this', 'it's mildly interesting' and 'my friends have clicked it so I will.'
Olli-C - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to JayPee630:
> (In reply to Olli-C)
>
> I'm still getting to grips with this whole 'like' thing, but I have deduced it doesn't really mean Like, it just means something between 'I've seen this', 'it's mildly interesting' and 'my friends have clicked it so I will.'


Exactly! I refuse to 'like' stuff unless I genuinely like it but most people don't seem to think this way...
Neil Williams - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to JayPee630:

It used to be a Join button, functionality hasn't changed. It essentially means "subscribe".

Neil
Kemics - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to herrettscott:

I'd go with "the more the merrier"

But I don't think climbing being part of the Olympics will lead to an explosion of new people. Maybe a few more, but in reality it already has quite good exposure and i'd say 99% of people are familiar with the concept of indoor climbing.

But hey, if it does, it will lead to better facilities for training. And if they want to come outdoor too, well good. Most of the routes near me could do with a bit more traffic to keep them clean :)
GridNorth - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to herrettscott: I don't understand this drive to encourage people to climb. I admit I'm an old traditionalist and probably a bit selfish but part of the appeal of climbing for me was the contact with nature, the wilderness experience and the absence of any overt competition. This is getting increasingly hard to achieve these days, it all seems to be about the grade and getting better. (For better read climb harder) I think that including it in the Olympics will have an adverse affect on the overall climbing scene but if they restrict it to indoors I wouldn't really care as I don't view this as "real" climbing.
mike kann - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to herrettscott: I don't see how the olympics WILL make it more accessible though. I think that is a bit of jargon used by promoters to justify their campaigns. In the last 20 years, I'd say climbing has grown, but it's grown sideways, not upwards if you know what I mean. Its a more diverse game than it was when I started, more people boulder and sport climb than ever before, and climbing walls seem to provide excitement for city types who often seem to never leave the wall. Trad climbing is pretty much where it was 20 years ago I'd say, with only a few honeypot venues like stanage getting busier. For example I've been climbing at Avon Gorge soince 1996 and in that time it's never been much different in terms of popularity, despite being a city crag.

If more climbing walls are built, then that is what will get busier. Climbing walls seem to have this ability to trap people into thinking that they're not ready yet. The number of times I've heard poeple say they feel they need to get stronger before they go outside is ridiculous. People don't understand that walls are for training, and that outside is actually often less strenuous and physical.

I think the number of people who are liable to get the bug is about the same whether you have it as an olympic sport or not. These sorts will be motivated enough to get on a course, buy a book, join a club, search out friends etc so that they really get into it, i.e. in the great outdoors. People who want fitness will most likely stick to the gym, or go running or cycling etc. because climbing is a faff and as such you need to want to do it to actually do it on a regular basis. If the basic motivation isn't there...
mike kann - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to lowersharpnose:

> Speed climbing & bouldering?
>
> Certainly nothing to do with real rock or mountains.

You might want to tell that to these two...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUWBbepsdmY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQb4_8PyZBM

and the obligatory

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5D0P9aPu51A
EeeByGum - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to lowersharpnose:

> Speed climbing & bouldering?
>
> Certainly nothing to do with real rock or mountains.

Indeed, but to suggest that this would have no impact on the mountains is a bit short sighted IMO. I too worry about increased participation and its impact on the crags and access to them. Of course, to the officionados, there will always be deserted mountain crags to visit, but that isn't the point either.
mike kann - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to EeeByGum: How is it shortsighted? If you detail the steps you need to go through to actually get to a mountain crag in safety, most people who aren't that into it but gave it a go down the local wall will be put off anyway.
duchessofmalfi - on 28 Feb 2013
Q: What benefit is it to climbers for climbing to go into the Olympics?

A: No benefit to climbers in general

Some benefit to an elite few and some benefit to a small number of "armchair climbers" who would prefer to watch telly than climb.

As for increased investment - look how this benefited grass roots canoeing when the BCU got additional funding for slalom successes (for those that don't know compared crag and river access success by the BMC / BCU in England).
New POD - on 28 Feb 2013
Perhaps encourage Free Running Instead ?
Bruce Hooker - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to herrettscott:

I don't see climbing as just a sport, I think it goes much further than this. All that could possibly be introduced in the Olympics would be this very partial aspect of the activity, probably pretty boring to watch too.

The only people really interested will be the sort of failed athletes who see the sport aspect of climbing as a way of satisfying their lust for public acclaim and the commercial interests involved in climbing wall and such artificial places that would most likely be used in the games.

When one can judge the emotions obtained watching a sunset over the mountains or a shoreline of cliffs after a strenuous days climbing then maybe climbing could be a competitive sport but even if it were possible would there be any point?
ads.ukclimbing.com
Siward on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker: agree. For me, climbing as a sport is the antithesis of climbing.
GridNorth - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to Siward: I took up climbing in 1964 specifically because it was NOT viewed as a sport. IMO it is much, much more but "sport climbing" and even more so indoor climbing are more akin to traditional sports so I can see why some want those disciplines to be considered for the Olympics. Thankfully I can't see that ever happening with trad.
Calder - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Everyone's assuming it'll be in the guise of sport climbing or some such. Maybe they're thinking along marathon lines....... so it could work like this:

They could, if they thunk about it, make it like orienteering. Where the teams of athletes ;) do a grueling multiday link up (on foot, naturally) to several crags dotted around some remote area - having to stamp their cards somewhere near the top of say 4 or 5 hard multi-pitch routes. I'm sure there's plenty of places this could work in many countries.

Would it be any more watchable? Doubtful. But it'd be more of a (ahem) real experience for them.

Or they could do the obvious and have a boring speed climbing comp with top-roped competitors on plastic holds........ I'd probably still watch it if the alternative was second rate rugby sevens or pitch and putt.
MJ - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to lowersharpnose:

What sort of climbing could be included in the Olympics?

Lead climbing: -

http://www.climbing.com/news/lead-climbing-only-for-2020-olympic-bid/
jimtitt - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to Calder:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
>
> Everyone's assuming it'll be in the guise of sport climbing or some such. Maybe they're thinking along marathon lines....... so it could work like this:
>

I don´t think anyone is assuming anything, or if they are they are woefully ignorant on the issue.
"The International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) has announced that its bid for climbing to enter the 2020 Olympic Games will focus exclusively on lead climbing. The IFSC will pursue neither bouldering nor speed climbing for the first Olympics with modern climbing."

Martin Bennett - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to GridNorth:
And reply to SiWard
And reply to BruceHooker

Hear Hear to the last three posts. That should end this thread in my opinion - you have it succinctly wrapped up and I concur with each well-chosen word and phrase. P'raps it's an age thing - I started in the sixties and am still at it!

Yes - have your SPORT of indoor climbing/sport climbing/speed climbing/bouldering in The Olympics if you want; it'll make no difference to the WAY OF LIFE that is climbing as I understand it.
mike kann - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> The only people really interested will be the sort of failed athletes who see the sport aspect of climbing as a way of satisfying their lust for public acclaim and the commercial interests involved in climbing wall and such artificial places that would most likely be used in the games.

Blimey Bruce you make some ridiculous statements sometimes. Does the rest of the olympics attract "failed athletes"? Whether you agree with sport climbing or not, it still takes people many many years of training and dedication to get to the very pinnacle of what they do. The money is not sufficient to warrant claims of commercial interest - indeed most Olympians struggle for many years with no funding or help. You think there would be loadsa money in a minority sport like climbing when there isn't any now?

> When one can judge the emotions obtained watching a sunset over the mountains or a shoreline of cliffs after a strenuous days climbing then maybe climbing could be a competitive sport but even if it were possible would there be any point?

You know climbing competition is not about that, and that climbing has both physical AND emotional aspects to it. Of course you're also ignoring the emotional response you get to competition. The olympics aren't about replicating a sport in it's natural environment, rather showcasing the heights of human endeavour and dedication. I don't think there is anything wrong with that. Of course you look upon climbing (as I do) as much more than a sport, but then again, what harm will it do if every 4 years the general public get to see what we do, even in a very watered down way? And if it inspires a few people to try to get to do the real thing is that such a big problem?
Jim at Work on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to mike kann:
Well, it may become an issue; several sports post olympics reported a huge increase in new entrants. Lets assume Olympic climbing would be 'leading indoors'. This is likely to result in many more newbies at indoor walls. Now that may lead to more walls, but it is at least as likley to lead to massive overcrowding at existing ones (& price increases?). 'My' wall is rammed already. Long term, may be good. Short term...?
Also, unmentioned so far, there may be a leakage into outdoor, sports and trad, with pressure for regulation. Paranoia perhaps, but as the heading says, 'be careful what you wish for'.
Mind you, it would be great to see Lena et al getting a decent living for being superlative at the sport we all love.
@ndyM@rsh@ll - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to Martin Bennett:


> Yes - have your SPORT of indoor climbing/sport climbing/speed climbing/bouldering in The Olympics if you want; it'll make no difference to the WAY OF LIFE that is climbing as I understand it.

Awesome, so there's no argument then.
BMC Office - on 28 Feb 2013 - www.thebmc.co.uk
In reply to people:

If you're interested in climbing and the Olympics, here's a good background article by Ed Douglas (From Summit magazine in 2009):

http://thebmc.co.uk/the-olympics-faster-higher-stronger

And our latest news item is here:

http://thebmc.co.uk/taking-climbing-to-the-olympics
mike kann - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to Jim at Work: The only way regulation would actually happen is if we allowed it to happen. The BMC aren't about to do that, and we're not about to let them. How they would regulate a way of life I'm not entirely sure... price increases at the wall? When they are getting more revenue because they are more subscribed? Only if they're somewhat greedy. All I'm saying is that the naysayers are painting a rather black picture of what it would mean - I just can't see it as being as negative as they're making it out to be. I mean half of them don't even know what format a competition generally takes, let alone been to one so how on earth would they know how awful it is?
EeeByGum - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to mike kann:
> (In reply to EeeByGum) How is it shortsighted? If you detail the steps you need to go through to actually get to a mountain crag in safety, most people who aren't that into it but gave it a go down the local wall will be put off anyway.

Right, but the next step isn't going to be some distant mountain crag. It is going to be Stanage or Froggatt. You only have to look at the who-ha that happens every October when a couple of hundred students rock up some of the more popular climbing venues to see that most people don't like busy crags. Maybe I am being selfish, but you don't know what you had until you loose it. Why don't people climb at Stoney any more? Because it is a polished nightmare perhaps?
mike kann - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to EeeByGum: So it's OK for you to use Stanage or Froggatt, but not somebody else? Right. OK. Now I understand. Perhaps you need to find other crags if you want isolation. Maybe you should come to Avon Gorge where you can climb pretty much what ever route you want without having stand in a queue. Or Cheddar. Or Wye. Or you could go to any number of crags rather than the ridiculous hell hole that Stanage can be...
SCC - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to mike kann:
> (In reply to EeeByGum) So it's OK for you to use Stanage or Froggatt, but not somebody else? Right. OK. Now I understand. Perhaps you need to find other crags if you want isolation. Maybe you should come to Avon Gorge where you can climb pretty much what ever route you want without having stand in a queue. Or Cheddar. Or Wye. Or you could go to any number of crags rather than the ridiculous hell hole that Stanage can be...

That does, at first glance, seem to be the crux of most of the arguments against climbing in the Olympics. "I don't want more people climbing as it will make my wall/crag/venue more busy".
Sounds pretty selfish to me.

I don't agree that we will see a massive increase of people at the crag though.
Yes, we see a load of students every year for a few weeks, but they have access to Uni equipment and people in the clubs that will take them away and teach them (to a greater or lesser degree). The supposed massive influx of people that will descend on the wilderness that is Stanage wont have that benefit.

I don't doubt that the climbing walls will see an increase in interest for their courses, but how many people will actually take up the sport after an initial taster session is not something you can accurately predict.

I realise that wont stop people screaming that the sky is falling - but hey.

Si

herrettscott - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to BMC Office: Thanks for the links, the older article was especially good in explaining the history behind the campaign, although the motivations for the BMC and IFSC seem at odds to my values and I'm sure many others towards climbing.

It seems the initial decision by the IFSC was bourne out of the desire to increase revenue for the sport. It also seems (from the article) that one reason why the BMC decided to support the process was to prevent alienation and reprisals from the IFSC. (Hopefully this didn't play a significant part in the process) The other explanation seems to be with the recognition and kudos that a medal in climbing will gain for the individual/country.

But bringing it back to my original question, I fail to see what benefit this brings to the climbing community and me as a climber. Those that will only benefit (and fair play to them) are the 'elite' athletes and the brands they endorse.

I must admit I enjoyed watching online the IFSC competitions, I've also been to a few bouldering comps and the whole day has been fantastic. So I do understand the appeal of competition climbing as a spectacle. I don't think my experience would have been enhanced if this was in the olympic arena though.

I climb because I enjoy getting out doors and being amongst a unique community. So I suppose my greatest fear is the effect a significant increase in traffic will have on crags up and down the country. I appreciate indoor climbing is a different entity, but I don't think it can entirely be distinguished from climbing outdoors, like quite a few posters seem to think. Only time will tell, but I do believe it will lead to an unsustainable proliferation of 'climbers' onto our finite crags, and thus accelerating their inevitable decline.
GridNorth - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to herrettscott:
> Only time will tell, but I do believe it will lead to an unsustainable proliferation of 'climbers' onto our finite crags, and thus accelerating their inevitable decline.

Or increase the pressure to bolt things. That is my worry.
cap'nChino - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to herrettscott: My opinion is that as things get bigger they get more regulated. Things seem to be at a good status qou at the moment with indoor walls having high standards of safety and outdoors we are pretty much free to do as we wish.

Besides the crags are getting polished at a good rate already and more traffic will only enhance this. Plus we will all have to queue long for climbs, both indoors and outdoors.

Keep climbing on the Down low is what I say.
aln - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to herrettscott: I'd quite like to see it in the Olympics coz when I'm not climbing I sometimes like to watch other people climbing. And when watching the Olympics it would provide a bit of variety and make a change from watching people running swimming jumping and throwing things.
john arran - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to SCC:

Thankfully we're now hearing voices of reason to counter the scaremongering old-timers.

I actually think there's a deeper psychological reason why many - often older - climbers are opposed to sport climbing and competitions. I think all of us get attached to the sport as we perceive it when we start. And we naturally become protective of this as a general definition of what climbing is, or what we feel it should be, in general. When inevitably times change and people climb for different reasons we each of us lose something - even if it's only the reaction we get from the non-climbers we meet. Maybe we don't see ourselves as gymnastic types and would prefer if people we meet didn't have that preconception of what a climber is. Maybe we're horrified at the thought that people may assume we're all competitive, when we got into climbing for really very different reasons. This might sound like a trivial thing but climbing is such a major part of our make-up I believe it's actually very important to many of us how we are perceived as a group.

What seems to be the case is that as climbing gets more popular indoor facilities get ever better and more numerous; overcrowding is largely self-regulating as new facilities will open. The most crowded I've ever seen a wall was the Foundry back in 1992. THe more facilities there are, the less we have to travel and the more choice we have.

What also seems to be the case is that trad crags in general are not being swamped or getting trashed; yes there's a lot of people at Stanage and Froggatt but most crags are no busier than 20 or 30 years ago, and we have huge numbers more climbers now than then.

The one concern I can agree with is that we need to make very sure that access to our crags is preserved and that sport climbing is sensitively managed to sit alongside the other disciplines rather than competing with them. So far we have a fantastic record of achievement in his respect and I'm very impressed that the BMC has been able to hold the ship together so well to make such harmony possible. Very few other countries have anything like the same balance and mutual respect among different participants and this is due in no small part to the BMC tempering the very strong voices of dissent over the years who sought to fracture the organisation in the perceived interest of one camp or another.
CaverPete - on 28 Feb 2013
"Don't let the riff-raff get into climbing, they will come to my crag and I don't want that." - Typical elitist cr*p.
What if when you guys wanted to start climbing you were not allowed to or you had never been exposed to it because those doing it didn't want anyone else in their 'club'?
That attitude is awful. We deserve no funding or support as a sport if that is the stance we are taking. All we work for will die without the next generation of climbers, including all those potentially inspired by the Olympics.
And the increased environmental argument? How many of you use a bus or walk to the crag? Why don't you climb indoors all the time, that would keep the crags in a better condition. If we really, REALLY cared we'd have to not go to these places at all. To not want anyone else to go so you still can enjoy it in the condition it is in is selfish in the extreme.
ads.ukclimbing.com
EeeByGum - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to mike kann:
> (In reply to EeeByGum) So it's OK for you to use Stanage or Froggatt, but not somebody else?

Not at all. I just don't want to broadcast to all an sundry to come climbing at Stanage and Froggatt which is a completely different thing. Once they have been trashed / access is banned because of excessive number, that is it for everyone.

The thing we forget is that tradition entries into climbing usually include an induction into climbing ethics and acceptable behaviour. This is not something that people just turning up would necessarily respect.
EeeByGum - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to aln:
> (In reply to herrettscott) I'd quite like to see it in the Olympics coz when I'm not climbing I sometimes like to watch other people climbing. And when watching the Olympics it would provide a bit of variety and make a change from watching people running swimming jumping and throwing things.

If you wish to watch live climbing, rather than wait for one opportunity every four years, you will find that most international climbing events are streamed live online.
mike kann - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to GridNorth: Aye right. Just like when they brought in hurdles there was a proliferation of fences going up everywhere so that the athletes had somewhere to practice. What relation do bolts have to competition climbing other than that you perceive the natural place to practice is at sports crags, rather than indoors? And will the demand for sports crags be so increased that lots more will need to be bolted? And will the requirement of these athletes over ride the overwhelming ethic in the UK for Trad? And will you care seeing as you say "as I have got older I appreciate the added security of bolts and the warmth of Europe more and more. Despite this I am a traditionalist at heart and climb on bolts as opposed to sport climb." I'm failing to see how you climbing on bolts is any different to "sport" climbing.

All of this reaks of "well what I do is purer than what you do so I'm right". How is trad climbing that much purer? We ALL have an impact on our crags, whether you like sport climbing alpinism or bouldering. We balance our impact against our desire to do what we like doing. Trad climbing has left Stanage changed forever. Sport climbing has left Portland changed forever. Alpinism has left Chamonix changed. Do you really really honestly think that a few more people will suddenly destroy our crags when we've been doing a pretty good job of it ourselves and don't you think it's a touch hypocritical?
mike kann - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to EeeByGum: So people just turn up to climb at Stanage do they? No clue what they are doing, and just go for it? Do you not think its up to us to help lead people in the right direction and show them what climbing is about? Or are you too interested in your own climbing to help others and make sure that Stanage doesn't get trashed? How is these newcomers entry to climbing going to be any different to ours was? Surely they are going to go and buy a book, or get on a course and find like minded people to learn from? Or am I missing something here?
Robert Durran - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to CaverPete:

> We deserve no funding or support as a sport.

Do we need any?

> All we work for will die without the next generation of climbers.

What would that be and why does it matter? If people want to climb, they will. What's the problem?

CaverPete - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Do we need any?

I'd have to check but I expect the BMC gets a nice slice from the taxpayer via the sports council + I would imagine some investment if it were to become an Olympic sport. Can always put up BMC fees or increase car parking charges to cover the shortfall though. Or stop buying crags and sell them back to private landowners.

> What would that be and why does it matter? If people want to climb, they will. What's the problem?

All the ethics and environmental responsibility that the majority of climbers adhear to. If no one wants more climbers about then what incentive is there to interact with the next generation? We have to embrace the new participants to be able to influence and teach them the same responsibilities we have. If we leave them to it then how do they know it's not the done thing to pop a bolt at the top of Stanage. Certainly safer - what harm could it do.......
Max Harms on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to herrettscott: my question is why shouldn’t my generation and future generations have the opportunity to compete in the Olympics if it gets in this year?
Those that say they chose to go climbing because it wasn't a sport or wasn't considered a sport need to accept that it has changed into one. You can now compete on an international scale for your country against others; even your local climbing wall will host its annual bouldering league over the winter months.

What I don’t understand with this sport instead of getting behind people and encouraging people to take up our sport we want to shun them away; it reminds me of a jealous 5 year that doesn’t want to share his toys.

if climbing does get in to Olympics the BMC will see an increase in the amount of funding it receives allowing it to meets to aims and deliver on the needs of its members more effectively e.g. access as well as development on the GB team.

Personally I believe Climbing is at a critical stage where we will either sink or swim as a sport. It’s high time we show off our sport to the rest of the world for what is. AMAZING and remove the stereotypical image of when you say I climb to your friends and others of dangling by your fingers over cliff edges above certain death (have you read the daily mirror articles!?)
Just before you go I would like to say if it gets in this year I for one will be working as hard as I can to get selected when the time comes.

Max


herrettscott - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to Max Harms: if it does get in, then I genuinely wish you all the best and hope you archive your goal. (my 8 year old son entered his first comp a couple of weeks ago and we both had a great time, he's already mentioned to me he wants to climb in the Olympics!)

I think the thread has run its course, but just to add some more context to my original question. I for one actively enjoy all sorts of climbing be it trad, sport, bouldering, inside and out, I basically work to climb, although my preference is always out. Also I started climbing relatively late at 34, so obviously I wouldn't dream of "shunning people away", (I have always encouraged my non climbing friends and family to come out with me)

Climbing will carry on with or without it being in the Olympics. From the amount of new walls getting built all around the country at the moment and the increase in participants, competitions (. I for one welcome all this, but its all happened without the Olympics, which makes me think do we really need it and for what end? I am open minded, and could be swayed to support it, but still no one has succinctly convinced me it will benefit climbers (as a whole), those now and those who take it up in the future. (i'm talking about those venturing outdoors)

Another poster touched on a point, highlighting that those against it do so due to a protective response. I agree in some ways with this, in respect of protecting a resource, but more fundamentally for me it comes down to ....is more always better? sometimes it can be, but I think most of the time in my life it really isn't..
Bruce Hooker - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to mike kann:

> You know climbing competition is not about that,

But I do know that that's what climbing is about. Gymnastics and athletics have their place in the Olympic games, and there are already far too many events, making the cost of hosting the games impossible for all but the richest countries... adding more pseudo sports to please commercial interests and bureaucrats - I see the BMC is posting in on the act now! - will make a monster into total madness.

The whole Olympic ethic is being destroyed by the way the games are heading, they need cutting down to a more reasonable size, doable for smaller, poorer nations, and going back to a little nearer their original ideals, not bloating up even further to bloat a few rather pathetic struggling egos.
Bruce Hooker - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to Max Harms:

> even your local climbing wall will host its annual bouldering league over the winter months.

And why do they do that?

All about money, isn't it? As the Olympic games and sport in general has become. Take the telly away from the Olympics and it would come back down to human size. Take spectator sports away too and all the overweight "sportsmen" might just get off their half crushed settees and get out and actually do some physical activity instead of watching others do it - live for themselves rather than living by proxy.
Robert Durran - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to CaverPete:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> I'd have to check but I expect the BMC gets a nice slice from the taxpayer via the sports council + I would imagine some investment if it were to become an Olympic sport.

Yes, but why would funding be lost without Olympic status? (Presumably any additional funding would go towards indoor/competeition climbing)

> All the ethics and environmental responsibility that the majority of climbers adhear to. If no one wants more climbers about then what incentive is there to interact with the next generation? We have to embrace the new participants to be able to influence and teach them the same responsibilities we have.

I fail completely to see what that has got to do with Olympic status. If there are no more climbers then so be it. If there are, then they will be interacted with, Olympic status or not.

I am not pro or anti Olympic status. If people want it then fine by me.
mike kann - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker: do you eat children? I've got this image of you as a grumpy bugger that goes round wagging your finger at the lunacy of the world... I agree the Olympics are perhaps too big, but given that they exist and they are expanding, is it really such an awful prospect that you are forced to watch some athletes at the top of the game with whom you probably share more than you'd like to admit do their thing? It doesn't stop you from enjoying the mountains the way you have always enjoyed them and it might actually encourage some to get out there and discover what you cherish, in the way that you cherish them...
Bruce Hooker - on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to mike kann:

> is it really such an awful prospect that you are forced to watch some athletes...

Forced to? That would be awful, thank heavens no one is proposing that, but what has watching athletes got to do with climbing?

If by this you mean "athletes" who choose to race up climbs or something of the sort then I sincerely think this would be very bad for climbing as a whole as it would give a totally false idea of what climbing is all about for most climbers. Climbing is a very poor spectator activity for anyone but climbers, as the odd documentary of people climbing has proved in the past... It's really boring even when the people being filmed were called Joe Brown of Chris Bonnington (no offence meant) as it involves a lot of hanging about. You may want to jazz it up, have sprints up artificial walls with plenty of lobbing off (why not automatic smoke flares that burst into flame as they fell through the air?) and spectacular falls but this wouldn't be the real thing, anymore than a reality show is real life.

Why not leave this sort of glitzy nonsense to the small number of extroverts who really believe that climbing is about competition between competitors, speed or whatever other criteria some showman might dream up. Obviously some have a vested interest in such circuses (it would be honest for them to own up if they do on the thread) but they can only trivialise climbing further than it is in some respects already - the queues up Everest, pros with advertising stickers on their back sides etc etc.
mike kann - on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker: My use of athletes was somewhat tongue in cheek - I knew you'd like that one ;) You've got to admit though that the type of climbing involved in competition climbing is very athletic, especially when compared to what you and I do.

I agree that by and large climbing is dull to watch, but then so are plenty of other sports. I mean take golf for example (although is that a game rather than a sport?). I have some very long cure gloss wood paint I'd rather watch than that drivel. But some find it fascinating. I should hope that the climbing events would be a good deal more interesting than that. Of course you never know, they may even come up with a new format that was more realistic and interesting - as some one suggested above - a marathon alpine event if edited right could be interesting.

Yes its a spectacle, but thats what the olympics have always been. Does that spectacle really hurt anybody? Does it really mean that for the 8 weekends following the event that Stanage will be inundated with clueless lemmings throwing themselves off cliffs and eroding the rock more than we already have done? It's all a bit mellodramatic...
tom_in_edinburgh - on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to mike kann)
>
> [...]
>
> Forced to? That would be awful, thank heavens no one is proposing that, but what has watching athletes got to do with climbing?

You might learn something. Some of them are quite good.

Sport climbing definitely belongs in the Olympics. The Olympic motto is "Faster, Higher, Stronger" and sport climbing falls right into that ideal. Far more so than a lot of the sports already in the Olympics.
tony on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to Max Harms:
> if climbing does get in to Olympics the BMC will see an increase in the amount of funding it receives allowing it to meets to aims and deliver on the needs of its members more effectively e.g. access as well as development on the GB team.

How would funding for a small team of competition have any bearing on wider BMC activities such as access. Funding for Olympic sports is already in short supply, with a number of the sports which competed last year having their funding cut for Rio 2016.

As a parallel, has spending on access to waterways increased in the light of the successes of British canoeists at the last 2 Olympics? Is river access any better now than it was?
joel182 - on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Hi Bruce,

I was wondering how much involvement you've had with competition climbing? Have you watched any competitions and do you know any competition climbers, that sort of thing?
EeeByGum - on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to mike kann:
> (In reply to EeeByGum) So people just turn up to climb at Stanage do they? No clue what they are doing, and just go for it? Do you not think its up to us to help lead people in the right direction and show them what climbing is about? Or are you too interested in your own climbing to help others and make sure that Stanage doesn't get trashed? How is these newcomers entry to climbing going to be any different to ours was? Surely they are going to go and buy a book, or get on a course and find like minded people to learn from? Or am I missing something here?

Blimey - you are very good at putting words in my mouth. Given that you seem to be arguing against arguments you have made up for me, I think will simply state that I don't think climbing needs more publicity. More people climbing on already popular crags is not a good thing for anyone IMO and yes, I selfishly do not want Stanage trashed any more than it already is.
Bruce Hooker - on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to mike kann:

> Does it really mean that for the 8 weekends following the event that Stanage will be inundated with clueless lemmings throwing themselves off cliffs and eroding the rock more than we already have done? It's all a bit mellodramatic...

Not only melodramatic but quite unlikely... I reckon the argument that those against are elitists who want to keep the crags to themselves is a strawman, it's not my reason for being against at all, it's those reasons I've already given.

Another from the point of view of all sports, real ones as I don't see climbing overall to be either a sport or a competition, is that there are many who want to be in the Olympic games, with thousands, millions of adepts keen for this. In the case of climbing it is really only a tiny minority of climbers who practice the hobby as a competitive sport - how many are involved in climbing competitions? But to boost their lobbying they dishonestly use the total number of people who climb in the world as a justification. If one only counts the genuine athletes who like competition then there would doubtless be many other activities with better arguments for being in the Olympic games.
Bruce Hooker - on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to joel182:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
>
> Hi Bruce,
>
> I was wondering how much involvement you've had with competition climbing? Have you watched any competitions and do you know any competition climbers, that sort of thing?

Of course I haven't watched a climbing competition, apart from on the news occasionally as I think the whole notion is an anathema, the total opposite of what climbing is really about... I don't watch bare knuckle fighting or fox hunting either. Competition is not my thing.

colin struthers - on 01 Mar 2013
The overwhelming majority of British climbers have little or no interest in competition climbing. This is a fact that is clearly revealed in membership surveys undertaken by the BMC in recent years. The UKC user survey also confirms that competition climbing ranks at the bottom of activities pursued by or of interest to the majority of climbers

However, competition climbing, commercialised climbing, and above all the vast money generating hoopla that is the Olympics are undoubtedly very attractive to those who seek to make a living out of climbing, be they prospective competitors, coaches, bureaucrats or owners of indoor climbing walls.

The paid officers of the BMC are also not immune to these influences. Clearly the large influx of government funding and possibly commercial sponsorship that Olympic climbing would generate would enhance the public profile of the BMC and might possibly improve the status, remuneration and job opportunities available to those paid BMC officials.

The BMC currently supports the promotion of climbing as an Olympic sport.

It arrived at this position after a 'consultation' process that strenously resisted the repeated calls that were made for the whole BMC membership to be polled on the issue.

This was no accident. The supporters of the 'Olympic Climbing' project (both within the BMC and lobbying the BMC from the outside) absolutely did not want the whole membership to be consulted because they knew fine well that the majority of members would not want the BMC to be expending its energy and resources on an aspect of climbing that was generally of little interest to them. In short, they did not want to ask members to vote because they knew there was a very high probability that they would loose the vote.

I say this as the person who was Chairman of the North West Area of the BMC at the time and who witnessed the BMC heirarchy repeatedly evade a number of requests for a full poll of the membership - requests that were made on the back of formal votes by the BMC NW Area Meetings.

In my opinion the BMC decision to support the promotion of climbing as an Olympic sport was a complete STITCH UP.

Apologies for the shouty capitals. I will be pleased to apologise for being so forthright/provocative when the BMC proves me wrong by consulting ALL its members on the subject.

tom_in_edinburgh - on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to colin struthers:
> The overwhelming majority of British climbers have little or no interest in competition climbing. This is a fact that is clearly revealed in membership surveys undertaken by the BMC in recent years.

I bet if you surveyed indoor climbers you'd find a lot more of them had an interest in competitions than if you surveyed outdoor climbers. I also think you'd find that most of them were not members of BMC. So what's wrong with BMC targeting a new market and bringing in more government funding?



colin struthers - on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh: Absolutely nothing if that is what the members of the BMC want. Since it's not been tried yet, shall we ask them?
Ciro - on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to herrettscott:

I'm amazed by the selfish attitudes of some on this thread. There's plenty of rock to go round.

We were in Pembroke last saturday and didn't see a single other climber. Sunday on the Gower, same story.

For those asking what will it bring to the climbing community, how about asking what will it bring to the wider community you live in?

Anything that encourages people to get out into the great outdoors benefits the mental and physical health of the nation. Climbing has made a huge positive impact on my life, anything that might lead others down that same route is a good thing. The desire to keep those benefits for yourself stinks.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to colin struthers:
> (In reply to tom_in_edinburgh) Absolutely nothing if that is what the members of the BMC want. Since it's not been tried yet, shall we ask them?

I'm not a BMC member so I don't have a view on whether it should have a vote. I don't think it's got much choice about promoting indoor climbing and competitions if it wants to maintain its status as the representative organisation for all UK climbers and the funding and government attention that comes with that.
Graeme Alderson on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to colin struthers:
> The overwhelming majority of British climbers have little or no interest in competition climbing. This is a fact that is clearly revealed in membership surveys undertaken by the BMC in recent years.

No Colin this in not a fact. The BMC survey that was undertaken during Mark Vallance's Presidency did not ask whether members had little or no interest, it asked members to rank BMC activities in order of importance. They are completely different types of polls and, in my opinion, Mark deliberatley structured the poll to produce a loser safe in the knowledge that whilst some/many might have an interest in say competitions (me included obviously) 99.9% (me included) would say access and maybe other work areas were more important than comps. Others within the BMC shared my view at the time.
Graeme Alderson on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to colin struthers:
> However, competition climbing, commercialised climbing, and above all the vast money generating hoopla that is the Olympics are undoubtedly very attractive to those who seek to make a living out of climbing, be they prospective competitors, coaches, bureaucrats or owners of indoor climbing walls.
>
There you go again Colin (and others eg Bruce), assuming that because people, including me, make their living out of climbing, and will presumably make more money if climbing gets into the Games, that our sole motivation is money. This is quite an ignorant and insulting assumption in some cases. I notice that you do not include the ex-owners of Font Guidebook publishers in your list
colin struthers - on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

There have been times when the membership of the BMC has decided that certain climbing related activities should be outside the remit of the BMC.

Good examples would be training and instruction - only relevant to a small minority of climbers and clearly linked to commercial interests and therefore administered independently by the MTLB (with whom the BMC enjoys an excellent relationship, by the way) or the Association of British Climbing Walls which is another separate commercial organisation enjoying a good relationship with the BMC.

It is arguable that competition climbing - and particualrly Olympic competition - would introduce vastly more powerful commercial interests and that the BMC, as the representative body for ordinary climbers, would therefore do well to maintain a degree of distance from the competition circuit.

That doesn't mean that the BMC couldn't enjoy a good relationship with whatever body competitive climbers decided to create for themselves. It would however, allow the BMC to continue to focus its energies on the things that its members feel matter most to them (and, as noted previously, the evidence confirms that competitions are not generally one of these things)

It would also mean that the subs of ordinary BMC members were not being discretely used to provide a disproportionate subsidy to the tiny numbers of competitive climbers who are in the BMC - as has disgracefully been the case for a number of years.

Of course, that's just my view. I'd be happy to accept different outcomes if thats what the membership of the BMC wanted.

But I want them to be asked. I think that's what is supposed to happen in organisations that purport to be democratic.
Stash - on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to colin struthers:

Perhaps the reason why the BMC didn't poll all its members on the position of supporting climbing as an Olympic sport is down to the fact that most of the members are middle aged "beards" who spend their time arguing about how they want to preserve "their" way of climbing.
Perhaps being included in the Olympics may attract a whole new type of member who may be a little less blinkered in their approach to ALL aspects of Climbing, Mountaineering and Hill walking.

Graeme Alderson on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to colin struthers:

> It arrived at this position after a 'consultation' process that strenously resisted the repeated calls that were made for the whole BMC membership to be polled on the issue.
>
> I say this as the person who was Chairman of the North West Area of the BMC at the time and who witnessed the BMC heirarchy repeatedly evade a number of requests for a full poll of the membership - requests that were made on the back of formal votes by the BMC NW Area Meetings.
>
> In my opinion the BMC decision to support the promotion of climbing as an Olympic sport was a complete STITCH UP.
>

As an ex-Chair of a BMC Area you obviously know that the BMC Articles do not allow for a poll of the members so you know that you are being disingenuous in your statements.

colin struthers - on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

There you go again Colin (and others eg Bruce), assuming that because people, including me, make their living out of climbing, and will presumably make more money if climbing gets into the Games, that our sole motivation is money

Please re-read my post. I said that officers of the BMC 'would not be immune' from commercial influences. I never suggested that money was their 'sole motivation' - I know it is not.

However, thank you for acknowledging that some people, yourself included, might gain financially from the development of climbing as an Olympic sport. I think that was actually the point I was making.

Oh, and by the way, when calls were made for the whole of the BMC membership to be polled on the issue of Olympic climbing, did you support the idea?

I think we should be told.
colin struthers - on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to Stash:
> (In reply to colin struthers)
>
> Perhaps the reason why the BMC didn't poll all its members on the position of supporting climbing as an Olympic sport is down to the fact that most of the members are middle aged "beards"

I'm interested in all styles of climbing and I don't have a beard. What I do have however, is a BMC membership card for which I pay a subscription and which entitles me to a say in the affairs of the organisation.

It's a core concept in something called a representaticve organisation. Is this idea too difficult for you?
Stash - on 01 Mar 2013
Not sure I get the whole issue you have with the member poll issue but it is obvious your still living in the past instead of looking forward to the way the Olympics will tame this anarchic past time of ours....
Graeme Alderson on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to colin struthers: I ceased to work for the BMC in 2007.

No I did not support the referendum on the Olympics. However I had long suuported and argued (whilst working at the BMC) for increased democracy eg postal/email voting on a whole raft of issues. I do not support a single referendum on a single issue which you appear to do.
Graeme Alderson on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to colin struthers: I also have a BMC Membership card. My card does not entitle me to a greater say than your's does.
Stash - on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to colin struthers:
I also own a membership card, however I do have a beard.


colin struthers - on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to Graeme Alderson:
> (In reply to colin struthers)
>
> [...]
>
> As an ex-Chair of a BMC Area you obviously know that the BMC Articles do not allow for a poll of the members so you know that you are being disingenuous in your statements.

Hiding behind words here Graham - no formal mechanism for a poll perhaps but you know fine well that the BMC surveys its members on a variety of issues and has always done so. If it had surveyed its members about the Olympic issue it could have confidently made a decision that was consistent with what the membership wanted.

If you really thought the BMC members wanted the organisation to promote Olympic climbing why didn't you support a survey to confirm this?

The decision reached was, in fact, a STITCH UP driven by vested interests.

And you know it was.
colin struthers - on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to Graeme Alderson:
> (In reply to colin struthers) I also have a BMC Membership card. My card does not entitle me to a greater say than your's does.

Hang on a minute - are you sort of implying that I think I have more right to a say than others? Where do you get that from?

I have consistently argued that all BMC members should be invited to express their opinion on the subject and that I would happily accept the outcome.

You have admitted that you didn't want the whole membership to be consulted.

Who's the democrat here?

Graeme Alderson on 02 Mar 2013
In reply to colin struthers:
> (In reply to Graeme Alderson)
> [...]
>
> Hiding behind words here Graham - no formal mechanism for a poll perhaps but you know fine well that the BMC surveys its members on a variety of issues and has always done so. If it had surveyed its members about the Olympic issue it could have confidently made a decision that was consistent with what the membership wanted.

Firstly please have the decency to spell my name correctly. It is clearly spelled out in everyone of my posts.

Ah, so you have now changed to asking for a survey. Please be consistent.

>
> If you really thought the BMC members wanted the organisation to promote Olympic climbing why didn't you support a survey to confirm this?

At the Peak Area (the only Area I am entitled to attend) there was no suggestion of a survey. No, as far as I am aware was a survey suggested at any Area including the NW Area. Asuspect you know.

>
> The decision reached was, in fact, a STITCH UP driven by vested interests.

No, if it was a STITCH UP then that is your opinion, unproven. Please stop stating that your opinions are facts.

> And you know it was.

I know nothing of the sort and nor do you.
Graeme Alderson on 02 Mar 2013
In reply to colin struthers:
> (In reply to Graeme Alderson)
> [...]
>
> Hang on a minute - are you sort of implying that I think I have more right to a say than others? Where do you get that from?

Yes, you gave that impression

>
> I have consistently argued that all BMC members should be invited to express their opinion on the subject and that I would happily accept the outcome.
>
> You have admitted that you didn't want the whole membership to be consulted.

No I didn't, I said that I did not believe in a single issue referendum when other issues aren't subject to such a referendum.
>
> Who's the democrat here?

Not sure it is you or me. Maybe neither. Maybe both.

ads.ukclimbing.com
colin struthers - on 02 Mar 2013
In reply to Graeme Alderson:
> (> At the Peak Area (the only Area I am entitled to attend) there was no suggestion of a survey. No, as far as I am aware was a survey suggested at any Area including the NW Area. Asuspect you know.

Previously you said you didn't support the proposal to survey the membership. Now you say there was never any suggestion of surveying the membership. So the proposal you weren't supporting didn't exist? So what was it that you were not supporting?

I chaired the relevant NW area meetings. Harold Walmsley took the minutes. Now you're telling me the discussion I chaired didn't happen and the minutes recorded don't say what they say.

Oh dear! This is really getting a bit Orwellian.
Graeme Alderson on 02 Mar 2013
In reply to colin struthers: Oh dear this is getting a bit Wilsonian. Just like the last thread. Bye.
caver - on 02 Mar 2013
In reply to colin struthers:

You and a number of posters seem happy to make sweeping statements on behalf of BMC members. The BMC represents climbing in the country; but the total membership is a small proportion of the total number of people who climb in some form or other. As the representative body they should attempt to serve all climbers and not just the membership. How many attend Regional meetings. There were nearly three hundred climbers at the last bouldering competition I went to. Could all the Committees together match that attendance. Certainly not if the SE Regional Committee is an example. Is this an indication that there is more interest in competition than contributing to the representative body (other than a payment every year). Climbing wall users are denigrated by the likes of Bruce Hooker as if they are some sort of riff raff who spoil his narrow minded view of climbers and climbing. Olympic participation will take place indoors. The effect will be predominately felt indoors. Climbing walls have produced thousands of new climbers in the country (yes Bruce, they are climbers and your are a snob)and it has had little effect on outdoor climbing. All these dire warnings of a tide of bolts sweeping the country are pish. I've been waiting thirty years for this to happen and my crowbar and cold chisel have rotten to rust. There is a distinct probability that more people now climb in walls than do outdoors. I'm confident that there was about two thousand climbers visiting London walls yesterday. Multiply that by all the other walls in the country and twenty thousand is not an unreasonable assumption. How many were out on the crags or would have been if it was dry and sunny. I could argue that numbers wise, indoor climbers are now the majority; and there seems to be quite a lot of participation in bouldering comps, BRYCS etc etc. If the BMC represents climbers then should they not be led by the fact that there is plenty of evidence of participation, enjoyment and support for competition but only scattered and patchy opposition.
Bruce Hooker - on 02 Mar 2013
In reply to Stash:

> it is obvious your still living in the past instead of looking forward to the way the Olympics will tame this anarchic past time of ours....

You want to "tame" climbers? Fit them into your own model?

Has to be a troll, shirley?

Alas, you may be serious :-(
Bruce Hooker - on 02 Mar 2013
In reply to colin struthers:

> You have admitted that you didn't want the whole membership to be consulted.

As it would affect all climbers - it's not hard to see where things would go once the commercial/bureaucratic/safety crew increased their influence - any consultation should go beyond the minority of climbers who are members of such an inefficient and unrepresentative body as the BMC.
Bruce Hooker - on 02 Mar 2013
In reply to caver:

> Climbing wall users are denigrated by the likes of Bruce Hooker as if they are some sort of riff raff who spoil his narrow minded view of climbers and climbing.

As you assert that indoor climbers are a majority then it seems to be you who are defending a "narrow minded" view of climbing. I suppose all those people one meets wandering around the hills, on cliffs and bursting out of the windows of over crowded refuges are just figments of my imagination!

Get a bit of perspective, if for you the future of climbing is the muggy, chalk infected environment of narcissistic muscle bound super-men in gyms then I pity you... and this provides a further reason to oppose the notion of climbing being a competitive sport as its entry into the Olympic games in the way suggested implies.
Sonya Mc on 02 Mar 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker: No one is suggesting that this is the future of climbing and I shake my head in dismay that yet another person thinks that competition climbers are only interested in competitions and climbing walls. There are plenty of comp climbers who climb outdoors and climb bloody hard too because they are dedicated.

The idea that climbing in the Olympics will lead to sanitisation of our crags and mountains is utter nonsense. Can someone please tell me how the "commercial/bureaucratic/safety crew" could in any way govern, or rule, or have control over an outdoor environment and an outdoor activity such as climbing? And all this grid bolting that folk go on about won't ever happen either (see poster above who is still waiting for this happen after 30 years of climbing). The majority of our trad crags would make for pish sport crags anyway!

Regarding polish at crags, I don't see it happening (perhaps at one or two venues which are over rated anyway) I should think that people who might give climbing a go because of the Olympics will start off indoors and only one or two out of around 10 will actually get climbing ingrained in their bones and keep it up. And I recall starting a thread a few years ago about the nonsense that gets spouted about wall climbers who do keep climbing not ever getting into trad climbing. Out of all the people who replied to that thread, maybe one in 10 said they preferred sport only. There are plenty of trad crags in the UK to go round many, many more climbers. So many crags are devoid of climbers week after week. In fact, if these crags are to be maintained as being climbable then more traffic on some of them would actually be good!

A question for Colin Struthers............ I am curious, if competition climbing and the bid for the Olympics were to be governed by a seperate body to the BMC, would you object as much? I ask because it seems to me that your real issue is with the BMC and not with climbing being in the Olympics.
gingerwolf - on 02 Mar 2013
To all: just some information. The ifsc was going to support climbing as an Olympic sport regardless of BMC support it not. part of the reason national council agreed to the BMC supporting the ifsc was to be able to sway which discipline was chosen, from speed climbing, bouldering and lead climbing. Also, much of the BMC funding is from sport England, of which some had to be used to promote climbing as an Olympic sport, but means it can actually be used for bigger topics such as access and conservation.
duchessofmalfi - on 02 Mar 2013
In reply to gingerwolf:

"Also, much of the BMC funding is from sport England, of which some had to be used to promote climbing as an Olympic sport, but means it can actually be used for bigger topics such as access and conservation."

This is a very dodgy assumption - if anything has been proved by the Olympic funding the BCU received then the exact opposite is true.


caver - on 02 Mar 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

As usual, you sift out a few words from a post and twist them to suit your prejudiced viewpoint. I did not write that the future was solely in climbing walls; but climbing walls will be a part of the future.

Consider the bile you direct at walls and their users. Muggy - that's because they're very popular with climbers. Chalk infested - the use of which originated from your beloved crags and cliffs. Narcissistic muscle bound super-men - you are rather sexist aren't you; and I've got some news for you. Women climb in walls and they are very very good. Because you are so narrow minded about what you believe a climber must be, you cannot accept that anyone who pursues a branch of climbing that you don't like can be a climber.

I believe in an earlier post you implied that the only people interested would be failed athletes and those involved in commercial climbing walls. Are these the people who to your mind couldn't possibly be climbers. Wall managers like Neil Bentley..what's he ever done on Grit. Steve Meyers putting up E8 climbs and big adventures in various continents. Andy Reid with over a thousand new routes across Europe. John Dunn - who has a little known fine alpine record. I could easily go on.

The point of my post was that so much of the discussion on Olympic inclusion is based on supposition. Would being an Olympic sport change climbing in the UK. I think it may increase the provision of climbing walls across the country, but not hugely. Would it affect outdoor climbing. Almost certainly not. What has really changed considering the thousands of extra climbers who have come into climbing via the walls. They haven't resulted in a 'wave of bolts washing across our crags' which is the usual fall back position .What is demonstrable is that there is support for, and enjoyment of competitions. There is not the same for opposition to competition; and perhaps it has not yet been galvanised into action.If the BMC represents climbing in the UK and it sees a lot more climbers partaking in competitions than actively opposing; why is it not correct for them to represent a majority for this particular area.

The Regional Committees should know the local feeling and guide the BMC policy. How do they accurately divine this, I don't know. A vote by all the members possibly; but is this representative. The BMC has less members than many of the larger climbing walls. What if they also polled their members and just one of the climbing walls in the country produced more yes votes than the whole BMC membership.
Robert Durran - on 02 Mar 2013
In reply to herrettscott:

I used to be very much against Olympic status for climbing, but I have changed my mind (partly from seeing how much fun and satisfaction the dedicated kids at Ratho obviously get out of their "sport"!). I hope that competition climbing remains under the umbrella of the BMC/MCofS, since I believe a broad church is better than a splintered one, but I would want to be assured that the financial support of an Olympic team comes from additional funding and definitely does not steal funding from other areas. As for the assertion that Olympic status could lead to additional pressure to bolt up crags, well it might well not happen, and, if it does, then that is where lines should be drawn and the battle fought (to the death!) - not in denying kids their Olympic dream.
Bruce Hooker - on 02 Mar 2013
In reply to caver:

> Consider the bile you direct at walls and their users.

For you to talk of "bile" is quite something!

> Muggy - that's because they're very popular with climbers.

It's descriptive, climbing is for the open air, climbing walls are really just gyms. IMO they inculk a very limited, technical but timid attitude - how many threads are started on ukc by wall bred climbers asking how they should go about leading "outdoors" as if this was something really scary and dangerous? When climbing walls didn't exist you just started outdoors, no problem, no hangups.

The second side effect is that when people do "go outdoors" often they look for the same security at a high level of technical difficulty as they had indoors, hence bolted climbing. You say there hasn't been a "wave of bolting" yet in the 70s there were no bolts at all, they have all been drilled since, which is quite a wave given the importance of "sport" climbing... thank you BMC. If all indoor walls disappeared tomorrow it wouldn't harm climbing at all.

> Chalk infested - the use of which originated from your beloved crags and cliffs.

I think you'll find it was the other way around, athletes used chalk long before climbers. There's no need for it on crags or boulders either, it pollutes them.

> Narcissistic muscle bound super-men - you are rather sexist aren't you;

No, but "super-men and super-women" would have been too clumsy, besides which I haven't noticed that women are as muscle bound as men... it's more of a male, macho thing IMO.

> Because you are so narrow minded about what you believe a climber must be,

I'm not, but what would a caver know about all this anyway?
caver - on 02 Mar 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to caver)

There we go, carefully select bits of a post and get twisting..

> For you to talk of "bile" is quite something!

Feel free to point out where in any of my postings I have pour bile on the diverse members of our climbing community. Where as in your case....

> It's descriptive, climbing is for the open air, climbing walls are really just gyms. IMO they inculk a very limited, technical but timid attitude - how many threads are started on ukc by wall bred climbers asking how they should go about leading "outdoors" as if this was something really scary and dangerous? When climbing walls didn't exist you just started outdoors, no problem, no hangups.

'Climbing is for the open air' .. so elitist. 'climbing walls are just gyms' .. how dismissive. 'limited technical but timid' .. trivializing the fantastic achievements of many climbers who started in walls, still climb in walls but also climb outside and are pushing the current limits. People weren't scared and timid because they started climbing outdoors.. what coloured lenses are you wearing?

> The second side effect is that when people do "go outdoors" often they look for the same security at a high level of technical difficulty as they had indoors, hence bolted climbing. You say there hasn't been a "wave of bolting" yet in the 70s there were no bolts at all, they have all been drilled since, which is quite a wave given the importance of "sport" climbing... thank you BMC. If all indoor walls disappeared tomorrow it wouldn't harm climbing at all.

You have little idea of climbing history; or have chosen a blinkered view. Sports climbing was built partially on the massive amount of fixed gear found in local crags across Europe, Alpinists practiced pulling on pegs to overcome difficult moves and speed their ascents. Red pointing utilised this existing gear to protect free ascents. So your beloved 'classic style' of climbing is responsible for developing fixed gear.

Bolts have been drill since the sixties (possibly the fifties)but it was only later that the technology started to meet the requirements. Even now the ratio of trad protected routes to bolted routes makes it hardly a wave. Describing it as a ripple would be generous.

'Thank you BMC'... you think the BMC is responsible. For what. Recognising that climbing is a vibrant, still developing activity.

'If all the walls disappeared tomorrow it wouldn't harm climbing at all' .. you just can't accept that someone who chooses to climb in a wall two or three times a week can be a climber.

> I think you'll find it was the other way around, athletes used chalk long before climbers. There's no need for it on crags or boulders either, it pollutes them.

And your point..ah yes twisty turn and avoid the unpalatable truth. It was your 'only true climbers' from the outdoors who introduced chalk. Where it originated from is an irrelevant point.

> No, but "super-men and super-women" would have been too clumsy, besides which I haven't noticed that women are as muscle bound as men... it's more of a male, macho thing IMO.

If you prefer the male macho thing then that's your prerogative; but it has really narrowed your view on the climbing world.
>
> I'm not, but what would a caver know about all this anyway?

As usual..finish with an insult. How could a caver know about any of this...
fil - on 02 Mar 2013
In reply to colin struthers and Graeme Alderson:

If you are going to poll the BMC membership as to whether climbing should be an Olympic Sport you should also poll all non members to get a properly balanced, nationwide, result...............

I think there are some odd, rather selfish climbers who post on this forum. One was "disgusted" by the thought of competitive climbing so God only knows how he feels about anything that is truly disgusting.

Personally I think climbing would make a rather better Olympic sport than many that are included at the moment. I think the worry that the crags and mountains would suddenly be awash with wannabe wads polishing all the classics is overhyped.

As it is I think better PR from other, better financed sports will mean that climbing is not successful this time round but I, personally, hope it is.

winhill - on 02 Mar 2013
In reply to colin struthers:
> (In reply to Graeme Alderson)
>
> Who's the democrat here?

This sounds like a 6 year olds view of democracy.

The BMC has a duty to represent the diverse views of it's membership, it's not the personal fiefdom of some biggest boy wins sandpit bullies.
Gustav - on 02 Mar 2013
In reply to herrettscott:

I don't see climbing in the Olympics increasing participation that much-
Think of curling, archery, kayaking, etc, etc- hardly mainstream sports despite being in the Olympics.
Probably stuff like the climbing scene in the mission impossible is more responsible for people trying out the sport.
gazhbo - on 02 Mar 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to mike kann)
>
> [...]
>
> But I do know that that's what climbing is about. Gymnastics and athletics have their place in the Olympic games, and there are already far too many events, making the cost of hosting the games impossible for all but the richest countries... adding more pseudo sports to please commercial interests and bureaucrats - I see the BMC is posting in on the act now! - will make a monster into total madness.


One thing I took away from the Olympics is that, behind all the guff and the armchair fanaticism that quickly fades away, for young, talented and dedicated athletes they provide a awesome experience. There are a lot of young talented dedicated competition climbers across the globe who might relish this opportunity and I fail to see why they should be denied this because a bunch of old scrotes keeping saying climbing has nothing to do with climbing. If it doesn't interest you than ignore it but stop trying to oppose it. I wonder if you get whiney old bastard cyclists who take their hybrid along the towpath twice a month complaining that cycling shouldn't be in the Olympics because, "the velodrome has nothing to do with cycling."

Indoor sport climbing has nothing to do with long walk-ins or Ron Hills or kendal mint cake or beards or alpine huts or being miserable or pretending you're better than everybody else because you can place hexes on low grad trad routes, or whatever you think you know climbing to be about but it still has everything to do with climbing. There are plenty of young competition climbers like Nat Berry, The Hamers, Michaela Tracy etc who are now very strong and experienced rock climbers. I know this because I've seen them at crags warming up on my projects without breaking a sweat. Okay, lots of them are climbing predominantly sport climbers but it's worth noting that Leo Houlding and Tommy Caldwell have a strong competition climbing background.

Climbing would be great in the Olympics. If it had happened at 2012 and the powers that be could have convinced all the top names to take part we could have watched Ondra, Ramon Julian, and Usobiaga etc all wanging off some 30m monster wall. It would have been a great spectacle. I know that you can watch climbing world cups etc online but it would be great to see it just once get out to a wider audience. It would also be funny to watch Clare Balding and whoever the BBC managed to pull in as a pundit (Steve McClure? Gaz Parry?) try to explain to the lay viewer what the hell's going on.

I would back Sport Climbing in the Olympics 100% and I'll feel aggrieved if it loses out to anything other than squash. It will have zero impact on what I do as a climber but I wouldn't want to set out to sabotage the opportunities of young talented climbers just because I'm miserable and think I'm better than them. I would also like to watch it.

I don't expect you to agree with anything I've just said.
Bruce Hooker - on 02 Mar 2013
In reply to caver:

> You have little idea of climbing history; or have chosen a blinkered view.

Unlike you I have lived through the period you appear to have (mis)read about. After a post like this you say "bile" is not your thing! Clearly you don't mean the same thing about the word as most do... You take any criticism as a sign of "narrowness" of view, as if nobody is permitted to dislike things or have any real opinions and preferences... a brave new world syndrome of the worst kind.. then as a clincher you use the "vibrant" word!

All this from a one thread poster not even respectful enough to put up the minimum of a profile... Maybe you could just put a little information about yourself so we would know who we were talking to? Or is that too much to ask?

BTW, "caver" isn't an insult it's a joke but clearly humour would not be your strong point... a sort of puritan of the chalky gym, tolerance zero, and who doesn't even remember what he posted from one post to the next. Brow beating requires at least a little consistency, especially when your zeal is not even graced with an explanation.
jimtitt - on 02 Mar 2013
In reply to herrettscott:
One of the peculiarities of this (rather bizzare) debate is the assumption that becoming an Olympic sport is such a holy grail. Competition climbing is already a professional sport and professional sports (and the competititors) tend to thrive despite, not with Olympic recognition.
Looking at the household names of thousands of high-earning sportspersons from football, rugby, tennis, cricket, motorsport, sailing, golf etc one might think it was more likely that becoming an Olympic event will lead to competition climbing becoming a fringe activity like sychronised swimming rather than discovered and promoted by the next Bernie Ecclestone.
john arran - on 02 Mar 2013
In reply to gazhbo:

> Indoor sport climbing has nothing to do with long walk-ins or Ron Hills or kendal mint cake or beards or alpine huts or being miserable or pretending you're better than everybody else because you can place hexes on low grad trad routes, or whatever you think you know climbing to be about but it still has everything to do with climbing. There are plenty of young competition climbers like Nat Berry, The Hamers, Michaela Tracy etc who are now very strong and experienced rock climbers. I know this because I've seen them at crags warming up on my projects without breaking a sweat.

Brilliant.

Absolutely brilliant.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Bruce Hooker - on 02 Mar 2013
In reply to gazhbo:

I wrote a long reply but near the end pressed a combination of keys that effaced it... Can't be bothered to do it again but basically:

- I find you all very bitter and unwilling to allow others different opinions to yourselves,

- For a new sport to enter the Olympics, already far too full, they need to have a) large regular participation in a country, b) this in a significant number of countries.

For a) In Britain this is not the case, as most climbers do not operate in a competition against other climbers. Even boulderers, climbing wall regulars, or sports climbers don't do this - only a very small number of climbers are involved on a regular basis in competition climbing (ie. not just once a year)

For b) Again the spread of this activity is pretty limited so it doesn't fit this condition either.

So basically insisting on such a minority activity as competition climbing should take a place in the Olympic, at the expense of the numerous other sports wanting to get in, is irresponsible and selfish. You can talk about your handful of heroes (who, like most people in Britain, I've never heard of - no reflection on them, most people aren't interested, that's all) all you want it won't turn competition climbing into a mass sport on either a national or a world basis.

It's really nothing to do with crowding crags, polish or old people being selfish, these are all red herrings, generational conflict or ageism... Just count the sprinters, footballers, cyclists etc and compare them calmly and objectively with the figures for the sport you want to take a hard fought for place in the Olympic games and you'll see that like cricket and other games which are much loved by a minority in certain countries there isn't room for everybody.

Made it this time, age you know.
colin struthers - on 02 Mar 2013
In reply to winhill:
> (In reply to colin struthers)
> [...]
>
> This sounds like a 6 year olds view of democracy.
>
> The BMC has a duty to represent the diverse views of it's membership, it's not the personal fiefdom of some biggest boy wins sandpit bullies.

Democratic organisations are supposed to allow all their members to participate in decision making which is precisely the point I have been making throughout this thread.

To truthfully point this out hardly constitutes sandpit bullying, whatever that is.

Maybe you had trouble understanding the content of my posts. Odd since the points I made were pretty clear. Perhaps you could find a six year old to read and explain them to you
caver - on 02 Mar 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to caver)

> Unlike you I have lived through the period you appear to have (mis)read about.

So what have I (mis)read. Did the early redpointers exploit the mass of fixed gear left in local crags across Europe...or not. Was this gear regularly used to practice the common habit of 'peg pulling' to speed alpine ascents. Speed being more important than style.

>After a post like this you say "bile" is not your thing! Clearly you don't mean the same thing about the word as most do... You take any criticism as a sign of "narrowness" of view, as if nobody is permitted to dislike things or have any real opinions and preferences... a brave new world syndrome of the worst kind.. then as a clincher you use the "vibrant" word!

Re-checked my post. Still can see any bile I've spilt about different styles of climbing.

Nothing I've written says someone can't be permitted to dislike something. I have called you narrow minded because you are intolerant. Intolerant and dismissive of those who don't conform to your definitions.

> All this from a one thread poster not even respectful enough to put up the minimum of a profile... Maybe you could just put a little information about yourself so we would know who we were talking to? Or is that too much to ask?

Just a small fry with little to tell.

> ...a sort of puritan of the chalky gym, tolerance zero, and who doesn't even remember what he posted from one post to the next. Brow beating requires at least a little consistency, especially when your zeal is not even graced with an explanation.

Please point out these inconsistencies. Try and avoid innuendo,insinuation etc etc.

jimtitt - on 02 Mar 2013
In reply to colin struthers:
> (In reply to winhill)
> [...]
>
> Democratic organisations are supposed to allow all their members to participate in decision making which is precisely the point I have been making throughout this thread.
>
Democracy:- a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.

Surely as an ex-area chairman you know that you were in the second type of organisation?
And we all know what happened to the presidential canditate that stood for election on an anti-sport, anti-bolt, anti competitiion climbing agenda.
Chris H - on 02 Mar 2013
In reply to herrettscott: Isn`t lead climbing a fairly boring spectator sport? I watched one comp on tv and it wasn`t particularly exciting as everyone fell off at roughly the same point and so watching people do the bottom part of the route got quite predictable and tedious. I would have thought bouldering was a better bet, or failing that Gladiators style trying to (ahem)pull each other off?
Bruce Hooker - on 02 Mar 2013
In reply to caver:

How about the profile first - your age for example, what are you basing your summary of climbing history on, it doesn't sound very first hand?

Again if you want a serious discussion how about starting there - most poster accept this minor constraint.
caver - on 03 Mar 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Climbed for forty years. Very run of the mill and nothing much I'd consider worth writing about.
colin struthers - on 03 Mar 2013
In reply to jimtitt:

And presumably you know that in a representative democracy the representatives are charged with reflecting the wishes and aspirations of those who elected them. Or do really believe that they just get elected and then do what the hell they like?

When the views of the membership are unclear on an issue of major importance or can only be loosely inferred from their previous responses to member surveys (which incidentally seem to show that a clear majority of the actual members of the BMC have fairly limited interest in competition climbing) then it strikes me as perfectly proper - and essentially democratic - to directly seek their opionions on the subject

The election of Rab Carrington rather than Doug Scott in a previous election does not really help when we are trying to establish member opinion on a single issue such as Olympic climbing. Both stood for election on a range of issues. I voted for Rab for a variety of reasons - and yet I don't want the BMC to adopt policies that I think the membership would broadly oppose, such as taking a leading role in promoting Olympic climbing.

Of course I might be quite wrong about what the BMC membership thinks on the subject. I wonder how we could resolve the matter?

Oh yes, we could just ask them.
jimtitt - on 03 Mar 2013
In reply to colin struthers:
> (In reply to jimtitt)
>
> And presumably you know that in a representative democracy the representatives are charged with reflecting the wishes and aspirations of those who elected them. Or do really believe that they just get elected and then do what the hell they like?
>

The duty of a representative is to use their judgement for the benefit of the electorate even if this conflicts with the wishes of the majority. This has been a guiding principle since the days of Burke.


Bruce Hooker - on 03 Mar 2013
In reply to jimtitt:
> (In reply to colin struthers)
> [...]
>
> The duty of a representative is to use their judgement for the benefit of the electorate even if this conflicts with the wishes of the majority. This has been a guiding principle since the days of Burke.

That's one view but I doubt it's a majority one nowadays, most people complain when those they elect don't represent them, ie. pass on their opinions. Either way what could possible be wrong with holding a referendum on the subject if a sizable minority asked for it? It would strengthen the mandate of those who wished to use the BMC to militate for the cause in question.

Whatever, there is little chance of climbing getting into the Olympics as the only aspect of climbing which involves competition is a very minor activity, both in Britain and the world. That's the real point, the rest is just window dressing, humphing and red-herrings. When competition climbing is as widespread and popular as other Olympic sports then there would be a case to defend, at present there isn't. It's as simple as that really.

Graeme Alderson on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker: Bruce - could you give me your estimate of how many people engage in competitions in various countries. Let us try 3 countries, the UK, the USA and Austria.
Bruce Hooker - on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

I've no idea but as the sport which is in line to be replaced is wrestling, one of the oldest Olympic sport going, I doubt that they come anywhere near. What's funny is that those behind the present campaign concerning speed climbing getting into the Olymics - for that's what it's about, must know they have no chance so one wonders what their real motives are?
MJ - on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

What's funny is that those behind the present campaign concerning speed climbing getting into the Olymics - for that's what it's about

Speed climbing isn't the format that's being proposed.
Graeme Alderson on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Graeme Alderson)
>
> I've no idea but as the sport which is in line to be replaced is wrestling, one of the oldest Olympic sport going, I doubt that they come anywhere near.

Glad that you have admitted that you have no idea. Although that didn't stop you posting as if you were in full possession of the facts.

Graeme Alderson on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Graeme Alderson)
What's funny is that those behind the present campaign concerning speed climbing getting into the Olymics - for that's what it's about, must know they have no chance so one wonders what their real motives are?

No what's funny is that, as already pointed out, speed climbing is not the proposed discipline. Your post makes it sound as if you have a conspiracy theory forming.

Bruce Hooker - on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

Go on then give us your figures, then compare them to wrestling world wide. You'll find it's all pisssing in the wind, but I doubt that will stop you.

You might also tell us what form of competition climbing is the world wide consensus for the OG, no one has mentioned it on the thread yet. In France it's speed climbing top roped, what is it in all the rest of the world?... those frogs always have to be different, don't they?

Frankly if you need to research this to know the answer you're a little blinkered.

PS. I just looked at your forum, climbing wall magnate and involved in organising climbing competitions... You forgot to mention your vested interests you naughty boy! Credibility zero from now on - you have a big thumb in the pie, don't you?.
MJ - on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

You might also tell us what form of competition climbing is the world wide consensus for the OG, no one has mentioned it on the thread yet.

It's been mentioned at least twice and to save you the bother of looking, it's Lead Climbing.
Oceanrower - on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker: Do try and keep up at he back there....


by - Graeme Alderson on - 23:10 Fri
In reply to colin struthers:
> However, competition climbing, commercialised climbing, and above all the vast money generating hoopla that is the Olympics are undoubtedly very attractive to those who seek to make a living out of climbing, be they prospective competitors, coaches, bureaucrats or owners of indoor climbing walls.
>
There you go again Colin (and others eg Bruce), assuming that because people, including me, make their living out of climbing, and will presumably make more money if climbing gets into the Games, that our sole motivation is money. This is quite an ignorant and insulting assumption in some cases. I notice that you do not include the ex-owners of Font Guidebook publishers in your list
Bruce Hooker - on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to Oceanrower:

Fair enough, a few days ago, I missed it until today... He is also involved in an organisation called the International Federation of Sport Climbing which is supporting the application. Their site is interesting, the way they insist on homologating companies to sell the equipment says a lot. They have three sections, Sport Climbing (includes getting as high as possible as quickly as possible on artificial "approved" walls), Pure speed climbing (on top ropes), and bouldering.

They give as one of their aims "Climbers have got many dreams: to climb higher and stronger, and faster.." so speed is a major part of even the sport climbing event they present, it's just not only about speed...

On their "key figures" page they say they have "1630 licensed athletes in 2012". I wonder what percentage this would be of non sport climbers in the world? And yet the BMC and others refer to the bid as being for "climbing to enter the Olympic games", when in reality it concerns one minority section of climbing.

Other sports interested:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/olympics/20757712

'Why should it feature in 2020? "Climbing has all the excitement and adrenaline of the extreme sport that it is," Rob Adie of the British Mountaineering Council told BBC Sport. "Climbers make big dynamic movements in large overhangs hanging by their fingertips and can take big crowd-wowing falls. It also includes the grace and poise of gymnastics and the tension and endurance of strength sports, making it a fantastic spectacle to watch." '

So is it climbing as a whole we are talking about or the rather sterile limited activity that is really being pushed? All rather dishonest, but hardly surprising, alas.
Stash - on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Personally I would like to see lead climbing in the Olympics.
I don't partake in Diving from a ten meter board or Ride Bmx but I can appreciate the amount of time, dedication and shear hard work those athletes but into their chosen disciplines.
It is exciting to watch and learn about different sports. As I'm sure people without a great deal of knowledge about climbing will be intrigued by.



Perhaps instead of researching facts and figures about competitive climbing you get up from infront of your computer and actually go and watch a comp.
You might actually find it interesting, you may even see that people do enjoy watching others try, fail and succeed.

It's something new! Stop being boring!

ads.ukclimbing.com
tom290483 - on 04 Mar 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Bruce...do you read the daily mail?

You've annoyed me massively with your ridiculous comments. You've made that many I don't even know where to start.

We're all climbers, different people enjoy different forms of climbing and some even train like athletes in order to become better at it. Why get so uptight about the possibility of climbing getting into the Olympics?

Climbing in the Olympics will in no way affect the style of climbing you choose to pursue and will open a few doors for new people to enter the sport.

There are bunch of posters on this subject who appear unbelievably selfish and that's a real shame.
caver - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to tom290483:

Is Bruce Hooker really Edward Lisle Strutt re-incarnated. I think we should be told...
Graeme Alderson on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Stash:
> Perhaps instead of researching facts and figures about competitive climbing

It might help if he actually understood the facts and figures he is researching and quoting

eg homologation is only required for speed walls using the World Record route and is not needed for lead walls
eg lead walls do not need 'approval' (other than conforming to safety ergs)
eg International Licences are only required to compete in IFSC World Cups etc, they are not required to compete in your average Friday night bouldering league

Graeme Alderson on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Graeme Alderson)
> PS. I just looked at your forum, climbing wall magnate and involved in organising climbing competitions... You forgot to mention your vested interests you naughty boy! Credibility zero from now on - you have a big thumb in the pie, don't you?.

You really are an idiot - my profile is a declaration of my interests.

Stash - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

Graeme, don't waste your time with this idiot.
Keep up the good work with comps!
Martin W on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to caver:

> Is Bruce Hooker really Edward Lisle Strutt re-incarnated.

I believe that 'Bruce Hooker' is an instance of an AI experiment, the original objective having been to produce a web bot that can prolong an online argument indefinitely by deliberate misinterpretation of any facts or statements offered by its opponents, changing tack when cornered, and creating distractions by attempting to introduce lines of argument which are only peripherally relevant to the original point of contention.

Whoever created it has already got their PhD, but unfortunately they let their creation escape in to the wild and it now roams the internet clogging up online forums under various names with its unwavering, hard-coded determination to 'win' arguments by boring everyone it engages with into submission by its refusal to allow any point of view not its own to exist unchallenged.
john arran - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Martin W:

LIKE!
Bruce Hooker - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Stash:

> Perhaps instead of researching facts and figures about competitive climbing you get up from in front of your computer and actually go and watch a comp.
> You might actually find it interesting, you may even see that people do enjoy watching others try, fail and succeed.

This point has already been covered, I don't bother with spectator sports, living by proxy doesn't interest me. As for being boring, watching other people competing, one daft ego over another is as boring as watching paint dry, and at least the latter serves some purpose.

So my reply to you is instead of getting your kicks watching others go climbing yourself, and not on a sterile artificial wall either. You never know you might discover a few things which will be "new" to you - there's nothing new about spectator sports, the Romans were fed them to keep them passive 2000 years ago. Nowadays they are the favourite sports of armchair sportsmen (mostly men) in their millions - as the trash press shows you, pages of results, comments, shocks and horrors about a world that is as artificial as the version of climbing you go for.
Bruce Hooker - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to tom290483:

> There are bunch of posters on this subject who appear unbelievably selfish and that's a real shame.

I don't get the selfish argument, surely the selfish ones, if there are any, are those who are trying to bluff their way into the Olympics, using the large numbers of people who climb mountains and cliffs, explore the hills and generally pursue a very valid and rewarding hobby, as a justification for getting there ultra-minority sport into the Olympic games when there are genuine mass sports in the running too? They want theirs to replace a sport as old as the Olympics themselves - wrestling - and would push theirs above others enjoyed by probably millions - like karate. That seems pretty selfish to me.

Those arguing that climbing is not a sport in the generally accepted sense - it is not about individuals competing between themselves for the vast majority of climbers - are simply arguing their point of view, don't you think they have a right to a different opinion to yours? Seems pretty selfish too.

When competition climbing (using the term "lead climbing" to describe the sort you are proposing is very misleading, it is a very specific form of lead climbing as you know) has a genuinely mass following then a place in the ghastly commercial honey pot that the Olympic Games has become might have some justification, but at the present this is not the case, as you know too.
Bruce Hooker - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

> It might help if he actually understood the facts and figures he is researching and quoting

It's all on your web site.
jimtitt - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
Surely posting on internet forums is the ultimate in living by proxy?
Bruce Hooker - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Martin W:

That's very witty but up to now not one poster has actually felt the need to give any arguments as to why competition climbing should be in the Olympic games instead of other much more popular sports. You have all blustered and whined but not one of you has given any arguments beyond, what we want is what we get.

On the other hand several posters have given pretty convincing arguments in the other direction. Money speaks, but not using arguments, on this thread anyway.

For example, less than 2000 licenced competition climbers, how does this compare to climbers as a whole, and, more important, to those of other sports also in the running for a place in the Olympics? No answers as yet.
Bruce Hooker - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to jimtitt:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
> Surely posting on internet forums is the ultimate in living by proxy?

No more than reading the papers, discussing things with people, listening to the radio. It's a modern way of communicating that allows discussions across the world for free.

Clearly those who like decisions to be made behind closed doors without the unwashed masses being involved might dislike it.

Oceanrower - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker: Since when did you need a licence?
tony on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> For example, less than 2000 licenced competition climbers, how does this compare to climbers as a whole, and, more important, to those of other sports also in the running for a place in the Olympics? No answers as yet.

What's that got to do with anything? After all, the number of Olympic competitors in any sport is always a very small fraction of those who participate more widely in the sport. For example, in athletics, there are hundreds of runners who participate in club races, but there are only a very few who are good enough to compete on a world stage.
Postmanpat on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Martin W:
> (In reply to caver)
>
> [...]
>
> I believe that 'Bruce Hooker' is an instance of an AI experiment,

:-)
Ramblin dave - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to tony:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
> [...]
>
> What's that got to do with anything? After all, the number of Olympic competitors in any sport is always a very small fraction of those who participate more widely in the sport.

Yes, agree. I've taken part in a climbing competition - albeit the just-for-fun, hand-your-sheet-in-at-the-end sort - and I'm not "registered" with anyone.
MJ - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

When competition climbing (using the term "lead climbing" to describe the sort you are proposing is very misleading, it is a very specific form of lead climbing as you know)

What, starting at the bottom, clipping the runners as you go, not falling off/weighting the gear and doing it onsight?
That's my understanding of how it works, what's yours?
Chris the Tall - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to colin struthers:
> It arrived at this position after a 'consultation' process that strenously resisted the repeated calls that were made for the whole BMC membership to be polled on the issue.
>
> In my opinion the BMC decision to support the promotion of climbing as an Olympic sport was a complete STITCH UP.
>

Jeez Colin, I can't believe your still peddaling this rubbish

You may not agree with the result, but it was reached democratically

First of all, this decision was well within the remit of the National Council, which is elected by area meetings to determine BMC policy. If every vaguely contentious issue the NC faced had to be put to a referendum of members, then nothing would get done and the NC would be rendered obsolete.

Secondly there was widespread consultation via area meetings, and the activists that were at those meetings were overwhelmingly in favour. Yes there were some very SHOUTY opponents, but a very small minority.

Just lets suppose the BMC did have provision for holding a referendum on contentious issues, the first thing you'd have to decide is the threshold for triggering a vote. I'm afraid that excessive volume from a dozen people isn't enough. Maybe you'd need a third of the NC, but not a single member voted against it. Maybe you'd need a third of the people at area meetings, but again, you only got about 10%.

Quite simply, if the NC had followed your demands it would have been undemocratic and a disgraceful abrogation of duty

P.S. Lets not forget there was a presidential election that year. One candidate was pro-olympics, the other opposed to it. One of the latter's very shouty supporters wrote an article on here, which made it clear that he felt the issue of competion was key to the election (along with some rather bizarre claims). Who won ?
Tony Simpson - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to herrettscott:

Ok we live in a country where little money is spent on climbing (excluding that of the individuals who choose to). If you look at France for example where money is given to groups to promote the area and bring tourists in, thus giving a wider amount of money to the local area.

If we had a bigger pool of money within the UK some of that money could go towards doing just this making sure areas are safe promoting it to tourist etc.

I forsee an even bigger picture than what you have just talked about and dont think in anyway the negatives outway the pos.

There will ofcourse be negs and one of those is more popularity and this does lead to crag errosion, but with more money in the pot there would be funds available to counteract this one would hope.
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Sir Chasm - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Tony Simpson: Just out of curiosity, which areas would you like to see made safe and promoted to tourists?
Robert Durran - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Tony Simpson:
> If we had a bigger pool of money within the UK some of that money could go towards doing just this making sure areas are safe promoting it to tourist etc.


Heaven forbid!
Graeme Alderson on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Graeme Alderson)
>
> [...]
>
> It's all on your web site.

Yet you still can't get it right. Lead walls don't need 'approval'. Speed walls only need homologating to validate a World Record.

John Dunne - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Graeme Alderson: What do you recon for the podium straight ply,friction coat or resin ?
fil - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

>
> For example, less than 2000 licenced competition climbers, how does this compare to climbers as a whole, and, more important, to those of other sports also in the running for a place in the Olympics?

The licences described are only required for "international" competition i.e. for representing your country at IFSC sanctioned events such as World Cups or European Youth events so the numbers will be relatively small. However if you take this weekends CWIF event with over 250 competitors,(I believe it was full in record time!) looking very quickly through the start list there were probably less than 30 international licence holders (inc. the juniors) so I would say, on the strength of that, that competition climbing is popular and becoming more so as time goes on.


Graeme Alderson on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to fil: 330 people registered for the CWIF and there was less than 20 had International Licences, which just emphasises your point.. And yes it filled up in record time.

It was beautiful weather in the Peak on Saturday yet all these people were inside competing.

Obviously they are all plastic pullers who don't climb outside. Top of the female qualification was Mina Leslie-Wujastyk, what has she ever done on grit? 21st in the male qualification was Ben Moon, what's he ever done outside.
Bruce Hooker - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to MJ:

> What, starting at the bottom, clipping the runners as you go, not falling off/weighting the gear and doing it onsight?
That's my understanding of how it works, what's yours?

Read the rules on Grahme's site... several pages.
Sonya Mc on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Graeme Alderson: I know! It always amusing to hear of these competition climbers being called failed athletes or pumped up, egotistical gym rats :D
Bruce Hooker - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Tony Simpson:

> If you look at France for example where money is given to groups to promote the area and bring tourists in, thus giving a wider amount of money to the local area.

That's just the country I look at most - all the low level crags are grid bolted and the mountain crags are getting that way. Is that disaster what you want for Britain?

PS. It all happened in a couple of decades or so.
fil - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

To put a different spin on the numbers consider this:

To take part in the British Lead Climbing Championships and The British Bouldering Championships you have to be a member of the BMC. In other words you need to be licenced to compete.

I make that 40,000+ licenced in the UK alone, including you Bruce (assuming you have individual membership of the BMC)

;)
MJ - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

My original comment: -

What, starting at the bottom, clipping the runners as you go, not falling off/weighting the gear and doing it onsight?
That's my understanding of how it works, what's yours?


Your comment/question: Read the rules on Grahme's site... several pages.

What in essence is different to what I originally said?





jimtitt - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to fil:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
>
> To put a different spin on the numbers consider this:
>
> To take part in the British Lead Climbing Championships and The British Bouldering Championships you have to be a member of the BMC. In other words you need to be licenced to compete.
>

And where exactly does it say that? Certainly not in the elegibility part of the rules.

foxwood on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

> Top of the female qualification was Mina Leslie-Wujastyk, what has she ever done on grit?

Careless Talk 8A at Stanage http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=67878
foxwood on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to foxwood:

Careless Torque - doh !
mhawk - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to foxwood:
> (In reply to Graeme Alderson)
>
> [...]
>
> Careless Talk 8A at Stanage http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=67878

I assumed he was being facetious? By the way, CWIF looked great on the live stream, can't wait to get up and try some of the problems of they are staying up for a while?
Postmanpat on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to MJ:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
>
>
> What in essence is different to what I originally said?

Danger: do not proceed. Like Alice, you are about to fall down a rabbit hole in to a fantasy world known as "Hookerland" populated by a fantastical creature......

Graeme Alderson on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to mhawk: Your assumption is correct. And yes they are staying up
MJ - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:

Danger: do not proceed. Like Alice, you are about to fall down a rabbit hole in to a fantasy world known as "Hookerland" populated by a fantastical creature......

Strange, but you're not the first person to warn be about Hookers and their fantasy holes.
Postmanpat on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to MJ:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
>
> Danger: do not proceed. Like Alice, you are about to fall down a rabbit hole in to a fantasy world known as "Hookerland" populated by a fantastical creature......
>
> Strange, but you're not the first person to warn be about Hookers and their fantasy holes.

My guess is the ones they were thinking of would be more tempting....

caver - on 05 Mar 2013
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)


> Unlike you I have lived through the period you appear to have (mis)read about.

So what have I (mis)read. Did the early redpointers exploit the mass of fixed gear left in local crags across Europe...or not. Was this gear regularly used to practice the common habit of 'peg pulling' to speed alpine ascents. Speed being more important than style.

Still waiting for my history lesson Bruce.


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fil - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to jimtitt:
> (In reply to fil)
> [...]
>
> And where exactly does it say that? Certainly not in the elegibility part of the rules.

Taken from the 2012 BBC's entry form:


HOW TO APPLY
• Please complete and submit an entry form by Thursday 5th July 2012. Entries on the day will only be accepted if there is still place in the category. Enter online here.
• Only online applications will be accepted.

• All competitors must be a BMC, MCofS or MCI member.

• Parental consent must be given for any competitor aged 12 to 17 years on the day of the event - the parental consent form can be downloaded in the entry process.
• All applicants will receive an email confirming receipt of their application. They will then receive a further e-mail containing full event information two days before the event.

The requirement is the same for the BLCC's.
jimtitt - on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to fil:

Interesting, doesn´t say that in the rules but does on the entry form. Maybe they should correct that (one way or the other).
caver - on 07 Mar 2013
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Still waiting...........





Or has Martin W nailed it:

I believe that 'Bruce Hooker' is an instance of an AI experiment, the original objective having been to produce a web bot that can prolong an online argument indefinitely by deliberate misinterpretation of any facts or statements offered by its opponents, changing tack when cornered, and creating distractions by attempting to introduce lines of argument which are only peripherally relevant to the original point of contention.

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