/ Who likes competitive climbing?

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Fredt on 10 Jun 2012
Why is it that, at an estimate, I'd say about 90% of climbers who I have met over the years, don't particularly like climbing competitions. Is it coincidence???? Personally, i would rather watch paint dry for 90 minutes while attempting to saw my own leg off with a butter knife.
EZ on 10 Jun 2012
In reply to Fredt:

I only and always compete with myself. Any other sort of competition in trad climbing (really my only climbing discipline) is just dangerous.
Blue Straggler - on 10 Jun 2012
In reply to EZ:

Do you disagree with all competition that has an aspect of danger?
Rachel Slater - on 10 Jun 2012
In reply to Fredt: I will lend you a saw and paint the wall, please send the leg as evidence.
Graeme Alderson on 10 Jun 2012
In reply to Fredt: Chris Bonnington enjoyed watching Jerry Moffat win the 1st ever Climbing World Cup competition in Leeds back in 1989
Robertostallioni - on 10 Jun 2012
In reply to Graeme Alderson: Brian Blessed didn't. (he had a fiver on Paddy Edlinger.)
Chris the Tall - on 10 Jun 2012
In reply to Fredt:
Just out of interest, have you actually seen a climbing competition?

I was pretty ambivalent until I saw the bouldering comps at cliffhanger, then I was left wondering why it doesn't get wider attention. They had everything you want from a sporting event - skill, athleticism, excitement, tension.

I've been to loads of football matches that we far more boring, but then again I do support tranmere rovers!
Graeme Alderson on 10 Jun 2012
In reply to Chris the Tall: TRFC games are always interesting - you get to play 'guess how many players we have on the pitch' all of the time ;-)
EZ on 10 Jun 2012
In reply to Blue Straggler:

No I don't.

I think trad climbing would be made inherently more dangerous by creating a competitive arena for it. Fortunately I doubt that anyone would ever insure such a competition.
Sir Percy on 10 Jun 2012 - 94-195-177-100.zone9.bethere.co.uk
In reply to Fredt:

Is there any other type of climbing?
Mr JustDoIt on 11 Jun 2012 - 94-192-157-178.zone6.bethere.co.uk
In reply to Sir Percy: Yes the type where you climb for you because of the shear fun of it.
Blue Straggler - on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to EZ:
>
> I think trad climbing would be made inherently more dangerous by creating a competitive arena for it. Fortunately I doubt that anyone would ever insure such a competition.


Do you think downhill ski-ing was made inherently more dangerous by creating a competitive arena for it?

Do you think phrases such as "first E9 onsight" or "Strawberries still awaits an onsight" or "Honnold onsight solos London Wall" or "first British woman to free a route on El Cap" are in fact indicative of the existence of a competitive arena for trad climbing? And has this made climbing more dangerous?
Sir Percy on 11 Jun 2012 - 94-195-177-100.zone9.bethere.co.uk
In reply to Mr JustDoIt:


Yeah, yeah, yeah.

And I'm sure you reckon someone with ten years' experience climbing to V Diff is as good a climber as someone climbing for two years to E5.
muppetfilter - on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to Graeme Alderson:
> Chris Bonnington enjoyed watching Jerry Moffat win the 1st ever Climbing World Cup competition in Leeds back in 1989


Would you say this was a "Sexual" enjoyment or more of a 25yr old Malt Whisky enjoyment ?

Trangia - on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to Fredt:

I'd put competition climbing into the same category as darts, and rifle and pistol shooting from a spectator interest point of view.
Lady Jane Grey on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to Sir Percy:
> (In reply to Mr JustDoIt)
>
>
> Yeah, yeah, yeah.
>
> And I'm sure you reckon someone with ten years' experience climbing to V Diff is as good a climber as someone climbing for two years to E5.

Blah blah blah.

I bet you can't suck your own c*ck, no I didn't think so, bloody exhibitionist.
EZ on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I maybe misunderstood the OP. I assumed competition. To be fair it does say competitive.
I hadn't considered that the nomenclature used in trad may actually foster a competitive attitude in some, but that is probably because I don't see it in myself.
Daniel Heath - on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to EZ:

I'm quite competitive in trad only in the long term. Over the years I like to compare myself to friends who I made when I started climbing.

I've even gone as far as to make a bet with a friend:
The first of us to onsight E4, the other buys a skyhook. Over a year later, neither of us have yet.

Maybe it's more dangerous short term, but I rarely let the competitive nature influence my day to day trad.
EZ on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to Daniel Heath:

Just [friendly] nit picking... why then does your profile say Best onsights: Trad E4? Was your friend just too miserly to stump up the cash?
Daniel Heath - on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to EZ:

The profile guidelines say onsight or flash.

I've flashed two, and we're being quite strict about the style!
EZ on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to Daniel Heath:

Haha. So this whole Jordan Buys thread is UKC's fault :~}
The New NickB - on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

Who is Chris Bonnington?
Bulls Crack - on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to Fredt:

Went to a couple of World Cup (I think) comps when they first started being hosted here but after the second one I nvevr felt any need to go agaoin - takes all day ffs! Similarily watched a bit of a national bouldering comp at the Outdoors show once but was bored rigid in about 15 minutes - someone else climbing on a dull looking wall imo
999thAndy on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to Fredt:
> [...]Personally, i would rather watch paint dry for 90 minutes while attempting to saw my own leg off with a butter knife.

Although who doesn't enjoy burning their mates off? (If only because it happens so rarely in my case)
Monk - on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to Fredt:
> Why is it that, at an estimate, I'd say about 90% of climbers who I have met over the years, don't particularly like climbing competitions. Is it coincidence???? Personally, i would rather watch paint dry for 90 minutes while attempting to saw my own leg off with a butter knife.

Interesting observation, but possibly skewed by who you meet. If you go to one of the youth sessions at your local wall, I reckon you could find that statistic reversed.

I enjoy competitions as a competitor, and can be entertained by watching high quality climbers competing. I wouldn't go out of my way to watch a comp though. Having said that, there are very few sporting events that I would go out of my way for - I'd rather participate!

Even if your 90% statistic is true (and I would agree that there are probably a majority of climbers who aren't interested in competitions), what does that mean for us? Not all climbers enjoy hillwalking, or winter climbing, or trad, or alpinism, or sport, or bouldering. Climbing and mountaineering covers a broad spectrum of disciplines these days, and is the richer for it. As long as the identities and values of each discipline can be maintained, I don't really see a problem.
Chris the Tall - on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to Graeme Alderson:
> (In reply to Chris the Tall) TRFC games are always interesting - you get to play 'guess how many players we have on the pitch' all of the time ;-)

You aren't still going on about that minor refereeing blunder are you ?

Lord_ash2000 - on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to Fredt: Having done (and watched) more than my fair share of comps back in the day I have to agree that watching lead climbing comps at least is pretty boring. But I'm sure if filmed a decent highlights show could be put together.

Bouldering comps are however a lot more action packed and tend to draw the crowds a bit more. Probably why bouldering comps seem to have taken over.
Hardonicus - on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to Fredt: The problem with climbing competitions is that they are based on a fallacy. Quite simply put, the best climber is the one having the most fun...
muppetfilter - on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to The New NickB:

>
> Who is Chris Bonnington?


He is the man who had sex with Bear Ghrylls Granny....
nniff - on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to Hardonicus:
Quite simply put, the best climber is the one having the most fun...

Quite so. And in the context of bouldering completitions I do have fun, although I haven't done one for a year or so. I know I'm not going to win, but do have a good time. It also suits my on sight ethos.

There is also a strong correlation between my inability to get up something at all if I can't get up it in three goes.
Ramblin dave - on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to nniff:
Yeah, I entered a 'just for fun' bouldering competition at my local wall earlier this year and it was, er, fun. Despite having no hope in hell of bothering the good climbers, I found that the little bit of extra pressure to get routes on the first attempt forced me to a) try to read the route properly before getting on it and b) to try a bit harder to get that final move rather than dropping off and thinking "I'm sure I'll get it next time..."

I'm not sure I'd spend long watching a bouldering comp - it's quite exciting and impressive, but I'm not sure I'd give up an evening for it...
Mi|es - on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to Fredt:

I think it's just the type of people you're friends with. Looking at your profile I noticed that you're relatively old (no offence) and that you seem to be more of a fan of trad/alpine climbing.

In my (fairly limited) experience, the typical climbers that compete tend to be fairly young and prefer bouldering/indoor/sport climbing so I think it's just the fact that the people you climb with don't tend to fit that demographic.
GrahamD - on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to Fredt:
> Why is it that, at an estimate, I'd say about 90% of climbers who I have met over the years, don't particularly like climbing competitions.

That sounds very polarised to me. I would have said most of the climbers I hang out with are just ambivalent about competitions.
markez on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to Fredt: Are 90% of the climbers you've met over the years afraid of pushing themselves to climb better ?
AlanLittle - on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to Fredt:

I started taking part in bouldering competitions regularly ("regularly" = about 2 to 4 times a year) at the age of 49. I think they're great fun, although training for them makes my elbows hurt.
gritstoneking - on 11 Jun 2012
you obviously havent watched the boulder world cup on ifsc.tv! it should be an olympic sport! competition is good, embrace it or it just means you are scared of losing/watching people better than you.
Jon Stewart - on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to gritstoneking:
> you obviously havent watched the boulder world cup on ifsc.tv! it should be an olympic sport! competition is good, embrace it or it just means you are scared of losing/watching people better than you.

I've never read such a load of crap before, and I spend a lot of time on UKC. You may not have realised that climbing is rather more diverse than the send-it-dude beanie bollocks that comprises indoor bouldering.

Like someone said above, most climbers are ambivalent about competitions. Take it or leave it, different strokes, and other cliches.
rustaldo - on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to Monk: I agree mostly with what Monk said.

I think that competitive climbing has almost become its own discipline.

I'm sure I read an article about Patxi Usobiaga's first outdoor trad route (Luna Nascente?), having spent his whole life climbing on plastic indoors.

If indoor climbing and comps are your thing then you'll end up pursuing it as fervently as any trad or alpine enthusiast pursues their own niche.

I think alot of people that knock competitions and pass them off as "boring" or "non-spectator friendly" haven't tried them; either in actually competing or just spectating.

I can understand the tedium of giving up a whole day and physically going to a comp and having to sit around waiting and ONLY watching when you're itching to climb yourself and can only think that your day would've been better spent at the crag.

That I can understand.

But can you really argue this:

"watch paint dry for 90 minutes while attempting to saw my own leg off with a butter knife."

is preferable to this:
http://www.ukclimbing.com/videos/play.php?i=814
rustaldo - on 11 Jun 2012
argh.

here is aforementioned article featuring patxi usobiaga.

http://www.planetmountain.com/english/News/shownews1.lasso?l=2&keyid=36675

i misremembered it slightly.
Graeme Alderson on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (In reply to gritstoneking)
You may not have realised that climbing is rather more diverse than the send-it-dude beanie bollocks that comprises indoor bouldering.
>
You may not have realised that comps are more diverse than the send-it-dude beanie bollocks that you think comprises indoor bouldering. But hey, each to their own prejucidice.

Some people might not like to think that climbing is now a competititive sport, with all of the highs and lows of any sport (ie some crap some great) but that is what it is now. As a sport it can be absolutely brilliant, it can also be crap. It is also a sport that still is rooted in it's origins.
ads.ukclimbing.com
jonathan shepherd - on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to Graeme Alderson:
> (In reply to Fredt) Chris Bonnington enjoyed watching Jerry Moffat win the 1st ever Climbing World Cup competition in Leeds back in 1989.
Was that really 23 years ago, I can still remember cheering when he got the dyno.

Graeme Alderson on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to jonathan shepherd: Obvoiusly you are part of the 10% though :-)
Elrond - on 12 Jun 2012
In reply to Fredt:

I really like climbing comps!The whole atmosphere of a bouldering comp whilst competing is such a great feeling!

I understand that trad climbing just wouldnt be suitable for a competition environment, yet sport and bouldering suit it well.
Bruce Hooker - on 12 Jun 2012
In reply to Sir Percy:
> (In reply to Mr JustDoIt)
>
> And I'm sure you reckon someone with ten years' experience climbing to V Diff is as good a climber as someone climbing for two years to E5.

Why the value judgement?

If someone enjoys v diffs then what's the problem? and it's altogether possible that the E5er is a total wanker, even though musclebound... Obviously a Lord of the Manor like yourself will have problems with understanding this but I'm sure you could get there if you tried.

Bruce Hooker - on 12 Jun 2012
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I've never read such a load of crap before, and I spend a lot of time on UKC.

Come now, you must have done :-)
Bruce Hooker - on 12 Jun 2012
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

> It is also a sport that still is rooted in it's origins.

But is it a "sport" at all?

PS. For what it's worth I'd agree with the OP's original 90% remark, but then I don't know any young climbers.
lanky_suction1 - on 12 Jun 2012
In reply to Fredt:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yHGWvlw6iM&feature=player_embedded

Not sure if that link will work.

Like most sports, some people will enjoy watching it and some won't. It's called personal choice. Your own opinion, by it's very definition, can't be 'wrong'.

Ramblin dave - on 12 Jun 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Graeme Alderson)
>

> PS. For what it's worth I'd agree with the OP's original 90% remark, but then I don't know any young climbers.

I've actually known a couple of bearded hex swingers who've enjoyed indoor bouldering competitions (albeit in a just-for-fun comps at the local wall way rather than a high profile international championship sort of way). Probably because they're the sort of people who turn up for something like that with an attitude of "this is new, let's see what's fun about it" rather than "this is new, let's moan about how it isn't the same as what I normally do."
walts4 - on 12 Jun 2012
In reply to Fredt:
Caught the open air climbing competion in Chamonix one evening by pure chance, think it was the world cup.
Surprised myself by actually stopping more than 90 minutes, but then again it was the womens final & the bar was open.
Bruce Hooker - on 13 Jun 2012
In reply to Ramblin dave:

I don't think it's to do with it being new or not - in fact the idea is quite old, they had climbing competitions in the USSR a long time ago - it's just that the notion goes against what most people think climbing is all about, it's not a spectator activity but one to do yourself and, for many at least, it's more about competing with your own limits rather than other climbers.

Climbing competitions seem to be more of a non-climbing recuperation of the activity in line with a spectator, commercial ethic.
Ramblin dave - on 13 Jun 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker: Yeah, that's true I suppose. I was mainly thinking about the sort of competition you have on the last thursday of the month at the local wall where you fill in a form and hand it in at the end, and unless you're really serious about it then you pretty much are competing against yourself rather than anyone else...
Castleclimber - on 25 Jun 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

I often ask climber friends if they like competing in climbing comps and I often get a similar response to what you've said above Bruce.

I personally really enjoy competing and believe that many people might be surprised if they entered a few friendly comps which often reflect some of the elements many of us enjoy about climbing.

I don't like the indoctrinated response as I believe that climbing should be about whatever that individual wants it to be about. Neither what it began as nor what it is currently accepted as should define the sport for an individual.
Iain McKenzie - on 25 Jun 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Two British Team members...

http://www.vimeo.com/43853085

and the climbing comp they were at ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yHGWvlw6iM

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