/ Dave Macleod...
He's too busy climbing....
To me, competitions are completely opposed to why I got into climbing / mountaineering in the first place.
The beauty of climbing is that it is just you (and often your partner) and the rock (or snow or mountain).
You decide what you want to do. The ethic is yours to decide. The aesthetics are yours to go for.
There is no committee setting rules, there are no crowds, there are no deadlines other than those imposed by your body and by the environment.
Maybe he really enjoys going climbing on rocks and not fannying about on indoor walls?
I asked Ste Mac once when i randomly met him and he said that the training/time took away from his climbing on rock and he wasn't motivated enough for it.
Although me saying this probably has no relevance as i'm a pretty crap climber in general, just my opinion though.
That may be wrong, but personally, if I was a pro-climber, and gifted enough to climb enough hard problems with a few trys, I'd leave the comp scene for those gifted youngsters on the up and up.
And yeah, personally I think its crazy that anyone would prefer to stay indoors than go outside ? Or at least when the weather was nice !
Maybe not, but he would to compete
Believe it or not people actually enjoy competing. There are couple of small examples such as football and Basketball.
Fair enough if you don't like it. Your welcome to that opinion but to condemn it "bad" for climb is a little strange especially when you gave no reasons.
But to the main point. I read in his blog recently he has problems with sweaty skin and its particular bad indoors and in bad temps. Maybe that's why
Perhaps indoor climbing is treated simply as training by the guys who, with the wealth of your experience and insight, you are so ready to dismiss.
Hardly any of the top class climbers anywhere in the world compete in comps because at the end of the day they're not very important.
That's mainly because I don't see climbing in that way, to me its not about competing. Its just about enjoying the climbing itself, not to attain a medal.
That's the reason - how obvious now you mention it.
I'm sure he will see this and answer the question, or perhaps pop over to his blog and ask him.
Training for competitions is very specialised, just as training for any climbing discipline is, whether it be bouldering, trad or sport, especially if you want to perform at the highest level.
As far as I know, competing in climbing competitions, especially lead comps takes an awful lot of dedication, knowledge and time, at the expense of other types of climbing and home life.
Perhaps Dave's priorities are elsewhere judging by his latest achievements bouldering and sport climbing.
His blog: http://www.davemacleod.blogspot.com/
Are you sure ? How do you know ? None of us do, do we ?
It's just as likely that as they are v successful at what they do, and able to get the living they want out of it, they don't need to do something they may not want to do i.e. comps.
You mean like past competition winners Jerry Moffat, Simon Nadin and Ian Vickers
Check out the latest rankings at the IFSC and you'll see some of the world's top outdoor climbers: http://www.ifsc-climbing.org/index.php?page_name=ranglist&cat=ICC_M
You should ask him.
Some, yes, but I think you would have to make a point of following the competition scene to have heard of many of that lot.
Bloody hell there's some tosh written on this forum...
> Some, yes, but I think you would have to make a point of following the competition scene to have heard of many of that lot.
Precisely, there are many very capable, world class rock climbers up there, my point was that the very top level no longer compete, their priorities lie elsewhere and I think their view is represented by the majority of the climbing community too.
> Precisely, there are many very capable, world class rock climbers up there, my point was that the very top level no longer compete, their priorities lie elsewhere and I think their view is represented by the majority of the climbing community too.
Are you sure about that, the majority don't compete, but competition climbing appears to be growing in popularity...
This just in from Nick Colton:.....check the pics out..
'After three qualifying rounds, the most ever competitors took part in a packed and amazing 2012 final of the BMC Youth Climbing Series at EICA Ratho, Edinburgh on 23rd June.
This was the first year that the IFSC age categories had been used in the Youth Climbing Series. It meant that the number of categories increased from 3 previously up to 5.
So, at a stroke, an already huge event became even bigger!
This year, 330 (yes, that's right... 330!) finalists qualified through the regional rounds held in England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland in spring when over 850 young people took part.- and that's another record!'
And with climbing having the possibility of being an Olympic sport, that would increase participation even more.
It does appear however, that the top comp climbers don't compete for too long, before it all becomes too much, and the competition fiercer and they go back outside!@
Fair point Mick, I do concede that it is certainly growing. I regularly photograph comps actually, I just don't enjoy them as an event, whilst the climbing can be impressive, it's plastic and artificial at the end of the day. I don't remember who won comp XYZ but I certainly remember hard first ascents of new routes.
Is there a growing divide between indoor comp focused climbers and those on real rock?
I think you're onto something. It's like...if Ian Rankin is one of the country's best-selling novelists, why does he never take part in eating contests? Damn.
More indoor walls being built and planned, many that you can hold competitions on, plus new investment supporting the BMC competition teams by The National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme, Lonsdale and the Association Of British Climbing Walls.
Great successes by Brits recently: Shauna Coxsey, Ed Hamer, Molly Thompson-Smith, Luke Tilley and Jonny Stocking etc
Shauna inside: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yHGWvlw6iM
Shauna outside: http://www.vimeo.com/44169854#
I'd say the competition climbing is on the up, sure some may climb exclusively indoors, but most like to climb outside too...and at a very high standard.
Maybe because he isn't, after all, a particularly good all round cyclist. Or maybe bmx is onsight and he's rubbish at reading the course. Or maybe he knows that bmx isn't proper cycling.
I don't think so. The common question and perhaps misconception is that those who start climbing at walls/climbing gyms stay indoors, or don't trad climb. That is certainly not true....look at todays best trad/sport/boulderers/climbers....the majority started climbing indoors.
> Precisely, there are many very capable, world class rock climbers up there, my point was that the very top level no longer compete, their priorities lie elsewhere and I think their view is represented by the majority of the climbing community too.
Actually this is just untrue. Ondra has competed quite a bit - the top level doesn't get any higher! But it's not just Ondra - take the current series of bouldering world cups: there has been no shortage of well known 8C boulderers in the lineups, many of whom fail to make any impression.
Clearly, there is more to climbing well in comps than being good at climbing outside. It's a very different type of challenge. The fact that several climbers manage to reach the finals on a regular basis proves that there is a lot of skill involved. The top level in competition climbing might feature a few different characters, but let's not be fooled - it's still the top level.
i suspect for the same reason he doesn't do much on grit these days- bold trad lines in relatively remote locations appears to be what interests him and where his strength lies, i would guess he isn't particularly interested in the competition scene.
as others have suggested, he does post, maybe he'll tell you
> As far as I know, competing in climbing competitions, especially lead comps takes an awful lot of dedication, knowledge and time, at the expense of other types of climbing and home life.
> Perhaps Dave's priorities are elsewhere judging by his latest achievements bouldering and sport climbing.
Exactly. He is focussed on other things, likely for both personal and professional reasons. But if he could compete and win, or do well, without specific comp training then I am sure he would. It would be easy money.
But as you say, it would probably take serious specific training for him to be a contender in the comps.
So to the OP's question, the most immediate answer is simply that he wouldn't do well enough for it be worth his while, either personally or professionally. If he thought he would win, he would certainly compete.
Behind that are other reasons - perhaps he doesn't want to dedicate the time to that specific training, maybe because he doesn't think the effort would yield good enough results to justify it, or maybe simply doesn't enjoy competition climbing.
Comps are all about onsighting after all, and the stats say Dave is relatively bad at onsight climbing.
I didnt mean to sound condemning or negative - I am merely saying that these guys cant make this sort of decision based entirely on preference. Sadly the modern professional climber is forced to focus on developing their credentials and reputation, as that is the product they sell for a living. Its not easy making a living from climbing, and the freedom to perform badly in public ends up being sacrificed. Jerry Moffat talks about struggling with this issue with comps in his book.
Of course all of this is speculation, but then the only way to guess at a person's motives is to look at the incentives they are subject to. And here there are clear incentives, that would affect any of us in his place.
And that's why Dave MacLeod is a CLIMBER and the event guys are athletes training for a sport event.
Now do you get it???
But if he could compete and win, or do well, without specific comp training then I am sure he would. It would be easy money.
Easy money? Isn't the prize money somewhat pitiful and hence the reason why Vickers went from competitor to setter...
"Believe it or not people actually enjoy competing. There are couple of small examples such as football and Basketball.
Fair enough if you don't like it. Your welcome to that opinion but to condemn it "bad" for climbing is a little strange especially when you gave no reasons."
Does it really matter if Dave doesn't climb in competitions? The beauty of climbing is it's the choice of the individual if they want to do sport, trad, mixed, ice, bouldering or indoor. Even the top flight have this choice and are free to make it. Personally I much prefer climbing outside and in relative solitude, perhaps Dave also doesn't like the hustle and bustle of indoor wall's and competitions in general.
Here's hoping Dave continues to put up amazing F.A.'s and hard boulder problems in remote and beautiful parts of the world - from my perspective that's a lot more inspiring than reading about how many campus sessions went into training for a competition.
(but don't know if this is Dave MacLeod's reason)
Ha ha ha. Outstanding! You think that indoor bolt clipping is more impressive than outdoor E11. And you really expect to be taken seriously? Back under yer bridge.
His top end routes are the cutting edge of traditional climbing and you diss this like it's a nonsense compared to what indoor sport climbers do!!!! Daves been through the grades and kept pushing to the point where these routes are so fractional you simply can't onsight. Even trying to top rope the moves are beyond all but the top climbers which is why they are the grade they are.
Unbelievable but then you are 16 Jess and enthusiastic so we will forgive your ignorance as you clearly still have a lot to learn. You're trying to compare two incomparables like sailing and kayaking.
This morning a Genie popped out of a bottle at the side of my bed. He said: "Enty, last night I reduced your weight by 2 stone and I gave you massive arms. Today you have two choices - I will either transport you to the Cromlech where you will onsight flash Lord of The Flies or I'll take you to a climbing competition where you will come first and win the 2500€ first prize"
I'm off to The Cromlech.
That's basically where it's at for me Jess.
Have a look at the dvds of echo wall and to hell and back, they didn't look like he had trained all the danger out of the routes to me.
And me onsighting napoleon in ilkley quarry was impressive to me, but not I suspect as significant an ascent nationally as the longhope route....
When the history of this phase of climbing in the UK is written, it will be Dave's routes, and hidms winter climbs like the hurting and anubis, along with Steve mcclures hard sport routes that are seen as milestones. Always has been the case, from central buttress on scafell through cenotaph corner and the stanage unconquerables to Indian face. Who won what competition will remain a footnote, an important one, but still an aside from the main narrative
I'd choose the competition, glory and prize money without hesitation ...
... mainly because I've already done Lord ;-)
I'd guess that climbing is more to Dave than simply the actual moves. Last time I saw him he was charging up to Steall in Glen Nevis which is a glorious place. Climbing walls are duller than spending a night in a Ugandan coal mine looking for snow.
>"I believe that anyone onsighting at their limit (be it hvs or e6) is more impressive than any of dave's e9s,10s,11s etc"
Hi Jess, I'm just about to release my new climbing video. It contains footage of me, taken over a two year period, as I struggle to acquire the nessecary skills and fitness required to push at the envelope of my onsight limit.
I've called it "E1". Do you want to buy a copy?
> Ha ha ha. Outstanding! You think that indoor bolt clipping is more impressive than outdoor E11. And you really expect to be taken seriously?
That's not actually what she said. She said: "I believe that anyone onsighting at their limit (be it hvs or e6) is more impressive than any of dave's e9s,10s,11s etc". And that is a perfectly defensible viewpoint.
Incidentally, Jess is a very good climber indeed. I am sure she knows what she is talking about and I think she has cleverly started a quite an interesting debate here. It is interesting that nobody has dared follow her up on her earlier heretical suggestion that Dave is not the great all round climber he is usually assumed to be because of his (relative) lack of onsight credentials.
Probably for the same reasons he doesn't go for extreme alpinism or big walling - its not what he wants to do with his life
And that is a perfectly defensible viewpoint.
Indeed, much like the Maginot line - lovely views of the German border.
> I'd choose the competition, glory and prize money without hesitation ...
> ... mainly because I've already done Lord ;-)
Ha yes - but I could change Lord to The Bells, Ghost Train or any of Birkett's routes and the answer would be the same.
The only thing which would have me hesitating would be a 22ft long Peak grit E9 ;-)
Insert smug face!
I am most excited by climbers doing one armers.
Basically the more one armers you can do the better a human being you are.
Competitions and actual climbing are just distractions.
You wouldn't be climbing for the fun of it, you would be climbing to beat other climbers.
interesting that nobody has dared follow her up on her earlier heretical suggestion that Dave is not the great all round climber he is usually assumed to be because of his (relative) lack of onsight credentials.
That's because I don't think there is logic there to follow
So Dave isn't the strongest onsighter. He also has no pedigree of hard alpine routes or in the greater ranges.
But he operates at or near the top level in bold headpointing trad routes, Scottish winter, mixed, bouldering and sport. There can't be many other people who have such a broad range, but would be interested to hear suggestions,
He has also
Too right, when I pushed through the death barrier to onsight my first HVS everyone watching was well impressed. Did the climbing magazines want to know? Did they f**k.
> Indeed, much like the Maginot line - lovely views of the German border.
I don't think climbing as an olympic sport would affect what I do by one jot to be honest, and I'm sure its the same for all of us. We all have our motivations for climbing and some people's is competition (actually many people if they are being honest - otherwise why the obsession with grades ?)
> Too right, when I pushed through the death barrier to onsight my first HVS everyone watching was well impressed. Did the climbing magazines want to know? Did they f**k.
It is not clear what point you are making or view you are supporting here.
Maybe, but that is not excactly cutting edge is it? So maybe not the great all rounder after all (though who cares.....).
While what constitutes 'proper' climbing and or a 'good' climber is highly subjective (insert the standard UKC top-rope/sport/trad/bouldering bickering here), when it comes to climbing as a (spectator) sport, I'm with Jess:
Watching Echo wall for a 'non swimmer' could even be said to be dull! Watching a punter (even with bad technique) trying to onsight a route or send a problem is far more entertaining and accessible to the masses.
Back on topic..... Whatever Dave’s reasons for not competing, I think the disparity between his worked grades and onsighting skills is a valid point. Out of interest, what grades does he usually manage?
The comment about reputation and sponsorship is an interesting one too. Having seen Steve Mc compete, I’d say he’s not bad. Would he have as much sponsorship and be as highly regarded as an OK/good competition climber without his amazing ability to work hard limestone? Well given I've only heard of a handfull of the competition climbers, I'm guessing not.
I've already stated this point in a previous post, you must not have been looking hard enough to see it.
It wouldn't make me view climbing in a different way, but it will make people new to the sport view it differently.
See my previous post... I'd always considered him to be a great 'all rounder' given the range of types of climbing he is operating at a high level in. And genuinely interested, globally are there others who are notable figures in so many different climbing disciplines...?
So what ? all it will do is swell numbers at walls, not outside.
Why do you think your motivation for climbing is any worthier than someone who is dedicated enough to do competition climbing ?
Maybe we should just cut to the chase and produce the Top Trumps deck already...
Yes they do.
Didn't he onsight E7 in 2000? And are most of the winter routes not onsight? And aren't there some 8th grade sport onsights in the Echo Wall DVD extras?
I've been coming on this forum for over ten years and I don't think I've ever read seen so much unmitigated horse shit as has been written on this thread. Dave Mac not that strong; four time British lead climb champion Steve MacLure too scared to compete; Hardly any of the top class climbers anywhere in the world compete in comps; made up broken legs; People only doing comps because they are too scared to climb out doors.........
If you are completely ignorant about climbing why go out of your way to demonstrate it and tout barely thought out bullshit opinions as fact?
Just pointing out that my audacious onsight ascent of Gagarin's Groove back in '07 went largely unnoticed by the climbing media, while Dave MacHeadpoint was making all the headlines for working to death some route at Dumbarton. It's not right.
The media make Dave one of the countries 'top climbers'
Quite often if you read/watch anything that he has produced, he states that there is very little difference between what he does and what we do and what the other 'top' climbers do.
Ok, slightly paraphrased there but the point is someone who puts 1,000's hours in to climbing competitions are going to be pro at that, someone who puts it into onsight trad. or sport or bouldering ...ect, He puts a lot of time in working difficult routes because it be hard to onsight them for him... so what? as a climber he enjoys the technical side of it and the enjoyment of climbing in the way he does.
As for the sponsorships thing, anyone can get sponsored if it benefits the company that will be sponsoring you, Dave produces his own climbing films or at least is featured in a few of them... therefore mountain equipment is on most of the images we see of him.
> Like ^^^^^^^^
Can people just take a minute to think what if it was their name as the subject of this thread ? How would you be feeling right now ?
I know that climbing 'celebrities' court the media in order to get the money they need to make the life they want but it doesn't make them up for having any kind of bollocks spouted about them. It's not as if Dave Mac or Ste Mc are in TOWIE is it ?
With you on that one. Trying to say that Dave's not a great all-rounder when he's done E12, F9a, Font 8c and winter grade XII is frankly a bit bizarre.
Bizarre indeed. Even more so when I cast my mind back to watching him win the British Universities Bouldering Champs one time some years ago at Ratho, so he can add national competition success to his very long list of climbing achievements.
It find it incredible that so many people are so quick to criticise someone (not just Dave, Anyone!) who chooses to specialise in different aspects of the sport than they do themselves. There's no room for evangelism in climbing; it ends up sounding small-minded and ignorant.
"Famous" people are generally known for what they're best at; quite often, people are best at what they most enjoy doing. Complaining that they're not so good at something else - even if it's similar - is quite laughable. I don't hear anybody saying Usain Bolt's pretty crap at the marathon or what's Jackson Pollock ever done in watercolour?
If someone in the future is watching Olympic climbing and it inspires them to take it up then thats brilliant as far as I'm concerned. Pretty quickly they're going to discover there's a whole lot more to climbing than comps and what a great diverse sport we have. To compete at international level you pretty much have to start as a young kid.
if Dave M had had the opportunity to compete as a kid I reckon he'd have done pretty well.
Dave is an absolute hero and a thoroughly nice bloke!
That should be the end of this utterly ridiculous thread
I think people appear to be playing some form of distorted top-trumps and have got caught out by Dave's modesty.
The only thing that I was against was the competition climbing in general. But that's just my opinion on it.
Dave's probably reading this and laughing anyway !
Quite. Not only should he be an outstanding headpointer , boulderer and redpointer he should pull his finger out and prove himself as a comp climber and whilst he's at it he should stick a broom up his arse and sweep the floor at the same time.
Personally I am astounded that he achieves as much as he does in the disciplines he pursues, especially based in Scotland with its awful weather.
Ondra has turned his hand from Sport to comp climbing then bouldering but even then some here bemoaned he should do some real (trad) climbing.
Whether they are doing what they do because they are playing to their strengths or loves is neither here nor there. What counts is what is actually achieved. The context of the achievement is both measured against others and in the context of realising their potential.
Was his XII onsight, anyone ?
> Bizarre indeed. Even more so when I cast my mind back to watching him win the British Universities Bouldering Champs one time some years ago at Ratho, so he can add national competition success to his very long list of climbing achievements.
He was actually tied firt place with an unsung hero, Mark Button. (Just to be pedantic)!
Definitely more than one piece of gear.
Also, even if there was only 1 piece on his harness, that wouldnt neccersarily prove it wasn't onsight...
He's also on-sighted Deathwatch (E7) at Ilkley and Gresham's IX (X?) in Glencoe.
Well he had previously climbed the line in summer as an E8
So not sure if onsight was possible
But Scottish winter climbing has a ground up ethic, so no pre practiced moves
Clearly the OP has some sort of problem with Dave, probably of the "my dads harder than your dad" type
Meanwhile everyone else can get on with appreciating watching a very good climber putting up the testpiece routes of our time
Ah, my apologies. I was going on memory alone and it was a long time ago! I actually wasn't even following the comp closely as I was busy taking photos for a magazine. That's my excuse anyway ;-)
Marek emailed to ask me to have a look at this.
Comps: I like climbing rock and just use plastic for training. If I ever did comps I would probably like to get good at them and the necessary time away from the outdoors would just not be me.
Onsighting: I last tried to get good at onsighting summer trad about 12 years ago and did a season of many E5s, then E6s then a few E7s. My favourite onsight was Yes Yes at Creag Dubh that summer. But I didn't have a car and had most of the hard routes in Scotland that were good and I could get to. So I got a bit bored and started to get into the other disciplines more. I've done a handful of E7s since but at some point I'm sure I'll take a fancy for doing some harder onsights. In the meantime I really do most of my onsighting in the winter months.
Jacob I don't really think of being a professional climber like your idea. The way I make it work is to have personal climbing goals and find professional ways to make them happen. Everyone is different though and I just do what works for me. I'm not really interested in doing different disciplines or routes because it would look good. It wouldn't work anyway because people have their own agendas as you can see from lots of comments on the thread. Folk used to say I was just really a trad climber and a weak boulderer because I only bouldered Font 8a. They used to say I was really just a winter climber because I hadn't done E9 yet. They said I could only do steep routes because I couldn't do Indian Face. They said I only downgraded the Walk of Life (another slab) because I was so used to standing on my feet for hours on my onsights! What can you do but shake your head at all that hot air?
Jess - It doesn't reflect well that you didn't take time to make a few clicks of a mouse and check your facts before suggesting I have been dishonest. I'm not sure why you feel it's a good plan to aim a load of pretty sharp comments at a fellow keen climber. Even if you enjoy it, it's not so nice to read.
> I'd choose the competition, glory and prize money without hesitation ...
> ... mainly because I've already done Lord ;-)
Fair play Dave, well said.
Thank you for taking time to read and reply.
Although I want Ashima, Brooke and Shauna in my top trumps deck ;)
scan down to picture four: is this the one you mean regarding the 'gies a squid' onsight?
What do you base this comment on? Guaranteed there are some routes soft and some routes hard. But have you done enough routes across a range of grades in the north east for this comment to have some basis? I have climbed allot all around the country including grit;). I am local to Aberdeen and would say that it is certainly not soft for the grade up to routes of E5. By no means is it hard but sits well with many other areas so what areas are you comparing it to?
Gies a Squid was marked as unrepeated at the time you did it so the grade was unconfirmed. I think it is getting E6 6b in next guide, so you can't use that one anymore.
Dave (standing up for his local area!)
> With you on that one. Trying to say that Dave's not a great all-rounder when he's done E12, F9a, Font 8c and winter grade XII is frankly a bit bizarre.
It's not bizarre it's just f*ckin thick!
It was a comment FFS. That's all, don't get so chippy. May have been tongue in cheek, may have been serious. It may be that he finds the style of that area easier than other so they feel easier for the grade.
I don't think he was 'using' the grade for anything as he said he felt it was soft himself. If he was trying to big himself up he would have said it was hard for the grade.
I just wish people would count to 10 and re read their posts before pressing submit. You come across as quite aggressive, but i dont know if you mean to.
Thanks for replying. I'd have been tempted to rant but your reply is very admirable.
> sly :)
a was all soft. I am sure that would not go down to well.
Jess's profile says she's 16. I'm sure I said a lot of stupid things when I was 16, fortunately the internet didn't exist then and a couldn't broadcast them to the world...
As usual, always interesting to read your thoughts on climbing,
It takes everything away from climbing. Your meant to climb because its fun and for the enjoyment, not to win medals or for the glory of it !
The personal satisfaction of sending a route should be enough for any climber to not give a hoot about entering a competition.
Surely the beauty of climbing is that there are many different disciplines, and people are free to pick which one (or more) they do. Just because you may not find competitions fun or enjoyable shouldn't mean they're seen as any less important.
People are free to enter and compete as they like.
Thats just the issue I was trying to get at.
All this hot air, all this hype, people saying this guy is the best at this or not at this and all of our armchair speculation, this is the reason that if I were you I wouldn't go in for comps either. Being at the mercy of the press, and worse, the forums, must be horrendous. Examples like Gaskins, Koyomada and Simpson show extreme examples of the negative side of climbing media, and their reactions were not at all unjustified. It is to your credit that you stick it out.
The curse of being professional is everyone talking about ascents, comparing, and in these forums that all ends up being personal and somehow turns negative. Reading back through all of this I feel awful to have been a part of it - the speculation I and others were making casually were made without thought for these professional challenges, or the personal feelings they might bring up.
We all joke with our climbing partners about our weaknesses, our strengths, our uncharacteristic successes and embarrassing failures. The banter is positive, we know none of us are at all personally bothered about their climbing achievements. It helps us to notice weaknesses, not get too arrogant, and remember how to laugh at ourselves. To me all of this is positive, between friends.
But when we know so much, through the media, about someone like you, who we dont really know, this sort of discussion is not the same. It somehow ends up looking ugly, unfriendly, and sometimes bitter. For me, and likely most others, this is in no way the intention. It is much more like a game of top trumps.
I feel it is worth stating some of my opinions that I realise were not implied in my earlier comments, that should have been:
Dave Macleod is a fantastic climber, world class in several disciplines, and an inspiration. He is also a really friendly and unassuming character who probably undersells rather than exaggerate his successes.
Like everybody he has his weaknesses, but though banter between friends is productive and friendly, somehow here it doesn't always come across that way.
I guess from many people's opinions here, I am not the only one who is really awful at headpointing. Rubbish at it. Terrifies me. And because I dont enjoy it, I dont do it.
And the reason I don't go in for comps? I reckon I would do so badly it would hurt my pride. In it to win it and all that.
I know, and I didn't suggest you had said that, although:
That kind of implies you don't think they should climb in competitions, depending on how you read it.
I personally don't see the attraction in competitions, unless you've started really young, I don't think you stand a chance currently, but I firmly believe people should be able climb whatever they want without people belittling their choice. I don't think all competition climbers should be labeled as people who aren't climbing for fun and enjoyment either, because I doubt a lot of them would do it if it wasn't fun or enjoyable.
I'm similar to you, there is no attraction in competition climbing for me, but if others want to do it then they are free to do so.
> a was all soft. I am sure that would not go down to well.
I'd take it as one persons opinion and nothing more. Is he meant to keep quiet if he feels somewhere is soft because his opinion is 'worth more' ? What if he had praised the area and said it was full of undergraded routes due to the modesty of the locals ? Should he talk about that as well or is he not allowed to comment on anything ?
I'd love to read Macleod's response to Varian's take on Dumby :)
Dave Macleod is awesome. I think he makes huge contributions to the climbing community and just seems like a pretty sound bloke.
Personally I got loads from reading his books that directly improved my climbing. Pretty much every time I google something on climbing his blog is the first resource. (whether it's injuries, tactics or whatever)
ahh that we could all contribute so much so positive. That would be an ambition indeed!
In my opinion, making a comment like that belittles the climbing achievments of all the people in our area and I do not like it because the majority of routes are pretty fair for the grade compared to other areas I have climed at. You may take it as one persons comment but it is a comment that reaches further than many other peoples opinions and is believed by more too. For example if I went up to Dave Macs local area did a couple of routes and claimed the area was soft how far would that comment go and who would believe it? Not nearly as many as in his own example.
> I'd love to read Macleod's response to Varian's take on Dumby :)
Given that the gist of Varian's post was 'great climbing, grim location', I suspect he'd fundamentally agree.
Can't help feeling you're being just a touch overly sensitive.
A much more important question for Dave:
Given you had to have a fairly drastic haircut to become a really good boulderer; what part of you would you be prepared to cut off to get some big ticks in the greater ranges?
> Given you had to have a fairly drastic haircut to become a really good boulderer; what part of you would you be prepared to cut off to get some big ticks in the greater ranges?
> This morning a Genie popped out of a bottle at the side of my bed. He said: "Enty, last night I reduced your weight by 2 stone and I gave you massive arms. Today you have two choices
Can I borrow the bottle when you're done?
Interested to read Dave's response to this thread. Of course, like all of us, he just does what he wants to do for whatever reasons he wants. I'm not sure anyone has really had a go at him, though some of Jess's language might have been a little provocative and some comments perhaps a little ill informed (though possibly just tongue in cheek).
As for the "top trumps" thing, its just a bit of fun; what forms of climbing and to what level a great all rounder should excel in is simply a matter of opinion (personally, I would definitely put onsight trad and sport just as high up the list as headpointing and redpinting but exclude the mere training activities of bouldering and indoor climbing, though the competition thing is an interesting question!). I would certainly be interested to see what Dave could achieve onsight if he really put his mind to it! (probably quite a lot....). I did always think that the brilliant "All Rounder" film about Dave was a bit of a misnomer, since only the winter bit was a flash or onsight attempt - a better title might have been "How to Try Inspiringly Hard". That and Dave's book have certainly inspired me to do so sometimes to good effect....
Maybe you havent done enough routes outside of your area to make such a comment? ;-)
all that and still only 28. Good going fella ;)
Why can't you separate what you climb for and what other people climb for?
You think its impossible for people to compete without enjoying it?
Why should it be? Some people might get satisfaction from winning a competition.
Believe it or not your not the center of the world, and other people do things differently from you. If you think otherwise you have a very egoistical and arrogant way of viewing the world.
Aye but Varian went to town on the grim part. If he's going to diss a man's hood, we are right to demand a rappers' battle.
Kudos for playing the internet chaperone, someone had to.
I only posted my views, which everyone else did as well. Its a forum, that's it's purpose. You asked questions and I gave answers which I felt were appropriate to those questions, yet you continued to probe.
I have separated the two forms, all I ever said was that I do not like competition climbing, for reasons I have stated every single time you have replied to my comments (you just seem to want me to write down everything in my mind on the matter), that was it.
You seemed to take it and turn it into some big fuss that I don't find competitive climbing appealing. Why can't you realise that some people don't like things that others do ? That form of thought works both ways mate.
I'll say again, people are free to enter and compete in competitions as they wish, I "PERSONALLY" do not like them because I find it takes away from the climbing by making it competitive, I cannot see what happiness someone would take away from beating a fellow climber.
Climbing is not meant to be like that, that's what separates it from regular sports, or at least that how I view it. Others are free to see and participate in the sport in whichever way they want to.
You say you answered everytime but I would argue they are barely answers to the question I asked. For instance
" I don't like the idea of climbing becoming an Olympic Sport. That's mainly because I don't see climbing in that way, to me its not about competing. Its just about enjoying the climbing itself, not to attain a medal."
But this in no way explains why you think climbing in the Olpymics is bad. You explain why you don't like it but by your own admission you said you was a bad climber so it wont effect you. So why do you think "it would be bad for climbing to become an Olympic sport" if it has no effect on you? You just repeated the same thing but gave no reasons. Hence my "egoistical" comment, because its as tho you are saying if you don't like competitive climbing then it shouldn't be in the Olympics even if other peopele can appreciate it.
See what I was getting at?
I understand you was talking personally. When people write on here its there own personnal opinion, there is no such thing as a universal opinion. I was questioning you about your personal view.
You said "I think it would be bad for climbing to become an Olympic sport". That sentence (and other posts) would suggestion you think climbing as a whole would suffer from being in the Olympics. I was intruiged to know why. I could probably come up with some reasons myself but I was interested in what you thought.
I have little hope you will actually get my point tho as your last sentence
"Climbing is not meant to be like that, that's what separates it from regular sports"
To use an anology its like a group of people talking about why they like computer operating systems. One person might say, they like linux because of the open source community, another might say they like mac OS because of the user interface. Then you come along and say "All operating systems apart from windows are bad, its my PERSONAL view."
Some thought is required.
I believe that there is much more to climbing than winning medals, and by promoting a competitive mentality to the sport is the reason most new climber would get interested in it and therefor think "Why would I want to go outside in the cold when I can stay in here and win medals or become an Olympian ?"
I find that promoting competitive indoor climbing would be detrimental towards outdoor trad and sport, and also slightly dangerous. The generation of indoor climbing has bred a very high level of climbers (both pleasure and competitive), but if you took them outside they would probably be half the climber they were in the comfort of 4 walls.
Imagine it the other way, a guy who learned to lead trad rock climbing could come indoors and perform to a very high level simply because he never had the comfort the indoor wall provided.
"I have little hope you will actually get my point tho as your last sentence
Climbing is not meant to be like that, that's what separates it from regular sports"
I also had a small addition to the end of that sentence :
"or at least that how I view it."
I sorry for the wording on that comment, it should have read "climbing shouldn't need to be like that" I find that the satisfaction of finishing a project or sending a route should be enough for a climber to be happy. By having a competition mentality, you begin to turn the sport into a game of two sides, one of which has to win and for me that defeats the whole purpose of the climbing. You are then no longer climbing for yourself, you are climbing to beat someone else.
I'm hoping that this time my replies have got a little more depth and thought to them.
You keep repeating this type of view - to me it doesn't make sense. Competing to win is not mutually exclusive to playing for fun. Have you never competed? Say Tennis? Tiddlywinks? Strip poker? It can still be satisfying even if you lose.
Bouldering with your mates - just meant to be fun and not competative? Pull the other one!
but only in things that were originally meant to be competitive.
How about running, cycling, swimming and no noubt others such as skiing?
None of those were originally competitive.
Like those sports, climbing has evolved to include competition. It's just another facet to an ever changing sport/pastime.
As for people taking up climbing purely for the glory of winning medals and therefore somehow despoiling climbing? I can't see that happening. Competitions have been around for 25 years or so and the only thing that I've noticed, is that the winners/close contenders are also very good "real" climbers: Moffatt, Vickers, McClure, Bransby, Findlay...
Climbing won't massively change, even it is included in the Olympics. If anything, think of the possible benefits - one perhaps being better walls.
People who are attracted to the lure of hard training and the glint of gold will always be attracted that way. Equally if your penchant is for the great outdoors, you will gravitate that way no matter what.
Climbing outdoors is something someone has to want to do - its not down to other climbers to try to indoctrinate one way or another. Of course once someone has shown the aptitude for outdoors then we should encourage as much as possible but before that ...
Its a poor argument. First there is already a competitive mentality, there are already competitions. Olypmic may promote it a little more but it doesn't change it completely. Plus if you are a new climber it would be very unlikely you would target the Olympics. Did you think you would win gold the first time you swam? or did you just swim? Plus to suggest that every new climber cannot go outside when it is cold is a little silly.
You never gave any reasons why it would be dangerous.
I don't know what you are getting at when you say "Imagine it the other way, a guy who learned to lead trad rock climbing could come indoors and perform to a very high level simply because he never had the comfort the indoor wall provided." - so what?
"I also had a small addition to the end of that sentence :" yes but I felt I could leave that off with it being blatantly obvious it was your view.
"I find that the satisfaction of finishing a project or sending a route should be enough for a climber to be happy" - thats very nice for you but it not justification why you deem climbing in the Olympics "bad". You can still get this satisfaction even if it is in the Olympics. Surely you can understand that people might think differently? So if you do understand that why would you still think its "bad"?
A better question would be why doesn't Steve McClure enter comps, but the answer is probably similar- he can't be bothered or is bored by them. O, there's a certain element of experience needed in comps too I hear, which someone who had never been on the comp circuit wouldn't have.
I'm not sure if Steve McClure still enters comps but I've seen him in one at the WICC (when it was still called that) a few years age. Lucy Creamer was also there,
> a was all soft. I am sure that would not go down to well.
The comment was based on experience of doing the hardest routes and problems on the coast and finding them invariably easier than the grade would suggest. But It was an observation that confirmed what others had told me before I stated visiting. And I was careful about it too actually - people always ask me to comment on grades of routes I repeat because they are very often second ascents in Scotland. I'm not into lying to save peoples egos for obvious reasons. I'm reluctant to refuse to answer because it perpetuates unfairness unnecessarily. As far as I'm concerned readjustment of grades which are applied subjectively is part and parcel of climbing. I've had plenty of my routes up and down graded too. Sometimes people get really defensive about a direct downgrade. I'd done that a few times on Aberdeen routes and got a bad reaction. So laterally I felt a general comment was more gentle. It sounds like things are changing a bit now perhaps? I'm sure the easier routes are graded fine. I was referring to a tradition of soft grading in my era.
It's a shame really to be so defensive when grade changes are inevitable. If our example of Gies a Squid is getting downgraded then I wasn't wrong was I? Years ago people would often get in touch and say "why don't you come to the Aberdeen sea cliffs and repeat some routes, it would be good to see what you think of the grades". But then get annoyed when I thought a few needed adjusting down. I have ended up repeating some things over there and just not telling anyone to avoid the inevitable.
I know and agree. I wouldn't like to be held up on everything I said at 16 either. But even then I think I would think twice to check my facts before making an insinuation if it was in front of an audience of thousands. So it's worth a wee reminder that publishing a comment online is not the same as a casual chat in the pub. There's a responsibility that goes with it. Even if the target of the comment doesn't suffer, the publisher possibly will since it's getting (slightly) harder to be anonymous and folk remember that it was you who said that.
Talking of profiles your bouldering grade needs changing and I'm pretty sure your age too...
If you do head back to the coast do some of the E5's and 6's as a warm up for the harder routes. Not only will you enjoy them but you should find most of them graded roughly right! If not let us know for the next guide.
agreed. if you wouldn't say it to the person's face, don't say it on here
the OP seems to have gone to ground. i suspect the thread hasn't turned out entirely as she expected- probably didn't realise that you post here from time to time and would almost certainly get to read it. well, we all live and learn...
> the OP seems to have gone to ground.
She gallantly, politely and publicly departed the proceedings. 20:38 Sunday "just expressing my silly views which i will keep to myself from now on!"
I think it's been an interesting thread in many ways.
Missed that, only been dipping in now and then
If jess is still reading, i'd hope she wouldn't be too discouraged, we all make mistakes. It would be a shame if she took from the episode that she shouldn't Express opinions on here; but given the points Dave has made, just be aware it is a public forum and if your views are controversial your will probably have them subject to some scrutiny- in all possibility by the person you are discussing, if they are about a climbing matter,
Agreed. I have made mistakes on these forums before and it is always a positive experience as you learn something. Franco used to take so much flak and I always thought "imagine if Johnny Dawes or Airlie Anderson had had the Internet at 17" :-)
No idea how long Jess has been using the forum on here for but its easy to post dumb stuff on here to begin with before you realise that there are some things that will cause the whole of UKC to come down on you like a ton of bricks.
Don't know about most ppl, but trad is just way more fun to me! comps are for when it rains and I have to go to the depo :P trip to Pembroke or weekend at BUCS? Pembroke.
Not quite the same, he is trashing the area NOT the climbing , which he praises.
I Live a short distance from the castle,and there has been some effort to redevelop the area, but the recession stopped it. Critisism of your home area is always hard to take, but you have to try and see your area as others see it, and to be fair as locals we critisise it too.
However,I spend several weeks down at the castle when Sonnie Trotter came over from Canada to repeat Dave MacLeod's Rhapsody, E11 7a http://www.flickr.com/photos/22776031@N05/sets/72157612949109560/
(it took him longer than he planned, but he stuck at it, and extended his trip and completed it after several weeks.)
Anyway the locals that were metioned that would 'beat you up' were there then too, and Sonnie was great with them, he answered all their questions, even though they knew little about what he was doing, he had no problems or agro.
Perhaps the people who have apparently been beaten up, did not have the interpersonal skills of Sonnie (Or Dave) and maybe just rubbed them up the wrong way.
Bouldering on the other hand. Saft as! Quite fancy a bash in the orchestra cave to see how the sport routes compare.
You would enjoy the O-Cave routes they are a bit steep for my liking, so I suppose I should get on them and work my weakness. The annoying thing with that place is that its a pain to get in and out from and some routes get caked in bird shit.
P.S. if you think the bouldering is soft get on this http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=88381
back chilled out person... He is a scott too used to cold weather maybe competing indoors would melt him... Or he would miss the midges flying around him.. Who knows, who cares! I like what he does, just leave him there so we can enjoy or suffer watching him.
I think he's probably one of the most competitive climbers out there, it just happens to be himself that he's most interested in competing with!
Nope his name is 'Dave' not Scott.
Dave is a Scot by nationality not a Scott by name.
(but it could have been worse, you could have said he was Scotch, which is worse !
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