/ Bouldering mats - damaging the future of climbing?

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DaveAtkinson - on 06 Nov 2012
Started visiting grit venues this year and I'm amazed at the number of boulderers with mats hanging (or lounging) about. At Almscliff and the Roaches I would guess that 70% of the climbers there were bouldering with mats.

Some people were doing some nice moves and it was all very relaxed and sociable. There was also plenty of room on the crags for crustys like myself. But on both occasions hardly an extreme route was being attempted and when they were, it was by an over 50.

I was tempted to buy a mat before this summer. I thought I could see the advantage of improving my power moves. But not now. They are clearly the equivalent of an outdoor double divan. Comfortable, soft cushions expunging the desire of youth to climb hard.

Please boulderers, next time you head out, leave it behind. Take a rope instead. You will enjoy it more.

Sorry for the rant. I'm dying with flu and need to lie down again; on my tatami futon.
davidbeynon - on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to DaveAtkinson:

I find it hard enough to climb with a rucsac, so a bouldering mat would be ridiculous.

Far better to leave it at the bottom.
Nick Russell on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to davidbeynon:
> (In reply to DaveAtkinson)
>
> I find it hard enough to climb with a rucsac, so a bouldering mat would be ridiculous.
>
> Far better to leave it at the bottom.

It lowers the E grade too, having all that padding strapped to your back
Sherlock - on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to DaveAtkinson:
You're either a troll or don't understand bouldering.Maybe both.
tony on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to DaveAtkinson:
>
> Please boulderers, next time you head out, leave it behind. Take a rope instead. You will enjoy it more.

Quite right. You tell 'em what they'll enjoy. None of this namby-pamby making their own mind up nonsense.
biscuit - on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to DaveAtkinson:

Any yet you used to do this:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=179392

I know which is more ethically acceptable to the majority of the climbing world.

Hope you're feeling better.
Sherlock - on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to DaveAtkinson Comfortable, soft cushions expunging the desire of youth to climb hard.
>
> Jeez.I know, I shouldn't have bitten.I'm having a bad day.

lardbrain - on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to biscuit: you're right. That's a shocking jumper.
phleppy on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to DaveAtkinson: Good one! I see where your coming from...kind of but 9/10 times i dont have a belayer although i would usually prefer trad if it's on offer.
A bouldering mat is handy, it saves my knees for those higher problems, it keeps my feet clean & dry when the ground is wet which seems to be just about evertime i go out lately & some routes you just would rather not solo so a mat can open them up if you choose to use it. Im sure if mats were available in the 70's climbers would have used them. I have heard of people using car seats below routes back in the day!
muppetfilter - on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to biscuit:

>
> Any yet you used to do this:
>
> http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=179392
>
> I know which is more ethically acceptable to the majority of the climbing world.
>

I agree, How on earth can he show his face having worn a matching Norwegian style wooly jumper and glove ensamble like that... One step away from lycra tights in my book.
PeterJuggler - on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to DaveAtkinson:
"expunging the desire of youth to climb hard".

You have a strange definition of hard. Bouldering is all about hard moves and less about danger. You should have said something like "expunging the desire of youth to climb bold routes". In my opinion trad climbing expunges the desire to climb hard because the danger aspect limits the difficulty of moves you'd be willing to do.
biscuit - on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to muppetfilter:

I think i forgot to put the ;0) at the end of my post. Firmly tongue in cheek - i am hoping along the same lines of his post.
PondLife - on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to DaveAtkinson: So if every trad route had been busy with climbers queueing up to add to the polish and you had to wait for your turn you would have been a happier bunny? Is there anything that you don't rant about!
biscuit - on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to PondLife:

Yes, dry tooling.
snoop6060 - on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to DaveAtkinson:

The grit is for bouldering, the routes are crap in comparison to real cliffs like those found in wales, the lakes and even on the lime...malham and high tor for example.

Climbing a trad route that is 6m is rubbish. I would far rather boulder and save my gear for real extreme routes, those that actually feel like routes.
Jimbo C - on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to DaveAtkinson:

I'm no crusty, but I do agree that there's something about climbing with a rope that makes it more enjoyable. Maybe it's the craft of it, or the exposure, or the fact that you have to concentrate for a long time.

I was at Burbage at the weekend and was intially bouldering and getting rather bored. Not many in the group were keen on trad becasue it was a bit chilly. I finally got on Amazon crack and even though it's only a 10m HS, it just felt like proper climbing.

To snoop6060:
I disagree (partly). There are some great routes on grit that are 20m plus if you seek them out. Whilst not very big compared to mountain routes, you still get a sense of committment and involvement. I'll agree with you on 6m routes - hardly worth the time of racking up and everything.
Lord_ash2000 - on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to DaveAtkinson: Yeah, the next generation of climbers have no chance do they. http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=67583

pebbles - on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to muppetfilter: puhleez. Chunky xmas-style jumpers have been having a fashion moment again since The Killing. Whereas the haircut really is criminal....
DaveAtkinson - on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to biscuit:

Back from my nap.

Ah, well, that was a long time ago, and it wasn't a very popular route.

Don't get me wrong I know some people use bouldering mats well but I haven't seen many examples out there. Most are really only doing sit down starts and 8 ft problems.

There are some excellent climbers operating at the top of the game and even if I was good enough, I wouldn't have the bottle to try the likes of Gaia, even with 6 mats. But, they are a select few.

PS
Thanks for the comments about the jumper. It reminds me not to wear mine in public anymore. I wondered what all those boulderers were laughing at while gibbered up Overhanging groove.
EeeByGum - on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to DaveAtkinson: I have never really understood the excessive need for pads although I have used them and they allow for bouldering without much thought for falling off. My first several trips to Font were all without pads and I still have that iconic photo of Johnny Dawes soloing Ulysses at Stanage with nothing more than a beer mat to catch him in On Peak Rock.
Mark Kemball - on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to EeeByGum: But you need to remember that Johnny practically invented the bouldering mat. I think it was Paul Mitchell who wrote a message to him in the Stoney new routes book, asking him to take home the old mattress he'd left at Burbage.
Si dH - on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to DaveAtkinson:
Coming from someone who has only ever led E1 that's quite funny...


If you want to go bouldering, Almscliff and the Roaches are two of the best crags in the country.

If you want to climb easy trad (say VS and below), Roaches is also one of the best crags in the country, and Almscliff certainly in the top 20%.

If you want to climb harder trad (say above E3), they are both fairly rubbish when you look at the broader picture across the UK. Grit in general is not great for regular trad onsighting above about E2.

This might all prejudice your observations a bit...
climbingpixie - on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to DaveAtkinson:

You're right, toproping protectable low in the grade E1s at Almscliff is much more extreme than bouldering.

DaveAtkinson - on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to climbingpixie:

Ouch.

It started raining. It wasn't my idea. I did try an E4 as well. OK. Fair cop.
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climbingpixie - on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to DaveAtkinson:

Excuses, excuses... ;-)

Fwiw I'm under 50, I mostly climb trad (bouldering scares me!) and even manage the odd extreme. Most of the people I climb with are the same. I think you just need to go to different grit crags - the ones you've cited are well known for their bouldering popularity!

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